Bien de Interés Cultural

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A Bien de Interés Cultural is a category of the heritage register in Spain.[1] The term is also used in Venezuela,[2] and other Spanish speaking countries.

Romanesque church in Aragon

The term literally means "Good (in the sense of economics) of Cultural Interest", although a better translation could be "Heritage of Cultural Interest", as Spain protects not only material heritage, like monuments or movable works of art, but also intangible cultural heritage.[3] An example of intangible cultural heritage which now enjoys protection is the Silbo Gomero language.[4]

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. 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 Interes Cultural 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 variants

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.

See also


  1. (Spanish) Definición de bienes culturales protegidos, Ministry of Culture (Spain).
  2. [1] TeleSur.
  3. "¿Qué es un bien de interés cultural (BIC)?". 16 January 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Whistled language of the island of La Gomera, UNESCO
  5. "Pero… ¿qué es un BIC?". 28 December 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. BOCyL nº 116 de 18 de junio de 2008 por el que se declara Peñalba de Santiago, municipio de Ponferrada (León), Bien de Interés Cultural con la Categoría de Conjunto Etnológico.
  7. Antonio Lorca (1 August 2011), Culture Ministry takes charge of the bulls, El País (English edition)
  8. (2011), La Fiesta ya es Bien de Interés Cultural, El Mundo (

External links