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Accepted Paper:

Crafting the local: collective trademark and tradition in Valenza, Italy  
Michele Fontefrancesco (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores the definition of "traditions" and "authenticity" in the definition of a collective trademarks. Thus it shows how these categories must be considered arbitrarily constructed on the basis of the local economic and political debate.

Paper long abstract:

What is local? What is traditional?

To answer to these questions, the paper explores the definition of the "local authenticity" that was at the basis of the institution of the collective trademark "Divalenza". Following the example of the Protected Geographical Status trademarks, Divalenza was created to "defend" and increase the value of the jewellery production of the district of Valenza, Italy, after that the recession of the international jewellery market strongly undermined the economy of the city in the last decade.

Faced with such varied production carried out in the district, the committee needed to define the characteristics of the "typical" manufacture, style and qualities of Valenza's jewellery. Moreover, it also had to define the criteria by which they would allocate producers the right to use their trademark. Finally, the Divalenza example demonstrates clearly how "traditions" are arbitrarily selected and how their construction is fuelled by political debates occurring at the local and national level.

Panel W039
Selling tradition by the pound: intangibile cultural heritage and the marketing of localities
  Session 1