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Country Summary for ARGENTINA

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


"Archaeological Heritage"movable and immovable property or traces of any nature, whether on or below the surface of the earth or under the Nation’s territorial waters, which may provide information on the sociocultural groups that inhabited the country from pre-Columbian to recent historical times. (Act No. 25743 §2)

“Recent Historical Himes”past one hundred years as from the date on which the facts or events in question occurred. (Implementing Order 1022/2004 §2)

"Archaeological Monument"archaeological property or traces thereof, including tombs, places with cave paintings, housing units, fortresses, village remains, etc. (Resolution No. 134/2003 §24)

"Archaeological Objects, Items, Evidence, Traces, Material or Property"material remains of goods made or used by human groups that can provide information about their behavior or activities. There are four categories:
1) "Artifacts"objects resulting from intentional human activity (e.g. carved stone tools, pottery, collar beads).
2) "Ecofacts"inorganic and organic remains not manufactured by human beings, but which provide information about them due to associations with other categories of archaeological evidence (e.g. animal bones, feathers, seeds and other plant matter).
3) "Structures"artifacts that are not portable because they could be destroyed in so doing (e.g. stoves, post marks, ditches, houses, tombs)
4) "Rock Art or Representations"paintings and engravings made on rocks. (Resolution No. 1134/2003 §24)

"Paleontological Heritage"includes organisms, their parts, or traces of their vital activity, which lived or occured in the geological past; and every natural concentration of fossils in rock or sediments on or below the surface of the earth or under the Nation’s territorial waters. (Law No. 25743 §3)

The following provisions of the International Movement of Works of Art Act shall apply to the import and/or export of the following works of art, made by hand with or without the aid of tools for their making (including air brushes) by Argentine or foreign artists, living or dead for [up to] a 50-year period:
1) Paintings on fabric, canvas, cardboard, paper or any other media, using oil, acrylic, pastel, pencil, charcoal, ink, watercolor, and tempera, through any technical procedure and without restrictions regarding artistic creation;
2) Montages and assemblages;
3) Sculptures;
4) Original engravings, prints, and lithographs;
5) Pottery; and
6) Textile art;  (Act No. 24633 §1)

Relevant State Agencies

The National Registry of Archaeological Sites, Collections, and Objects, and of First Offenders and Recidivists is created under the auspices of the National Institute of Anthropology and Latin American Thought (Instituto Nacional de Antropologia y Pensamiento LatinoAmericano). The National Registry will operate in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. (Resolution No. 1134/2003, Art. 1) 


All natural or legal persons in possession of archaeological objects or collections or paleontological remains of any material and quality before the date of promulgation hereof shall, within 90 (ninety) days of such date, report those objects, collections or remains to the relevant agency for their entry in the Official Registry, retaining possession thereof. Once this term expires, it shall be presumed that a person holding such archaeological or paleontological items came into their possession illegally, which will bring about their confiscation. (Law No. 25743 §16)

All persons who, for any reason, find archaeological or paleontological materials by chance, whether on or below land or underwater, shall report and deliver those materials immediately to the relevant agency or, failing this, to the closest police authorities, so that they notify the referred agency of this find. Failure to report the items and their concealment shall be punished by means of a warning, and if the infringer is a recidivist, by means of a fine. The materials found shall be confiscated in all cases. (Law  No. 25743 §40)

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
Claudia Cabouli
Coordinadora General
Dirección Nacional de Patrimonio y Museos
Secretaría de Cultura - Presidencia de la Nación
Alsina 1169, 1º piso - 1311 - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ph: + (54 11) 4381-9478