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Country Summary for ITALY

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


'Cultural property'—immovable and movable things belonging to the State, the Regions, other territorial government bodies, as well as any other public body and institution, and to private non-profit associations, which possess artistic, historical, archaeological or ethno-anthropological interest. Cultural property also includes:
(a) the collections of museums, picture galleries, art galleries and other exhibition venues;
(b) archives and single documents;
(c) the book collections of libraries.

'Cultural property' shall also include the following, when the declaration provided for in Art.13 has been made:
(a) immovable and movable things of particularly important artistic, historical, archaeological or ethno-anthropological interest, which belong to categories other than those indicated in para. 1;               
(b) archives and single documents belonging to private individuals, which are of particularly important historical interest;
(c) book collections belonging to private individuals, of exceptional cultural interest;
(d) immovable and movable things, to whomever they belong which are of particularly important interest because of their reference to political or military history, literary history, art and culture in general, or as testimony to the identity and history of public collectives or religious institutions;
(e) collections or series of objects, to whomever they belong, which through tradition, renown and particular environmental characteristics are, as a whole, of exceptional artistic or historical interest.

The things indicated in paras. 1 & 3(a) include:
(a) things which pertain to paleontology, prehistory and primitive civilizations;
(b) things of numismatic interest;
(c) manuscripts, autographs, papers, incunabula, as well as books, prints and engravings with their relative matrixes, of a rare or precious nature;
(d) geographical maps and musical scores of a rare and precious nature;
(e) photographs, with their relative negatives and matrixes, cinematographic films and audio-visual supports in general, of a rare and precious nature;
(f) villas, parks and gardens possessing artistic or historical interest;
(g) public squares, streets, roads and other outdoor urban spaces of artistic or historical interest;
(h) mineral sites of historical or ethno-anthropological interest;
(i) ships and floatable things possessing artistic, historical or ethno-anthropological interest;
(j) types of rural architecture possessing historical or ethno-anthropological interest as testimony to the rural economic tradition. (2004 CODE, Art. 10)

Things indicated in paragraphs 1 and 3, letters (a) and (e), which are the work of living authors or were produced less than seventy years ago, are not subject to this Title. (2017 Amend., Art. 1, Sec. 175(a)(2))


With the participation of the regional governments and other territorial government bodies, the Ministry shall ensure the cataloguing of cultural property and shall co-ordinate related activities. (2004 CODE, Art. 17, para. 1)

A databank of stolen cultural property is established within the Ministry, according to modalities established by ministerial decree. (2004 CODE, Art. 85, para. 1)

III.  Export Restrictions

IV.  Ownership Rights and Restrictions

V.  Violations, Penalties and Sanctions

VI.  International Conventions and Bilateral Agreements
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