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Country Summary for LEBANON

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


'Cultural Property'—movable and immovable property  produced in Lebanon, regardless of the nationality of the person who produced it or the period in which it was produced; that was discovered in or underneath Lebanese territory or territorial waters, regardless of the method of discovery;  and was produced or found outside of Lebanon and is located on Lebanese territory through legal conduct and with the approval of relevant authorities. (2008 No. 37 Art. 1)

'Immovable Property'includes archeological, historical, or scientific locations or sites, and structures, landmarks, edifices, buildings, or part thereof having traditional, historical, scientific, aesthetic, architectural, or symbolic value, whether religious or secular; and anything else defined as an immovable archeological site according to the Law of Antiquities and its amendments, such as ancient works, buildings, and ritual sites appropriated by human industry. (2008 No. 37 Art. 2; 1933 No. 166 Art. 2)

'Movable Property'includes the products of human ingenuity or testimony to the evolution of nature that has archeological, historical, artistic, practical, or technical value or significance, whether religious or secular; property having artistic significance; and every movable antique as defined by the Law of Antiquities and its amendments, such as fragments of objects made, worked, or modified by human hands. (2008 No. 37 Art. 2; 1933 No. 166 Art. 2)


The State shall be entitled at any time to register an antiquity in the General Inventory of Historical Monuments, which shall oblige the owners not to make any modifications to the registered objects or to undertake any work that might compromise the ancient nature and character of the object, without first notifying the Antiquities Department two months in advance. (1933 No. 166, Art. 7, 20- 22)

Any movable antiquity whose conservation is in the public interest from a historical or artistic point of view may be classified as a historical monument granting it protected status. (1933 No. 166, Arts. 42-43)

In addition to the General Antiquities Inventory, the Ministry will produce a list of recognized cultural property and a list of categorized cultural property.  The criteria for registry on each of these lists and the obligations resulting there from are by a decree adopted by the Council of Ministers based on the recommendation of the Minister of Culture. (2008 No. 37 Art. 4)

The Minister may, based on this law or the decrees and regulations issued for its execution, register any movable or immovable property subject to his authority and the preservation of which is a matter of public interest on either the List of Recognized Cultural Property or the List of Categorized Cultural Property, based on a recommendation by the Director General of Cultural Affairs or the Director General of Antiquities, after approval by the relevant committee , unless this property is recorded on the Public Inventory of Antiquities. (2008 No. 37 Art. 5)

Relevant State Agencies

The Ministry of Culture will be the exclusive manager of immovable cultural property and may conclude agreements with municipalities, public institutions, or non-profit organizations to manage these property, provided that these agreements prove to be in accordance with the decrees issued by the Council of Ministers. (2008 No. 37 Art. 3)

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
Mr. Faisal Taleb
Director General of Culture
General Directorate of Culture
Rue du Musée
Beirut, Lebanon
Ph: (961-1) 756-313
F: (961-1) 756-307