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UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Preservation of Cultural Property Endangered by Public or Private Works

UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Preservation of Cultural Property Endangered by Public or Private Works

Preamble

The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting in Paris from 15 October to 20 November 1968, at its fifteenth session,

Considering that contemporary civilization and its future evolution rest upon, among other elements, the cultural traditions of the peoples of the world, their creative force and their social and economic development,

Considering that cultural property is the product and witness of the different traditions and of the spiritual achievements of the past and thus is an essential element in the personality of the peoples of the world,

Considering that it is indispensable to preserve it as much as possible, according to its historical and artistic importance, so that the significance and message of cultural property become a part of the spirit of peoples who thereby may gain consciousness of their own dignity,

Considering that preserving cultural property and rendering it accessible constitute, in the spirit of the Declaration of the Principles of International Cultural Co-operation adopted on 4 November 1966 in the course of its fourteenth session, means of encouraging mutual understanding among peoples and thereby serve the cause of peace,

Considering also that the well-being of all peoples depends, inter alia, upon the existence of a favourable and stimulating environment and that the preservation of cultural property of all periods of history contributes directly to such an environment,

Recognizing, on the other hand, the role that industrialization, towards which world civilization is moving, plays in the development of peoples and their spiritual and national fulfilment,

Considering, however, that the prehistoric, protohistoric and historic monuments and remains, as well as numerous recent structures having artistic, historic or scientific importance are increasingly threatened by public and private works resulting from industrial development and urbanization,

Considering that it is the duty of governments to ensure the protection and the preservation of the cultural heritage of mankind, as much as to promote social and economic development,

Considering in consequence that it is urgent to harmonize the preservation of the cultural heritage with the changes which follow from social and economic development, making serious efforts to meet both requirements in a broad spirit of understanding, and with reference to appropriate planning,

Considering equally that adequate preservation and accessibility of cultural property constitute a major contribution to the social and economic development of countries and regions which possess such treasures of mankind by means of promoting national and international tourism,

Considering finally that the surest guarantee for the preservation of cultural property rests in the respect and the attachment felt for it by the people themselves, and persuaded that such feelings may be greatly strengthened by adequate measures carried out by Member States,

Having before it proposals concerning the preservation of cultural property endangered by public or private works, which constitute item 16 on the agenda of the session,

Having decided at its thirteenth session that proposals on this item should be the subject of an international instrument in the form of a recommendation to Member States,

Adopts on this nineteenth day of November 1968 this recommendation.

The General Conference recommends that Member States should apply the following provisions by taking whatever legislative or other steps may be required to give effect within their respective territories to the norms and principles set forth in this recommendation.

The General Conference recommends that Member States should bring this recommendation to the attention of the authorities or services responsible for public or private works as well as to the bodies responsible for the conservation and the protection of monuments and historic, artistic, archaeological and scientific sites. It recommends that authorities and bodies which plan programmes for education and the development of tourism be equally informed.

The General Conference recommends that Member States should report to it, on the dates and in a manner to be determined by it, on the action they have taken to give effect to this recommendation.

I. Definition

1. For the purpose of this recommendation, the term ‘cultural property’ applies to:

(a) Immovables, such as archaeological and historic or scientific sites, structures or other features of historic, scientific, artistic or architectural value, whether religious or secular, including groups of traditional structures, historic quarters in urban or rural built-up areas and the ethnological structures of previous cultures still extant in valid form. It applies to such immovables constituting ruins existing above the earth as well as to archaeological or historic remains found within the earth. The term cultural property also includes the setting of such property;

(b) Movable property of cultural importance including that existing in or recovered from immovable property and that concealed in the earth, which may be found in archaeological or historical sites or elsewhere.

2. The term ‘cultural property’ includes not only the established and scheduled architectural, archaeological and historic sites and structure, but also the unscheduled or unclassified vestiges of the past as well as artistically or historically important recent sites and structures.

II. General principles

3. Measures to preserve cultural property should extend to the whole territory of the State and should not be confined to certain monuments and sites.

4. Protective inventories of important cultural property, whether scheduled or unscheduled, should be maintained. Where such inventories do not exist, priority should be given in their establishment to the thorough survey of cultural property in areas where such property is endangered by public or private works.

5. Due account should be taken of the relative significance of the cultural property concerned when determining measures required for the:

(a) Preservation of an entire site, structure, or other forms of immovable cultural property from the effects of private or public works;

(b) Salvage or rescue of cultural property if the area in which it is found is to be transformed by public or private works, and the whole or a part of the property in question is to be preserved and removed.

6. Measures should vary according to the character, size and location of the cultural property and the nature of the dangers with which it is threatened.

