The chapter explores the social and historic construction of heritage and the role played in this by institutions, from an anthropological perspective. Since state members ratified the UNESCO Conventions, national inventories have been collated so that candidacies can be submitted to international lists and, in turn, the benefits of this cultural showcase return to the nation. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in China and Switzerland, this chapter focuses on the logic underlying processes of selection, which involves both political and administrative bodies. The evaluation of how cultural heritage acts, and is interpreted by various stakeholders will be outlined along with an analysis of which practices and narratives almost inevitably produce friction. The case studies presented highlight the complexity of cultural meanings and frictions among multi-layered stakeholders who claim their ‘rights to cultural heritage’ and, in doing so, challenge the norms and values that it carries which, they feel, must be transmitted to the next generation.