Bien de Interés Cultural

A Romanesque church in Aragon with Bien de Interés Cultural status

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.

The term literally means a "Good of Cultural Interest" (a "good" in the economic sense), 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] such as 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, although this was later overturned by the Supreme Court.

See also


  1. (Spanish) Definición de bienes culturales protegidos, Ministry of Culture (Spain).
  2. TeleSur.
  3. "¿Qué es un bien de interés cultural (BIC)?". 16 January 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  4. Whistled language of the island of La Gomera, UNESCO
  5. "Pero… ¿qué es un BIC?". 28 December 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  6. ACUERDO 51/2008 "por el que se declara Peñalba de Santiago, municipio de Ponferrada (León), Bien de Interés Cultural con la Categoría de Conjunto Etnológico". Boletin oficial de Castilla y Leon. 18 June 2008.
  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

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