7. Measures for the preservation or salvage of cultural property should be preventive and corrective.

8. Preventive and corrective measures should be aimed at protecting or saving cultural property from public or private works likely to damage and destroy it, such as:

(a) Urban expansion and renewal projects, although they may retain scheduled monuments while sometimes removing less important structures, with the result that historical relations and the setting of historic quarters are destroyed;

(b) Similar projects in areas where groups of traditional structures having cultural value as a whole risk being destroyed for the lack of a scheduled individual monument;

(c) Injudicious modifications and repair of individual historic buildings;

(d) The construction or alteration of highways which are a particular danger to sites or to historically important structures or groups of structures;

(e) The construction of dams for irrigation, hydroelectric power or flood control;

(f) The construction of pipelines and of power and transmission lines of electricity;

(g) Farming operations including deep ploughing, drainage and irrigation operations, the clearing and levelling of land and afforestation;

(h) Works required by the growth of industry and the technological progress of industrialized societies such as airfields, mining and quarrying operations and dredging and reclamation of channels and harbours.

9. Member States should give due priority to measures required for the preservation in situ of cultural property endangered by public or private works in order to preserve historical associations and continuity. When overriding economic or social conditions require that cultural property be transferred, abandoned or destroyed, the salvage or rescue operations should always include careful study of the cultural property involved and the preparations of detailed records.

10. The results of studies having scientific or historic value carried out in connexion with salvage operations, particularly when all or much of the immovable cultural property has been abandoned or destroyed, should be published or otherwise made available for future research.

11. Important structures and other monuments which have been transferred in order to save them from destruction by public or private works should be placed on a site or in a setting which resembles their former position and natural, historic or artistic associations.

12. Important movable cultural property, including representative samples of objects recovered from archaeological excavations, obtained from salvage operations should be preserved for study or placed on exhibition in institutions such as museums including site museums, or universities.

III. Preservation and salvage measures

13. The preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works should he ensured through the means mentioned below the precise measures to be determined by the legislation and organizational system of the State:

(a) Legislation;

(b) Finance;

(c) Administrative measures;

(d) Procedures to preserve and to salvage cultural property;

(e) Penalties;

(f) Repairs;

(g) Awards;

(h) Advice;

(i) Educational programmes.

Legislation

14. Member States should enact or maintain on the national as well as on the local level the legislative measures necessary to ensure the preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works in accordance with the norms and principles embodied in this recommendation.

Finance

15. Member States should ensure that adequate budgets are available for the preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works. Although differences in legal systems and traditions as well as disparity in resources preclude the adoption of uniform measures, the following should be considered:

(a) The national or local authorities responsible for the safeguarding of cultural property should have adequate budgets to undertake the preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works; or

(b) The costs of preserving or salvaging cultural property endangered by public or private works including preliminary archaeological research should form part of the budget of construction costs; or

(c) The possibility of combining the two methods mentioned in subparagraphs a and b above should be provided for.

16. In the event of unusual costs due to the size and complexity of the operations required, there should be possibilities of obtaining additional funds through enabling legislation, special subventions, a national fund for monuments or other appropriate means. The services responsible for the safeguarding of cultural property should be empowered to administer or to utilize these extra-budgetary contributions required for the preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works.

17. Member States should encourage proprietors of artistically or historically important structures, including structures forming part of a traditional group, or residents in a historic quarter in urban or rural built-up areas to preserve the character and aesthetic qualities of their cultural property, which would otherwise be endangered by public or private works, through:

(a) Favourable tax rates; or

(b) The establishment, through appropriate legislation, of a budget to assist, by grants, loans or other measures, local authorities, institutions and private owners of artistically, architecturally, scientifically or historically important structures including groups of traditional structures to maintain or to adapt them suitably for functions which would meet the needs of contemporary society; or

(c) The possibility of combining the two methods mentioned in subparagraphs a and b above should be provided for.

18. If the cultural property is not scheduled or otherwise protected it should be possible for the owner to request such assistance from the appropriate authorities.

19. National or local authorities, as well as private owners, when budgeting for the preservation of cultural property endangered by public or private works, should take into account the intrinsic value of cultural property and also the contribution it can make to the economy as a tourist attraction.

Administrative measures

20. Responsibility for the preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works should be entrusted to appropriate official bodies. Whenever official bodies or services already exist for the protection of cultural property, these bodies or services should be given responsibility for the preservation of cultural property against the dangers caused by public or private works. If such services do not exist, special bodies or services should be created for the purpose of the preservation of cultural property endangered by public or private works; and although differences of constitutional provisions and traditions preclude the adoption of a uniform system, certain common principles should be adopted.

(a) There should be a co-ordinating or consultative body, composed of representatives of the authorities responsible for the safeguarding of cultural property, for public and private works, for town planning, and of research and educational institutions, which should be competent to advise of the preservation of cultural property endangered by public or private works and, in particular, on conflicts of interest between requirements for public or private works and the preservation or salvage of cultural property.

(b) Provincial, municipal or other forms of local government should also have services responsible for the preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works. These services should be able to call upon the assistance of national services or other appropriate bodies in accordance with their capabilities and requirements.

(c) The services responsible for the safeguarding of cultural property should be adequately staffed with the specialists required for the preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works, such as architects, urbanists, archaeologists, historians, inspectors and other specialists and technicians.

(d) Administrative measures should be taken to co-ordinate the work of the different services responsible for the safeguarding of cultural property with that of other services responsible for public and private works and that of any other department or service whose responsibilities touch upon the problem of the preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works.

