Who We Are
Statement of Purpose
Letter from the President
Pending Legislation
ACCP Action
Emergency and Bilateral Agreements
Laws and Conventions
Background Readings
Photo Credits
Terms of Use & Privacy Policy
Contact Us



TThe United States laws and international conventions linked below are among those that most frequently impact the cultural policy debate.



Relevant US Property, Cultural Heritage and Immunity from Seizure Laws:

1948 National Stolen Property Act

1979 Archaeological Resources Protection Act

1983 Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act

U.S. Senate Report, 97-564

1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act


Foreign Laws and International Conventions:

1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property

1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects

Explanatory Notes - Dealing In Cultural Objects (Offences)


US and International Laws and Conventions to Limit the Damage of War:

1874 Brussels International Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War

1880 Oxford publication regarding the Laws of War on Land

1899 Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes

1907 Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land

1935 Roerich Pact Theory on the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments

1945 Nuremberg Agreement for the Prosecution and Punishment of the Major War Criminals of the European Axis

Please note that copies of the U.S. federal statutes and regulations in these pages are not official. For official copies of U.S. statutes, see the United States Code http://www.gpoaccess.gov/uscode/index.html

Foreign Laws on Cultural Property

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) of the Independent Administrative Institution, National Research Institute For Cultural Properties, Tokyo (homepage: http://www.tobunken.go.jp/ ) has a website listing the following foreign laws for the protection of cultural property at their website


The following laws are included on the Tobunken-go website linked above:


Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975

Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986
Act No. 11 of 1986


Décision Sur La Protection Du Patrimoine Culturel (adopted February 10, 1993)

Hong Kong

Antiquities (Excavation and Search) Regulations (Cap. 53, Section 22)

Antiquities and Monuments (Declaration of Monument) (Consolidation) Notice (Cap. 53, Section 3(1))

Antiquities and Monuments (Declaration of Proposed Monument) (Consolidation) Notice (Cap. 53, section 2A(1))


The Indian Treasure-Trove Act, 1878

The Victoria Memorial Act, 1903

The Indian Museum Act, 1910


Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties


Proclamations No. 913, No. 996, No. 1743, No. 1683, and Presidential Decrees No. 260, No. 373, No. 374, No. 375, No. 756, No. 1109, No. 1492

Sri Lanka

Director of Cultural Affairs (Special Provisions) Act, No. 46 of 1983

Central Cultural Fund Act, No. 57 of 1980