A public measure dedicated to the restoration of heritage monuments by competition, with funds generated from the use of all monuments for business purposes.
SHM Programme is a public measure for the sustainability of historical monuments, financed from extra-budgetary tax collected. SHM is a mandatory tax (2%) for income-generating operators that promote/use images of historical monuments and heritage buildings or from events that take place in their protection area, such as:
a) promotion printed illustrated materials or photo-video materials representing historical monuments through photographic images or graphic representations of interior or exterior;
b) entrance tickets, photography or filming fees, for historical monuments made available to the public;
c) entrance tickets to cultural, sports or leisure events, fairs and exhibitions held in spaces located in their protection zone or in protected built areas.
SHM was established to support the protection, restoration and enhancement of historical monuments, by financing technical documentation and works related to emergency interventions or tourism arrangements, programs or cultural projects on historical monuments. The financing mechanism includes public and private historical monuments, including churches.
SHM is managed by the Ministry of Culture, by the National Heritage Institute. Since 2001, SHM is enforced by the Law for the protection of historical monuments and became operational in 2003. In 2019 there was an update of the award criteria: funding is now granted following a selection of projects submitted by the administrators of the monuments.

Resources needed

There is a 5 person team managing the programme within the National Institute of Heritage.
SHM contributions were collected in two periods:
• 2003-2010: approx. 14.7 M EUR
• 2011-2019: approx. 2.5 M EUR

Evidence of success

SHM funds invested in historical monuments (HM):
• 2003-2010: 10.1 M EUR
• 2011-2019: 3.5 M EUR (26 restoration works in 17 HM)
• 2020:
a. Emergency interventions (pre/post disaster): 300,000 EUR (8 HM);
b. Elaboration of the technical-economic documentations for interventions on the HM: 415,000 EUR (17 HM).
SHM revenues increased yearly, from 120,000 EUR (2011) to over 550,000 EUR (2019) and the main beneficiaries of the Programme were churches and fortresses, between 1 and 8 HM /year.

Difficulties encountered

Informing on the existence of SHM: the economic operators that have to pay the SHM tax contribution, and the potential beneficiaries that could apply for funding. Organizing the Programme Call and the funding mechanism of the restoration projects was difficult to manage with staff shortages.

Potential for learning or transfer

All over the world, there are income-generating operators that promote or use images of historical monuments, heritage buildings or that take place in the protection area of the historical monuments.
The SHM tax model could be adopted anywhere in its actual form (or personalized, depending on the national regulations frame) and paid together with other taxes by the economical operators.
SHM is a replicable initiative at national, regional or local levels under cultural heritage priorities.
Main institution
National Heritage Institute - Ministry of Culture
Bucureşti - Ilfov, Romania (România)
Start Date
January 2003
End Date


Marius LAZIN Please login to contact the author.