(e) Administrative measures should be taken to establish an authority or commission in charge of urban development programmes in all communities having scheduled or unscheduled historic quarters, sites and monuments which need to be preserved against public and private construction.

21. At the preliminary survey stage of any project involving construction in a locality recognized as being of cultural interest or likely to contain objects of archaeological or historical importance, several variants of the project should be prepared, at regional or municipal level, before a decision is taken. The choice between these variants should be made on the basis of a comprehensive comparative analysis, in order that the most advantageous solution, both economically and from the point of view of preserving or salvaging cultural property, may be adopted.

Procedures to preserve and to salvage cultural property

22. Thorough surveys should be carried out well in advance of any public or private works which might endanger cultural property to determine:

(a) The measures to be taken to preserve important cultural property in situ;

(b) The amount of salvage operations which would be required such as the selection of archaeological sites to be excavated, structures to be transferred and movable cultural property salvaged, etc.

23. Measures for the preservation or salvage of cultural property should be carried out well in advance of public or private works. In areas of archaeological or cultural importance, such as historic towns, villages, sites and districts, which should be protected by the legislation of every country, the starting of new work should be made conditional upon the execution of preliminary archaeological excavations. If necessary, work should be delayed to ensure that adequate measures are taken for the preservation or salvage of the cultural property concerned.

24. Important archaeological sites, and, in particular, prehistoric sites as they are difficult to recognize, historic quarters in urban or rural areas, groups of traditional structures, ethnological structures of previous cultures and other immovable cultural property which would otherwise be endangered by public or private works should be protected by zoning or scheduling:

(a) Archaeological reserves should be zoned or scheduled and, if necessary, immovable property purchased, to permit thorough excavation or the preservation of the ruins found at the site.

(b) Historic quarters in urban or rural centres and groups of traditional structures should be zoned and appropriate regulations adopted to preserve their setting and character, such as the imposition of controls on the degree to which historically or artistically important structures can be renovated and the type and design of new structures which can be introduced. The preservation of monuments should be an absolute requirement of any well-designed plan for urban redevelopment especially in historic cities or districts. Similar regulations should cover the area surrounding a scheduled monument or site and its setting to preserve its association and character. Due allowance should be made for the modification of ordinary regulations applicable to new construction; these should be placed in abeyance when new structures are introduced into an historical zone. Ordinary types of commercial advertising by means of posters and illuminated announcements should be forbidden, but commercial establishments could be allowed to indicate their presence by means of judiciously presented signs.

25. Member States should make it obligatory for persons finding archaeological remains in the course of public or private works to declare them at the earliest possible moment to the competent service. Careful examination should be carried out by the service concerned and, if the site is important, construction should be deferred to permit thorough excavation, due allowance or compensation being made for the delays incurred.

26. Member States should have provisions for the acquisition, through purchase, by national or local governments and other appropriate bodies of important cultural property endangered by public or private works. When necessary, it should be possible to effect such acquisition through expropriation.

Penalties

27. Member States should take steps to ensure that offences, through intent or negligence, against the preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works are severely punished by their Penal Code, which should provide for fines or imprisonment or both.

In addition, the following measures could be applied:

(a) Whenever possible, restoration of the site or structure at the expense of those responsible for the damage to it:

(b) In the case of a chance archaeological find, payment of damages to the State when immovable cultural property has been damaged, destroyed or neglected:confiscation without compensation when a movable object has been concealed.

Repairs

28. Member States should, when the nature of the property so allows, adopt the necessary measures to ensure the repair, restoration or reconstruction of cultural property damaged by public or private works. They should also foresee the possibility of requiring local authorities and private owners of important cultural property to carry out repairs or restorations, with technical and financial assistance if necessary.

Awards

29. Member States should encourage individuals, associations and municipalities to take part in programmes for the preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works. Measures to that effect could include:

(a) Ex gratia payments to individuals reporting or surrendering hidden archaeologic finds;

(b) Awards of certificates, medals or other forms of recognition to individuals, even if they belong to government service associations, institutions or municipalities which have carried out outstanding projects for the preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works.

Advice

30. Member States should provide individuals associations or municipalities lacking the required experience or staff with technical advice or supervision to maintain adequate standards for the preservation or salvage of cultural property endangered by public or private works.

Educational programmes

31. In a spirit of international collaboration, Member States should take steps to stimulate and develop among their nationals interest in, and respect for, the cultural heritage of the past of their own and other traditions in order to preserve or to salvage cultural property endangered by public or private works.

32. Specialized publications, articles in the press, and radio and television broadcasts should publicize the nature of the dangers to cultural property arising from ill-conceived public or private works as well as cases where cultural property has been successfully preserved or salvaged.

33. Educational institutions, historical and cultural associations, public bodies concerned with the tourist industry and associations for popular education should have programmes to publicize the dangers to cultural property arising from short-sighted public or private works and to underline the fact that projects to preserve cultural property contribute to international understanding.

34. Museums and educational institutions and other interested organizations should prepare special exhibitions on the dangers to cultural property arising from uncontrolled public or private works and on the measures which have been used to preserve or to salvage cultural property which has been endangered.

