2.2 National definition of culture
In Italy there is no official definition of "culture", nor are the boundaries of the cultural field clearly outlined by government action. The fairly recent rationalisation of most of the cultural competencies under one single ministry was, in fact, the outcome of a very long and fairly empirical process (see also chapter 1).
On the other hand, Italy has always been actively involved in the theoretical work carried out by international organisations aimed at establishing a common definition of culture, as a precondition for pursuing statistical harmonisation and comparability among the countries (action was undertaken first by UNESCO's Framework for Cultural Statistics, and subsequently by the EU's Eurostat Working Group on Cultural Statistics and ESSnet- Culture)
The Eurostat definition of the cultural sector, agreed upon by the Italian government as well as by the other EU governments, covers the following domains: heritage; archives; libraries; visual arts and architecture; performing arts; books and the press; cinema and the audiovisual sector (art craft and advertisement have also been subsequently added).