La base de données de l'UNESCO sur les législations nationales du patrimoine culturel a dix ans

, France

[Translate to francais:] The UNESCO Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws was launched in 2005 with the financial support of the US Department of State. It is the unique tool which allows a free and easy access to cultural heritage laws currently in force as well as a rapid consultation of other relevant national cultural rules and regulations.

[Translate to francais:]

2685 laws of 187 Member States are published on the Database website. There have been 10,703 researches and 1,034,437 impressions in the last three months.


By compiling on the Internet the national laws of the Member States, UNESCO offers all stakeholders (governments, customs, art dealers, organizations, lawyers, buyers ...) a complete source of information easily accessible. If legal question about the origin of an object (stolen, looted, exported, imported or acquired illegally), it is indeed useful to quickly check the relevant national legislation.

The UNESCO Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws allows searching:

  •  National legislation for the protection of cultural heritage in general;
  •  Certificates for export and / or import cultural property (on request);
  • Translations, official or otherwise, of national laws and certificates;
  •  Details of the competent national authorities in the field of cultural heritage;
  • The addresses of the official national websites dedicated to the protection of cultural heritage.

The countries which have recently submitted new or updated Cultural legislation are the following:

1/5- Afghanistan           

(updated legislation communicated by the Afghani Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in February 2015-the data will be uploaded online as soon as the Afghani authorities provide UNESCO with the legislative texts)

Law on national register (15-06-1983)

 Regulation on national archives (22-09-1984

 Law on protection of cultural and historical heritage of Afghanistan (15-05-2004)

 Regulation on the organization of exhibitions of cultural and historical objects (17-12-2014).

 2/5- Algeria

(updated legislation uploaded online in February 2015)

Instrument juridique et instrument de protection et de valorisation du patrimoine culturel


(new legislation uploaded online in January 2015)

Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986

Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Regulations 1987

Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013

Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Regulation 2014

 4/               4/5- Honduras               

(updated legislation uploaded online in January 2015)

Decreto 220 – 97 de diciembre 29 de 1997 -Ley para la proteccion del patrimonio cultural de la   nacion

5/5- Yemen

(historical legislation uploaded online in January 2015)

Law on Antiquities

Cook Islands is the new country which have legislation published now online

(New legislation uploaded online in December 2014)

Public Records Act 1984

Act to establish the Ministry of Cultural Development (including the amendments of 1994) 1990

Protection of Antiquities Act 1994

Cultural and Historical Places Act 1994

Te Reo Maori Act 2003

Copyright Act 2013

Traditional Knowledge Act 2013

The laws related to movable cultural heritage of Algeria, Mali, Morocco, Panama and Tunisia will be available in English soon, as a result of a translation contract established between UNESCO and the national authorities of the countries mentioned above, thanks to the generous support of the US Department of State.

Please visit the UNESCO Database.