8.1 General context
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The Spanish Constitution of 1978 (Constitución de 1978) establishes in its article 44.1 that "the public authorities will promote and protect access to culture, to which everyone has the right." According to the article 46, Spanish citizens are also obliged to preserve their historical and cultural heritage and any attacks on it might be penalized by criminal law.
According to the survey of cultural habits and practices in Spain 2021-2022 carried out by the Ministry of Culture and Sport young people have the highest cultural participation rates in virtually all cultural fields: they visited more museums and monuments, attended more stage and musical shows, read more, went to libraries more often and engaged in more active cultural practices compared to older citizens, although the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic must be taken into account. This very high participation rate is inversely correlated with age. Also the educational level is one of the most decisive variables for cultural participation, with those with higher educational attainment being significantly more likely to engage in cultural activities.
Additionally one of the issues hindering youth access to culture are the costs associated with participating in cultural activities. Given that the resources available to the youth are scarce, going to the theatre, exhibition or a concert implies expenditure not affordable for all income groups. Thus, for many young people, some cultural practices require particular level of commitment.
Cultural heritage: Cultural heritage is no longer limited to monuments and collections of objects that are part of the tangible cultural heritage. Today, it also includes oral traditions, performing arts, social customs, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices related to nature and the universe, and knowledge and techniques linked to traditional craftsmanship that are part of the intangible cultural heritage. Its importance is reflected in Law 10/2015, of May 26, for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. and the National Plan for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage which are committed to coordinated action between administrations and connection with other policies, such as educational policies.
Access to culture: As mentioned above, access to culture is unequivocally endorsed by the Spanish Constitution in Article 44.1, where it is conceptualized as a universal right. Although public authorities in the field of education and culture place great emphasis on the notion of cultural access, it is less present in a wide range of other policies. In 2011, the Spanish Integral Strategy Culture for All was presented with the intention of bringing together all the actions that the different public organizations had been carrying out to improve accessibility to culture for people with disabilities. In its evaluation it can be seen that its implementation has been unevenly developed and that no common roadmap has been followed.