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Country Summary for AUSTRIA

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


The terms used in this federal law apply to man-made immoveable and moveable objects (including relics and traces of human design work, as well as earth formations artistically erected or designed) of historic, artistic or other cultural significance (“monuments”), when maintaining them is in the public interest due to that significance. Said significance may be accorded to the objects in and of themselves, but it can also stem from their relationship to other objects or their location. “Maintenance” means protecting them from being destroyed, altered or taken abroad. (MPL §1.1)

Groups of immoveable objects and collections of moveable objects can form a whole due to their historic, artistic or other cultural connection, including their site, and their maintenance as one entity in this connection may be in the public interest. Pluralities of immoveable or moveable monuments that were produced and/or executed together from their original or later plans (like castles, farms or houses and grounds with all kinds of main buildings and out buildings, furnishings designed as units that belong together, etc.) are considered individual monuments. (MPL §1.3)

Whether there is a public interest in maintaining an individual monument, a group or a collection, and whether or to what extent it is (also) a unit that must be kept as one entity, must be decided by the Federal Monument Office, after considering the results of scientific research into the matter. (MPL §1.5)
Immoveable monuments (including integral parts and accessories), as well as moveable monuments that are of great significance to the cultural heritage of all peoples in the sense of Article 1 of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict…must be recorded on a list to be drawn upby the Federal Monuments Office. The list must identify those objects that are protected by the Convention, the site where they are kept or the local site in the sense of the article cited. (MPL §13.1)

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
(For General Inquiries)
Bundesministeriums für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kultur
Sektion IV, A-1014 Wien
Minoritenplatz 5
Ph: 43-0-1-53120-0

(For World War II-Era Issues)