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San Marino/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.2 National definition of culture

The Republic of San Marino defines the concept of culture as the expression of the highest personal values of society. The State has always been involved in cultural planning that allows the Community to be both the user and the promoter / protagonist of the development of this sector. Participation in cultural life is guaranteed to all, without any restriction, by the State. Despite the fact that the Declaration on the Citizens' Rights and Fundamental Principles of San Marino Constitutional Order (a sort of Constitutional Charter, see chapter 5.1.1) does not contain a specific article on culture, the mandate of the State to deal with the cultural sector as a whole can be inferred from Article 6 of this Declaration, which provides for some prerogatives strictly connected with the right of all to participate in the cultural progress of the Country: "Arts, science and education shall be free. The law shall secure education to all citizens at no cost". Moreover, Article 10, last paragraph, states that: "The Republic shall protect its historical and artistic heritage, as well as its natural environment" and constitutes the legal basis for all initiatives promoted in the sector concerning the protection of the historical, artistic and archaeological heritage of the State. Finally, Article 11 of the Declaration on the Citizens' Rights states that: "the Republic shall promote the development of the personality of the young and shall educate them to enable a free and responsible exercise of their fundamental rights", including all rights connected with the cultural sector.

The political and planning agreements for the government (2001 and 2006) defined the culture as a fundamental element of San Marino identity, in relation to its traditions and to the international role played by small States in the era of globalisation. Culture is therefore strictly linked to the State's identity and to the sense of belonging rooted in San Marino people.

This definition was further underlined in a 1996 Conference entitled "The Republic of San Marino: identity of a people". The final report connects "identity" to the achievements made by the people of San Marino throughout the years in terms of democracy, civilisation and science, emancipation of the classes, works of engineering and art, restructuring, preservation and respect for heritage, traditions, environment and nature. Although the Republic belongs to the Italian peninsula from a geographical, ethnic, cultural, monetary and commercial point of view, San Marino maintains its specific features and authentic heritage. San Marino identity is therefore a value, the characteristics of which have always been preserved thanks to civil, institutional, social and cultural interventions. The attitudes, uses and traditions of its people can be defined as its cultural heritage, which is its "sammarinesità": a word of cultural anthropology to describe attitudes and behaviours which is now part of everyday language and which expresses the strong sense of belonging, identity and stateness.

Chapter published: 07-10-2015

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