The foregoing is the authentic text of the recommendation duly adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization during its fifteenth session, which was held in Paris and declared closed the twentieth day of November 1968.

IN FAITH WHEREOF we have appended our signatures this twenty-second day of November 1968.

The President of the General Conference The Director-General

UNESCO Recommendation for the Protection of Movable Cultural Property

Preamble

The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting in Paris from 24 October to 28 November 1978, at its twentieth session,

Noting the great interest in cultural property now finding expression throughout the world in the creation of numerous museums and similar institutions, the growing number of exhibitions, the constantly increasing flow of visitors to collections, monuments and archaeological sites, and the intensification of cultural exchanges,

Considering that this is a very positive development which should be encouraged, in particular by applying the measures advocated in the Recommendation concerning the International Exchange of Cultural Property adopted by the General Conference at its nineteenth session in 1976,

Considering that the growing desire of the public to know and appreciate the wealth of the cultural heritage, of whatever origin, has nevertheless led to an increase in all the dangers to which cultural property is exposed as a result of particularly easy access or inadequate protection, the risks inherent in transport, and the recrudescence, in some countries, of clandestine excavation, thefts, illicit traffic and acts of vandalism,

Noting that because of this aggravation of the risks, but also as a consequence of the increase in the market value of cultural items, the cost of comprehensive insurance in countries where there is no adequate system of governmental guarantees is beyond the means of most museums and is a definite impediment to the organization of international exhibitions and other exchanges between different countries,

Considering that movable cultural property representing the different cultures forms part of the common heritage of mankind and that every State is therefore morally responsible to the international community as a whole for its safeguarding,

Considering that States should accordingly intensify and give general effect to such measures for the prevention and management of risks as will ensure the effective protection of movable cultural property and, at the same time, reduce the cost of covering the risks incurred,

Wishing to supplement and extend the scope of the norms and principles laid down in this respect by the General Conference, in particular in the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954), the Recommendation on International Principles Applicable to Archaeological Excavation (1956), the Recommendation on The Most Effective Means of Rendering Museums Accessible to Everyone (1960), the Recommendation on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1964), the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970), the Recommendation concerning the Protection, at National Level, of the Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972) and the Recommendation concerning the International Exchange of Cultural Property (1976).

Having before it proposals concerning the protection of movable cultural property,

Having decided, at its nineteenth session, that this question should take the form of a recommendation to Member States,

Adopts this twenty-eighth day of November 1978, the present Recommendation.

The General Conference recommends that Member States apply the following provisions by taking whatever legislative or other steps may be required, in conformity with the constitutional system or practice of each State, to give effect within their respective territories to the principles and norms formulated in this Recommendation.

The General Conference recommends that Member States bring this Recommendation to the attention of the appropriate authorities and bodies.

The General Conference recommends that Member States submit to it, by dates and in the form to be decided upon by the Conference, reports concerning the action taken by them in pursuance of this Recommendation.

I. Definitions

1. For the purposes of this Recommendation:

(a) ‘movable cultural property’ shall be taken to mean all movable objects which are the expression and testimony of human creation or of the evolution of nature and which are of archaeological, historical, artistic, scientific or technical value and interest, including items in the following categories:

(i) products of archaeological exploration and excavations conducted on land and under water;

(ii) antiquities such as tools, pottery, inscriptions, coins, seals, jewellery, weapons and funerary remains, including mummies;

(iii) items resulting from the dismemberment of historical monuments;

(iv) material of anthropological and ethnological interest;

(v) items relating to history, including the history of science and technology and military and social history, to the life of peoples and national leaders; thinkers, scientists and artists and to events of national importance;

(vi) items of artistic interest, such as:

paintings and drawings, produced entirely by hand on any support and in any material (excluding industrial designs and manufactured articles decorated by hand);

original prints, and posters and photographs, as the media for original creativity;

original artistic assemblages and montages in any material;

works of statuary art and sculpture in any material;

works of applied art in such materials as glass, ceramics, metal, wood, etc.;

(vii) manuscripts and incunabula, codices, books, documents or publications of special interest;

(viii) items of numismatic (medals and coins) and philatelic interest;

(ix) archives, including textual records, maps and other cartographic materials, photographs, cinematographic films, sound recordings and machine-readable records;

(x) items of furniture, tapestries, carpets, dress and musical instruments;

(xi) zoological, botanical and geological specimens;

(b) ‘protection’ shall be taken to mean the prevention and coverage of risks as defined below:

(i) ‘prevention of risks’ means all the measures required, within a comprehensive protection system, to safeguard movable cultural property from every risk to which such property may be exposed, including those resulting from armed conflict, riots or other public disorders;

(ii) ‘risk coverage’ means the guarantee of indemnification in the case of damage to, deterioration, alteration or loss of movable cultural property resulting from any risk whatsoever, including risks incurred as a result of armed conflict, riots or other public disorders whether such coverage is effected through a system of governmental guarantees and indemnities, through the partial assumption of the risks by the State under a deductible or excess loss arrangement, through commercial or national insurance or through mutual insurance arrangements.

