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

Country Summary for PANAMA

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


The historic heritage of Panama consists of the archaeological sites or objects, documents, historic monuments or other immovable/movable property that bear witness to the Panamanian past… (Constitution of 2004, Art. 85)


The National Office of Historic Heritage will take the relevant measures to develop a National Registration System for Movable and Immovable Cultural Property. The purpose of this registry is to recognize, appraise, classify, identify, protect and preserve said property. (Law No. 58 of 2003, Art. 7)

As of the promulgation of this Law, any person that is a possessor of any movable cultural property must register it with the National Office of Historic Heritage. Failure to meet this obligation will give said Institute the authority to file for seizure of the related property. (Law No. 58 of 2003, Art. 9)

Relevant State Agencies

The National Cultural Institute, through the National Office of Historic Heritage, is responsible for the recognition, study, custody, preservation, administration and enrichment of Panama’s Historic Heritage. (Law No. 14 of 1982, Art. 1)

The National Commission on Archaeology and Historic Monuments will advise the National Office of Historic Heritage in all matters over which said office has jurisdiction. (Law No. 14 of 1982, Art. 5)

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
Maria Isabel Arrocha
National Director of Historic Heritage
National Institute of Culture
Calle 1era. Catedral,
Corregimiento de San Felipe, Edificio INAC,
Apartado Postal # 662
Panamá 1, Panamá
Tel: (507) 501-4710
Fax: (507) 501-4908