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Country Summary for ECUADOR

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


The properties included under the following categories are declared as properties belonging to the Cultural Property of the State:
(a) movable and immovable archaeological monuments belonging to the pre-Hispanic or Colonial period, as well as the remains of human beings, flora and fauna related to the same periods;
(b) temples, convents, chapels and other buildings that were built in the Colonial period; paintings, sculptures, carvings, silver or gold work, ceramics, etc. that belong to the same period;
(c) ancient manuscripts and incunabula, rare editions of books, maps;
(d) objects and documents that belonged to or are related to the precursors and national heroes;
(e) coins, paper currency, deposits, medals
(f) seals, stamps and all other objects of national philatelic interest;
(g) ethnographic objects
(h) objects or cultural property created by contemporary prize-winning artists, since the moment of the artist’s death or during his or her lifetime only if the artwork received a national award or was created thirty or more years ago;
(i) works of nature whose characteristics or values have been accentuated through human intervention;
(j) in general, any object or creation not listed in the prior subsection that is product of the Cultural Patrimony of the Nation past or current. (Law No. 3501 of 1979, Art. 7)

Competent State Agencies

The Institute of Cultural Property will have the following duties and authorities:
(a) research, conserve, preserve, restore, exhibit and promote the Cultural Patrimony in Ecuador as well as regulate all the activities of this kind carried out in the country, in accordance with the law;
(b) develop the inventory of all properties that form this Patrimony whether State or privately owned. (Law No. 3501 of 1979, Art. 4)


The owners, administrators and holders of objects included in the list of [Art. 7] are obligated to inform the Institute of Cultural Patrimony by providing a detailed list of said objects within the period set by the Institute and allow the Institute to perform an inventory. (Law No. 3501 of 1979, Art. 8)

Every person must inform the Institute of the existence of assets that belong to the Cultural Patrimony of the Nation that must be included in [the inventory]. (Decree No. 2733 of 1984, Art. 19)

The asset inventory must consist of detailed written, graphic, or audiovisual descriptions of their essential characteristics. (Decree No. 2733 of 1984, Art. 22)

III.  Export Restrictions

IV.  Ownership Rights and Restrictions

V.  Violations, Penalties and Sanctions

VI.  International Conventions and Bilateral Agreements
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Country Contact
for Cultural Property
Instituto Nacional De Patrimonio Cultural del Ecuador
Mejía No. 352 y Guayaquil
Quito, Ecuador
Ph: (593-2) 583-341; (593-2) 583-342
F: (593-2) 583-341