Cultural heritage is the heritage of tangible and intangible heritage assets of a group or society that is inherited from past generations. Not all heritages of past generations are "heritage"; rather, heritage is a product of selection by society.
Cultural heritage includes tangible culture (such as buildings, monuments, landscapes, books, works of art, and artifacts), intangible culture (such as folklore, traditions, language, and knowledge), and natural heritage (including culturally significant landscapes, and biodiversity). The term is often used in connection with issues relating to the protection of Indigenous intellectual property.
The deliberate act of keeping cultural heritage from the present for the future is known as preservation (American English) or conservation (British English), which cultural and historical ethnic museums and cultural centers promote, though these terms may have more specific or technical meanings in the same contexts in the other dialect. Preserved heritage has become an anchor of the global tourism industry, a major contributor of economic value to local communities.
Legal protection of cultural property comprises a number of international agreements and national laws. United Nations, UNESCO and Blue Shield International deal with the protection of cultural heritage. This also applies to the integration of United Nations peacekeeping.