2. Each Member State should adopt whatever criteria it deems most suitable for defining the items of movable cultural property within its territory which should be given the protection envisaged in this Recommendation by reason of their archaeological, historical, artistic, scientific or technical value.

II. General principles

3. The movable cultural property thus defined includes objects belonging either to the State or public bodies or to private bodies or individuals. Since all this property constitutes an important element of the cultural heritage of the nations concerned, the prevention and coverage of the various risks, such as damage, deterioration and loss, should be considered as a whole, even though the solutions adopted may vary from case to case.

4. The growing perils which threaten the movable cultural heritage should incite all those responsible for protecting it, in whatever capacity, to play their part:staff of national and local administrations in charge of safeguarding cultural property, administrators and curators of museums and similar institutions, private owners and those responsible for religious buildings, art and antique dealers, security experts, services responsible for the suppression of crime, customs officials and the other public authorities involved.

5. The co-operation of the public is essential for truly effective protection. The public and private bodies responsible for information and teaching should strive to instil general awareness of the importance of cultural property, the dangers to which it is exposed, and the need to safeguard it.

6. Cultural property is liable to deterioration as a result of poor conditions of storage, exhibition, transport and environment (unfavourable lighting, temperature or humidity, atmospheric pollution), which in the long run may have more serious effects than accidental damage or occasional vandalism. Suitable environmental conditions should consequently be maintained in order to ensure the material security of cultural property. The responsible specialists should include in the inventories data on the physical state of the objects and recommendations concerning the requisite environmental conditions.

7. The prevention of risks also calls for the development of conservation techniques and restoration workshops and the installation of effective protection systems in museums and other institutions possessing collections of movable cultural property. Each Member State should endeavour to ensure that the most suitable measures are taken in accordance with local circumstances.

8. Offences concerning works of art and other cultural property are increasing in some countries, most frequently being linked to fraudulent transfers across frontiers. Thefts and plunder are organized systematically and on a large scale. Acts of vandalism are also increasing. To combat these forms of criminal activity, be they of an organized nature or the action of individuals, strict control measures are necessary. Since fakes can be used for theft or the fraudulent transformation of authentic objects, measures must also be taken to prevent their circulation.

9. Protection and the prevention of risks are much more important than compensation in the event of damage or loss, since the essential purpose is to preserve the cultural heritage, not to replace by sums of money objects which are irreplaceable.

10. Because of the considerable increase in the risks resulting during transport and temporary exhibition, from environmental changes, inept handling, faulty packaging or other unfavourable conditions, adequate coverage against damage or loss is essential. The cost of risk coverage should be reduced through the rational management by museums and similar institutions of insurance contracts or by means of full or partial governmental guarantees.

III. Measures recommended

11. In accordance with the principles and norms set out above Member States should take all necessary steps, in conformity with their legislation and constitutional system. to protect movable cultural property effectively and, in the case of transport in particular, should ensure the application of the necessary measures of care and conservation and the coverage of the risks incurred.

Measures for the prevention of risks

Museums and other similar institutions

12. Member States should take all necessary steps to ensure adequate protection for cultural property in museums and similar institutions. In particular, they should:

(a) encourage the systematic inventorying and cataloguing of cultural property, with the fullest possible details and in accordance with methods specially developed for the purpose (standardized fiches, photographs — and also, if possible, colour photographs — and, as appropriate, microfilms). Such an inventory is useful when it is desired to determine damage or deterioration to cultural property. With such documentation the necessary information can be given, with all due precautions, to the national and international authorities responsible for combating thefts, illicit trading and the circulation of fakes;

(b) encourage, as appropriate, the standardized identification of movable cultural property using unobtrusive means offered by contemporary technology;

(c) urge the museums and similar institutions to reinforce the prevention of risks by a comprehensive system of practical security measures and technical installations and to ensure that all cultural property is kept, exhibited and transported in such a way as to protect it from all elements likely to damage or destroy it, including in particular heat, light, humidity, pollution, the various chemical and biological agents, vibration and shock;

(d) provide the museums and similar institutions for which they are responsible with the necessary funds for implementing the measures set out in subparagraph (c) above;

(e) take the necessary steps to ensure that all the tasks associated with the conservation of movable cultural property are carried out in accordance with the traditional techniques best suited to the particular cultural property and the most advanced scientific methods and technology; for this purpose, a suitable system for training and the vetting of professional qualifications should be established, in order to ensure that all those involved possess the required level of competence. The facilities for this should be strengthened or, if necessary, established. If appropriate, for the sake of economy, the establishment of regional conservation and restoration centres is recommended;

(f) provide suitable training for supporting staff (including security staff) and draw up guidelines for such staff, laying down standards for the performance of their duties;

(g) encourage regular training for protection, conservation and security staff; (h) ensure that the staff of museums and similar institutions also receive the necessary training to enable them, in the event of disasters, to co-operate effectively in the rescue operations carried out by the competent public services; (i) encourage the publication and dissemination to those responsible, if necessary in confidential form, of the latest technical and scientific information on all aspects of the protection, conservation and security of movable cultural property; (j) issue performance standards for all security equipment for museums and public and private collections and encourage their application.

