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Since the late 1980s privatization has been a feature in the field of culture in Europe. However, the cultural political debate on this issue has been hampered by speculations and prejudices. Many connect the term only with selling public institutions to private firms, and with governments passing on their responsibilities for the arts and culture to the market. This text confronts fables with facts. It focuses on European experiences in the performing arts (theatre and opera), heritage (museums and built heritage) and cultural industries (film and television broadcasting and the book industry). The result is an insight into privatization in the cultural sector and its consequences for cultural policy and development in Europe. The contributors are academics, practitioners and policy-makers, working in different cultural fields and in different countries. They offer a spectrum of concepts, experiences and perspectives.