This is a brief excerpt from the document you requested from IFAR’s Art Law & Cultural Property Database.

Country Summary for CHILE

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


'National Monuments'the following are national monuments and are under the legal protection of the State: sites, ruins, structures and/or objects of a historic or artistic nature; burial grounds or cemeteries or other remains of indigenous peoples; anthropo-archaeological, paleontological or naturally formed pieces or objects that are underground or on the surface of Chilean territory or on the underwater shelf in its jurisdictional waters, the preservation of which is of historic, artistic or scientific interest; nature sanctuaries; monuments, statues, columns, pyramids, fountains, plaques, crowns, inscriptions, and, generally speaking, all objects that are designed to remain on a public site and are commemorative by nature…(Law No. 17.288 of 1970, Art. 1)

'Historic Monuments'sites, ruins, structures and objects owned by the central or municipal government or an individual, which, owing to their quality, historic or artistic interest or their age, are declared such by supreme decree, issued upon the request of and subject to the decision of the Council on National Monuments. (Law No. 17.288 of 1970, Art. 9)

'Public Monuments'the following are Public Monuments under the legal protection of the Council on National Monuments: statues, columns, fountains, pyramids, plaques, crowns, inscriptions and, in general, all the objects placed or to be placed as perpetual memorials in fields, streets, plazas, footpaths or other public places. (Law No. 17.288 of 1970, Art. 17)

'Underwater Heritage'[I Order] Declare all traces of human existence over fifty years old found at the bottoms of rivers, lakes and seas under Inland Waters and Territorial Waters of the Republic of Chile to be Historic Monuments, including:
a) Sites, structures, buildings, artifacts and human remains, along with their archaeological and natural surroundings.
b) Remains of ships, aircraft, other vehicles or any of their parts, their cargo or content, along with their archaeological and natural surroundings. (Decree No. 311 of 1999, Sole Article)


State museums and any that belong to private educational institutions, universities, municipalities, associations and scientific institutes or to individuals, whether or not they are open to the public, must be registered in the Registry kept for this purpose by the Council on National Monuments, as determined by the Regulations. In addition, they must draw up a complete catalogue of whatever pieces and collections they have, which must be sent in duplicate to the Council. Every year, the museums of the services and institutions referred to in paragraph one in this section must report to the Council on National Monuments any new acquisitions they may have made during the year and any pieces or collections that have been retired, provided on loan or sent in on an exchange with other similar institutions…(Law No. 17.288 of 1970, Art. 37)

Individuals and legal entities must declare artworks they own to the Library, Archive and Museum Division. These works will be entered into a Special Registry, with an indication of their nature and characteristics. (Law No. 17.236 of 1969, Art. 4)

Relevant State Agencies

Their legal protection [of National Monuments] will be exercised by the Council on National Monuments…(Law No. 17.288 of 1970, Art. 1)

Removal from Chilean territory of Chilean or foreign artworks must be authorized in advance by the Library, Archive and Museum Division…(Law No. 17.236 of 1969, Art. 2)

III.  Export Restrictions

IV.  Ownership Rights and Restrictions

V.  Violations, Penalties and Sanctions

VI.  International Conventions and Bilateral Agreements
Click here to subscribe to IFAR's Art Law & Cultural Property Database to access this and other documents about U.S. and international legislation and case law concerning the acquisition, authenticity, export, ownership, and copyright of art objects.
Country Contact
for Cultural Property
Emilio De la Cerda Errázuriz
Secretario Ejecutivo
Consejo de Monumentos Nacionales
Av. Vicuña Mackenna N° 84
Providencia, Santiago, Chile 750-0910
Ph: 56-2-7261400
F: 56-2-7261457