Due to the receding role of government, cultural heritage is increasinglythe concern of laypeople seeking anchors in a rapidly changing society. As aconsequence, cultural heritage experts are facing bottom-up claims that go beyondthe criteria of canonisation, as well as practices at odds with their scientifi c expertise. Experts participating in laypeople’s initiatives may face diffi cult dilemmas. These arediscussed here through various bottom-up case studies. Given that the participationsociety is an ongoing process of change in terms of governance, we need to rethinkthe role and position of experts.