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Country Summary for LAO PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
I. Relevant Legislation
II. Regulated Cultural Property
'National Heritage'—items produced by mankind or formed by nature that have outstanding cultural, historical or natural value, thereby becoming precious assets and property of the Lao national community, some of which are adopted as regional and world heritage. National heritage consists of tangible objects, intangible items, movable or immovable property, and living or non-living organisms, reflecting the history of the Lao nation and the Lao people in each different era. National heritage includes items existing both within and outside of the country of Laos. (LNH of 2005, Art. 2)
'Tangible Objects'—items of tangible heritage which are of high outstanding value from a cultural point of view, including in the form of moveable or immoveable property with unique character, namely: antiques, handicrafts such as: weave patterns (such as laichock [and] matmee), artistic works, consumer goods, foods such as: sticky rice, [and] fermented fish, traditional music instruments such as: khean…production tools, ancient inscriptions, archaeological sites, anthropological sites and others. (LNH of 2005, Art. 8)
'Intangible Items'—items of intangible heritage which are of high outstanding value from a cultural point of view, such as: local innovation, knowledge, public philosophies, beliefs, fine traditions which are expressed in livelihood practices, social behaviour, languages, alphabets, numbers, scripts, legends, novels, proverbs, poems, traditional music, traditional dances, songs melodies, folk songs, formulas of traditional medicine and others which are inherited from generation to generation. (LNH of 2005, Art. 9)
Items of national cultural and historical heritage which are possessed by individuals or ogranisations shall be registered.
The State conducts surveys, and collects the items of heritage to evaluate, classify and register them, while encouraging possessors of heritage items to propose them for registration in accordance with the following regulations:
(1) National heritage at the local level shall be registered with the information and culture divisions at provincial or city level.
(2) National heritage at the national level shall be registered with the Ministry of Information and Culture.
(3) National heritage at the world level shall be registered with the concerned international organizations based on the proposal of the Lao PDR.
(4) National heritage that is in possession of the representative offices of the Lao PDR abroad shall be registered with the Ministry of Information and Culture and the concerned sector.
(6) National heritage which are national icons shall be registered with the Ministry of Information and Culture. (LNH of 2005, Art. 28.)
Areas of national cultural heritage shall be registered, in particular the areas which contain heritage of high value and outstanding things, such as: biodiversity protected areas, conservation forests, wetlands, and caves that have natural value. (LNH of 2005, Art. 48)
Relevant State Agencies
The State centrally and uniformly administers the national cultural and historical heritage throughout the country, including those items in the representative offices of the Lao PDR abroad, by registering and by dividing responsibility for their administration among sectors and local administrations. (LNH of 2005, Art. 27)
The national heritage administrative agencies are divided into four levels as follows:
(1) The Ministry of Information and Culture
(2) The information and culture divisions at the provincial and city level
(3) The information and culture offices at the district and municipal level
(4) The village administrations (LNH of 2005, Art. 62)
III. Export Restrictions
IV. Ownership Rights and Restrictions
V. Violations, Penalties and Sanctions
VI. International Conventions and Bilateral Agreements
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