National treasure  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The idea of national treasure, like national epics and national anthems, is part of the language of romantic nationalism, which arose in the late 18th century and 19th centuries. Nationalism is an ideology that supports the nation as the fundamental unit of human social life, which includes shared language, values, and culture. Thus national treasure, part of the ideology of nationalism, is shared culture.

A national treasure can be a shared cultural asset, which may or may not have monetary value; for example, a skilled banjo player would be a Living National Treasure. Or it may refer to a rare cultural object, such as the medieval manuscript Plan of St. Gall in Switzerland. The government of Japan designates the most famous of the nation's cultural properties as National Treasures of Japan. The National Treasures of Korea are a set of artifacts, sites, and buildings that are recognised by South Korea as having exceptional cultural value.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "National treasure" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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