13. No effort should be spared to avoid giving in to ransom demands, so as to discourage the theft of illegal appropriation of movable cultural property carried out for that purpose. The persons or institutions concerned should consider ways and means of making this policy known.

Private collections

14. Member States should also, in conformity with their legislation and constitutional system, facilitate the protection of collections belonging to private bodies or individuals by:

(a) inviting the owners to make inventories of their collections, to communicate the inventories to the official services responsible for the protection of the cultural heritage and, if the situation requires, to grant access to the competent official curators and technicians in order to study and advise on safeguarding measures;

(b) if appropriate, providing for incentives to the owners, such as assistance for the conservation of items listed in the inventories or appropriate fiscal measures;

(c) studying the possibility of granting fiscal benefits to those who donate or bequeath cultural property to museums or similar institutions;

(d) entrusting an official body (the department responsible for museums or the police) with the organization of an advisory service for private owners on security installations and other protective measures, including fire protection.

Movable cultural property situated in religious buildings and archaeological sites

15. To ensure that movable cultural property situated in religious buildings and archaeological sites is suitably preserved and protected against theft and plunder, Member States should encourage the construction of installations for storing it and the application of special security measures. Such measures should be in proportion to the value of the property and the extent of the risks to which it is exposed. If appropriate, governments should provide technical and financial assistance for this purpose. In view of the special significance of movable cultural property situated in religious buildings, Member States and the competent authorities should endeavour to provide for the proper protection and presentation of such property where it is located.

International exchanges

16. Since movable cultural property is particularly exposed, during transport and temporary exhibition, to risks of damage which can arise from inept handling, faulty packaging, poor conditions during temporary storage or climatic changes, as well as inadequate reception arrangements, special measures of protection are required. In the case of international exchanges Member States should:

(a) take the necessary measures to ensure that appropriate conditions of protection and care during transport and exhibition as well as adequate coverage of risks are specified and agreed on between the parties concerned. Governments through whose territory the cultural property will transit should provide assistance, if so requested;

(b) encourage the institutions concerned to:

(i) ensure that cultural property is transported, packed and handled in accordance with the highest standards. The measures to be taken to this effect could include the determination by experts of the most appropriate form of packaging, as well as the type and timing of transport; it is recommended that, where appropriate, the responsible curator of the lending museum accompany the property during transport and certify its conditions; the institutions responsible for the shipping and packing of the objects should attach a list describing their physical appearance, and the receiving institutions should check the objects against those lists;

(ii) take appropriate measures to prevent any direct or indirect damage which might arise from the temporary or permanent overcrowding of’ the exhibition premises;

(iii) agree, where necessary, on the methods to be used for measuring, recording and regulating the degree of humidity in order to maintain the relative humidity within definite limits, and on the measures to be taken to protect light-sensitive objects (exposure to daylight, type of lamp to be used, maximum level of illumination in lux, methods used to measure and control this level);

(c) simplify the administrative formalities relating to the lawful movement of cultural property and arrange for appropriate identification of crates and other forms of packaging containing cultural property;

(d) take steps to protect cultural property in transit or temporarily imported for the purpose of cultural exchanges, and in particular facilitate rapid customs clearance in suitable premises, which should be situated close to, and if possible on, the premises of the institution concerned, and ensure that clearance is effected with all the desirable precautions; and

(e) whenever necessary, give instructions to their diplomatic and consular representatives to enable them to take effective action to accelerate customs procedures and ensure the protection of cultural property during transport.

Education and information

17. To ensure that the population as a whole becomes aware of the value of cultural property and of the need to protect it, particularly with a view to the preservation of their cultural identity, Member States should encourage the competent authorities at national, regional or local level to:

(a) provide children, young people and adults with the means of acquiring knowledge and respect for movable cultural property using all available educational and information resources for that purpose;

(b) draw the attention of the public at large by every possible means to:

(i) the significance and importance of cultural property, but without stressing the purely commercial value of that property;

(ii) the opportunities available to them for participating in the activities undertaken by the competent authorities in order to protect such property.

Control measures

18. To combat thefts, illegal excavations, vandalism and the use of fakes, Member States should, where the situation demands, establish or strengthen services specifically responsible for the prevention and suppression of these offences.

19. Member States should, where the situation calls for it, take the necessary measures to:

(a) provide for sanctions or any appropriate measures, whether under the penal or civil code or administrative or other measures, in the case of the theft, pillage, receiving or illegal appropriation of movable cultural property, and of damage intentionally caused to such property; these sanctions or measures should take into account the gravity of the offence;

(b) ensure better co-ordination between all services and sectors working for the prevention of offences concerning movable cultural property and organize a system of rapid dissemination of information on such offences, including information on fakes, among official bodies and the various sectors concerned, such as museum curators and art and antique dealers;

(c) ensure proper conditions for the safeguarding of movable cultural property by taking steps to counter the neglect and abandon to which it is very often exposed and which is conducive to its deterioration.

20. Member States should also encourage private collectors and art and antique dealers to transmit all information concerning fakes to the official bodies mentioned in paragraph 19(b).

