YEAR 2022 No 3

ISSN 2182-9845

Cultural appropriation of the shirt of Póvoa de Varzim: A preliminary approach to advance legislative proposals for the safeguarding of Portuguese Intangible Cultural Heritage

Irene Merino Calle


Cultural Appropriation; Intangible cultural heritage; “Domaine Public payant”; Commons; UNESCO.


An investigation conducted by Dr. Dámaso Francisco Javier Vicente Blanco prompted this article. According to the author, intellectual property —having followed the path of privatization and mercantile free trade— has been reframed in terms of popular culture, which appears to dominate. Certainly, cultural appropriation is a mechanism for achieving this goal. Therefore, it is vital to adapt to recognize the goods of human creativity as common goods; resources that are integral to the identity of a social community —a person, a group of citizens, a city, a nation— and which constitute that community's intangible cultural heritage. Besides, it is crucial that these assets be adequately safeguarded so that they do not become subject to misappropriation, as happened with the Poveira Sweater. In this article and through the case as an example, we will present a brief overview of the potential legislative proposals to stop cultural assets from being misappropriated.