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Country Summary for HONDURAS

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


Any and all of Honduras' anthropological, archaeological, historical and artistic assets are part of the cultural patrimony of the Nation (Constitution of 1982, Art. 172)

'Cultural Property'—
(a) 'Monuments'—any real property from the pre-Columbian, colonial or republican period that is of anthropological and/or historic interest due to its architecture or engineering.
(b) 'Movable property'—engravings, paintings, sculptures, furniture, jewelry, currency, arms, clothing, machines, tools and/or other objects of anthropological and/or historic interest.
(c) 'Documental resources'—manuscripts, printed documents, stamps, diplomas, maps….illustrations, tape recordings and recordings, microfilm, photograph negatives.
(d) 'Library Resources'—specialized libraries; national books; newspaper and periodical libraries; incunabula, and all such resources with historic interest. (Decree No. 220-97, Art. 2)

'National Cultural Property'—classified as follows: 
(1) Public—
(a) all pre-Columbian property;
(b) submerged cultural property;
(c) documental and library resources for public use;
(2) Ecclesiastical;
3) Individual (part of family or personal property, or was legally obtained at some point). (Decree No. 220-97, Art. 3)

The works of a living artist may be declared protected cultural property if there is express authorization to do so by its owner, or if it is acquired by the State with or without valuable consideration. (Decree No. 220-97, Art. 7)

Competent State Agencies

The responsible implementation of this law will carried out by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Sports and the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History…. (Decree No. 220-97, Art. 28)


[The] Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History will maintain a national registry in which any Cultural Property will be registered that is held by individuals as depositories or owners, who are required to register them within a period of thirty (30) days from the date on which this Law enters into effect. (Decree No. 220-97, Art.12)

Cultural Property must be duly registered with the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History; otherwise, it will be deemed an illegal possession and must be recovered. (Decree No. 220-97, Art. 13)

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 Hondureño de Antropología e Historia
Barrio Buenos Aires Villa Roy
Tegueigalpa, M.D.C. ARNo 1518
Ph: +(504) 222-3470; (504) 222-1468
F: +(504) 222-2552; +(504) 220-5649