Measures to improve the financing of risk coverage

Governmental guarantees

21. Member States should:

(a) give special attention to the problem of covering adequately the risks to which movable cultural property is exposed during transport and temporary exhibitions;

(b) in particular, consider instituting in any legislative, statutory or other form, a system of governmental guarantees such as those which exist in certain countries, or a system of partial assumption of the risks by the State or any community concerned with a view to covering an insurance franchise deductible or an excess of loss;

(c) within the framework of such systems and in the forms mentioned above, provide for compensation to lenders in the event of damage to, or the deterioration, alteration or loss of cultural objects loaned for the purpose of exhibition in museums or similar institutions. The provisions instituting these systems should specify the conditions and procedures governing the payment of such compensation.

22. The provisions concerning governmental guarantees should not apply to cultural property which is the object of transactions for commercial purposes.

Measures at the level of museums and similar institutions

23. Member States should also urge museums and other similar institutions to apply the principles of risk management, comprising the determination, classification, assessment, control and financing of risks of all kinds.

24. The risk management programme of all institutions which have taken out insurance should include the internal drafting of a procedures manual, periodic surveys on types of risks and the probable maximum loss, analysis of contracts and rates, market studies and a competitive bidding procedure. A person or body should be specifically entrusted with risk management.

IV. International co-operation

25. Member States should:

(a) collaborate with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations competent in regard to the prevention and coverage of risks;

(b) strengthen at international level co-operation between official bodies responsible for the suppression of thefts and illicit trading in cultural property and for the discovery of fakes, and, in particular, urge these bodies to circulate rapidly among themselves, through machinery provided for this purpose, all useful information on illegal activities;

(c) if necessary conclude international agreements for co-operation in regard to legal aid and the prevention of offences;

(d) take part in the organization of international training courses in the conservation and restoration of movable cultural property, and in risk management, and ensure that they are regularly attended by their specialized staff;

(e) establish, in collaboration with the specialized international organizations, ethical and technical standards in the fields covered by the present Recommendation and encourage the exchange of scientific and technical information, particularly on innovations relating to the protection and conservation of movable cultural property.

The foregoing is the authentic text of the Recommendation duly adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization during its twentieth session, which was held in Paris and declared closed the twenty-eighth day of November 1978.

IN FAITH WHEREOF we have appended our signatures.

The President of the General Conference

The Director-General

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UNESCO Recommendation on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property

UNESCO Recommendation on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property

Recommendation on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property

Preamble

The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting in Paris from 20 October to 20 November 1964, at its thirteenth session,

Being of the opinion that cultural property constitutes a basic element of civilization and national culture, and that familiarity with it leads to understanding and mutual appreciation between nations,

Considering that it is incumbent upon every State to protect the cultural property existing within its territory and which constitutes its national heritage against the dangers resulting from illicit export, import and transfer of ownership,

Considering that, to avert these dangers, it is essential for every Member State to become increasingly alive to the moral obligations to respect its own cultural heritage and that of all nations,

Considering that the objectives in view cannot be achieved without close collaboration among Member States,

Convinced that steps should be taken to encourage the adoption of appropriate measures and to improve the climate of international solidarity without which the objectives in view would not be attained,

Having before it proposals for international regulations to prohibit and prevent the illicit export, import and transfer of ownership of cultural property, which constitutes item 15.3.3 on the agenda of the session,

Having decided, at its twelfth session, that these proposals should be regulated at the international level by way of a recommendation to Member States, while expressing the hope that an international convention may be adopted as soon as possible,

Adopts, this nineteenth day of November 1964, this recommendation.

The General Conference recommends that Member States should apply the following provisions by taking whatever legislative or other steps may be required to give effect, within their respective territories, to the principles and norms formulated in this recommendation.

The General Conference recommends that Member States should bring th recommendation to the knowledge of authorities and organizations concerned with the protection of cultural property.

The General Conference recommends that Member States should report to it on dates and in a manner to be determined by it, on the action which they have taken to give effect to this recommendation.

I. Definition

1. For the purpose of this recommendation, the term ‘cultural property’ means movable and immovable property of great importance to the cultural heritage of a country, such as works of art and architecture, manuscripts books and other property of artistic, historical or archaeological interest, ethnological documents, type specimens of flora and fauna, scientific collections and Important collections of books and archives, including musical archives.

2. Each Member State should adopt whatever criteria it deems most suitable for defining which items of cultural property within its territory should receive the protection envisaged in this recommendation by reason of their great importance.

II. General principles

3. To ensure the protection of its cultural heritage against all dangers of impoverishment, each Member State should take appropriate steps to exert effective control over the export of cultural property as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2.

4. No import of cultural property should be authorized until such property has been cleared from any restrictions on the part of the competent authorities m the exporting State.

5. Each Member State should take appropriate steps to prevent the illicit transfer of ownership of cultural property.

6. Each Member State should lay down rules governing the application of the above principles.

7. Any export, import or transfer of ownership effected contrary to the rules adopted by each Member State in accordance with paragraph 6 should be regarded as illicit.

