Bien de Interés Cultural

A Bien de Interés Cultural is a category of the heritage register in Spain.[1] The term is also used in Venezuela and other Spanish-speaking countries.

A Romanesque church in Aragon with Bien de Interés Cultural status

The term literally means a "good of cultural interest" ("goods" in the economic sense) and includes not only material heritage (cultural property), like monuments or movable works of art, but also intangible cultural heritage,[2] such as the Silbo Gomero language.[3]

Some bienes enjoy international protection as World Heritage Sites or Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.


In Spain, the category of Bien de Interés Cultural dates from 1985 when it replaced the former heritage category of Monumento nacional (national monument) in order to extend protection to a wider range of cultural property. The category has been translated as "Cultural Interest Asset".[4] Monumentos are now identified as one of the sub-categories of Bien de Interés Cultural.


Jardín histórico: Royal Botanical Garden, Madrid

The movable heritage designated as Bienes de Interés Cultural ("Cultural Interest Assets") includes archeological artefacts, archives and large works of art. Such protected objects may well be kept in a building which is itself a BIC.[5]

Regional variantsEdit

This village is recognised as a Conjunto Etnológico.[6]

Under the Spanish system, regions maintain their own registers of cultural heritage (see Patrimonio histórico español). There have been some differences in approach between autonomous communities. An example is bullfighting (which at a national level is now regulated by the Ministry of Culture).[7] Madrid's regional government considers that bullfighting events should be protected as cultural heritage,[8] whereas in Catalonia a ban on bullfighting came into effect in 2012, although this was later overturned by the Supreme Court.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Definición de bienes culturales protegidos". Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (in Spanish). Ministry of Culture. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012.
  2. ^ "¿Qué es un bien de interés cultural (BIC)?". El Periódico Mediterráneo (in Spanish). Grupo Zeta. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Whistled language of the island of La Gomera (Canary Islands), the Silbo Gomero". UNESCO. 2009. Archived from the original on 24 April 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b Fairclough, Graham; Møller, Per Grau (2008). Landscape as heritage: the management and protection of landscape in Europe, a summary by the COST A27 project "Landmarks. University of Berne, Institute of Geography. p. 235. ISBN 9783905835052.
  5. ^ "Pero… ¿qué es un BIC?". 28 December 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-08-30. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  6. ^ Herrera Campo, Juan Vicente (18 June 2008). Salgueiro Cortiñas, María José (ed.). "ACUERDO 51/2008, de 12 de junio, de la Junta de Castilla y León, por el que se declara Peñalba de Santiago, municipio de Ponferrada (León), Bien de Interés Cultural con la categoría de Conjunto Etnológico" (PDF). Boletín Oficial de Castilla y León (in Spanish). Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  7. ^ Lorca, Antonio (1 August 2011). "Culture Ministry takes charge of the bulls". El País. Seville: Vocento.
  8. ^ "La Fiesta ya es Bien de Interés Cultural". El Mundo (in Spanish). Madrid: Unidad Editorial Internet, S.L. 7 April 2011.

External linksEdit