8. Museums, and in general all services and institutions concerned with the conservation of cultural property, should refrain from purchasing any Item of cultural property obtained through an illicit export, import or transfer of ownership.

9. In order to encourage and facilitate legitimate exchange of cultural property, Member States should strive to make available to public collections in other Member States, by sale or exchange, objects of the same type as those the export or transfer of ownership of which cannot be authorized, or certain of the latter objects, on loan or deposit.

III. Measures recommended

Recognition and national inventory of cultural property

10. To ensure more effective application of the above general principles, each Member State should, as far as possible, devise and apply procedures for the recognition of the cultural property, as defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 above, which exists within its territory, and draw up a national inventory of such property. The inclusion of a cultural object in this inventory should produce no change in the legal ownership of that object. In particular, a cultural object in private ownership should remain such even after inclusion in the national inventory. This inventory would not be of a restrictive character.

Institutions for the protection of cultural property

11. Each Member State should provide that the protection of cultural property shall be the concern of appropriate official bodies and, if necessary, should set up a national service for the protection of cultural property. Although differences of constitutional provisions and tradition and disparity of resources preclude the adoption by all Member States of a uniform structure, certain common principles, set forth below, should nevertheless be adopted if the creation of a national service for the protection of cultural property be considered necessary:

The national service for the protection of cultural property should, as far as possible, take the form of a State-operated administrative service, or a body operating in accordance with the national law with the necessary administrative, technical and financial means to exercise its functions effectively.

The functions of the national service for the protection of cultural property should include:

i. Recognition of the cultural property existing within the territory of the State, and, where appropriate, the establishment and maintenance of a national inventory of such property, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 10 above;

ii. Co-operation with other competent bodies in the control of the export, import and transfer of ownership of cultural property, in accordance with the provisions of Section II above; the control of exports would be considerably facilitated if items of cultural property were accompanied, at the time of export, by an appropriate certificate in which the exporting State would certify that the export of the cultural property is authorized. In case of doubt regarding the legality of the export. the institution entrusted with the protection of cultural property should address itself to the competent institution with a view to confirming the legality of the export.

a. The national service for the protection of cultural property should be empowered to submit proposals to the competent national authorities for any other appropriate legislative or administrative measures for the protection of cultural property, including sanctions for the prevention of illicit export. import and transfer of ownership.

b. The national service for the protection of cultural property should be able to call upon experts to advise it on technical problems and to propose solutions in contentious cases.

12. Each Member State should, in so far as necessary, set up a fund or take other appropriate financial measures in order to have means necessary to purchase exceptionally important cultural property.

Bilateral and multilateral agreements

13. Whenever necessary or desirable, Member States should conclude bilateral or multilateral agreements, within the framework of regional intergovernmental organizations for instance, to resolve problems flowing from the export, import or transfer of ownership of cultural property, and more especially in order to secure the restitution of cultural property illicitly exported from the territory of a party to the agreements and located in the territory of another. Such agreements might, where appropriate, be comprised within agreements of wider scope, such as cultural agreements.

International collaboration in the detection of illicit operations

14. Whenever necessary or desirable, these bilateral or multilateral agreements should include provisions to the effect that whenever it is proposed to transfer the ownership of a cultural object the competent services of each State shall ascertain that there are no grounds for regarding that object as proceeding from a theft, an illicit export or transfer of ownership, or any other operation regarded as illegal under the legislation of the exporting State, for instance, by requiring the presentation of the certificate referred to in paragraph 11. Any dubious offer, and any details relating thereto, should be brought to the knowledge of the services concerned.

15. Member States should endeavour to assist each other by exchanging the fruits of their experience in the fields covered by this recommendation.

Restitution or return of illicitly exported cultural property

16. Member States, services for the protection of cultural property, museums and, in general all competent institutions should collaborate with one another in ensuring or facilitating the restitution or return of cultural objects illicitly exported. This restitution or return should be carried out in accordance with the laws in force in the State on whose territory the objects are located.

Publicity in the event of the disappearance of a cultural object

17. The disappearance of any cultural object should, at the request of the State claiming that object, be brought to the knowledge of the public by means of appropriate publicity.

Rights of bona fide purchasers

18. Each Member State should, if necessary, take appropriate measures to provide that its internal laws or the international conventions to which it may become a party, ensure to the bona fide purchaser of cultural property which is to be restored or returned to the territory of the State from which it had been illegally exported the possibility of obtaining damages or fair compensation.

Educational action

19. In a spirit of international collaboration which would take into account both the universal nature of culture and the necessity of exchanges for enabling all to benefit by the cultural heritage of mankind, each Member State should take steps to stimulate and develop among its nationals interest in and respect for the cultural heritage of all nations. Such action should be under taken by the competent services in co-operation with the educational services and with the Press and other media for the communication and dissemination of information, youth and adult education organizations and groups and individuals concerned with cultural activities.

The foregoing is the authentic text of the Recommendation duly adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization during its thirteenth session, which was held in Paris and declared closed the twentieth day of November 1964.

IN FAITH WHEREOF we have appended our signatures this twenty-first day of November 1964.

The President of the General Conference

The Director-General

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