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Country Summary for DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


'Cultural Heritage of the Nation'—tangible and intangible goods, values and symbols that are an expression of the Dominican nation, such as traditions, customs and habits, as well as all goods, including those submerged under water, material and non-material, movable and immovable, which have a special interest: historic, artistic, aesthetic, architectonic, urban, archaeological, environmental, ecological, linguistic, sonorous, musical, audio-visual, filmic, scientific, technological, testimonial, documental, literary, bibliographic, museographic, anthropological; and manifestations, products and representations of popular culture. (Law No. 41-00 Art. 1.2)

'Artistic Heritage'—movable property of indisputable value due to its artistic or historic significance, regardless of its origin and location, which form part or may be destined to form part of a public art museum. (Law No. 318 Art. 3)

'Documentary Heritage'—written historical accounts that merit and require adequate conservation and classification in archives or institutions accessible to paleographers and researchers. (Law No. 318 Art. 4)

'Folkloric Heritage'—the variety of manifestations typical of the Dominican tradition, and in particular, artistic expressions representative of the popular arts and crafts. (Law No. 318 Art. 5)

'Monumental Heritage'—monuments, ruins, and pre-Columbian archaeological burial sites; colonial buildings, urban settlements, and other constructions of special historic or artistic significance, such as statues, columns, pyramids, fortifications, crowns and plaques destined to remain in a public place for a commemorative purpose. (Law No. 318 Art. 2)

Competent State Agencies

It is an essential duty of the State and of the people to value, protect, rescue and disseminate the cultural heritage of the Nation. (Law No. 41-00 Art. 2.8)

The State Secretariat for Culture shall be the representative of the State in all cultural activities. (Law No. 41-00 Art. 4)

The State, through the State Secretariat for Culture, shall promote the protection, conservation, rehabilitation and dissemination of the cultural heritage of the Nation, in order that it may serve as a testament to the Nation's cultural identity, in the present as well as for future generations. In addition, [the State] shall promote strategies and mechanisms of support for the development of Dominican cultural industries. (Law No. 41-00 Art. 44)
The State Secretariat for Culture shall protect the cultural heritage of the Nation and shall take all necessary measures to ensure an evaluation of the current state of the heritage, shall create the appropriate mechanisms to avoid its dispersal and shall establish a policy for loans and for recovery of loaned goods. (Law No. 41-00 Art. 47)

The State Secretariat for Culture shall make every effort towards repatriation of cultural goods that have been illegally removed from Dominican territory. (Law No. 41-00, Art. 47, para. II)

The State Secretariat for Culture shall take into account the following fundamental objectives:
(1) to guarantee the right of all citizens to participate in cultural life and to enjoy the benefits of cultural development;
(2) to preserve the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Nation as a fundamental component of national identity;
(3) to support and stimulate the people, communities and institutions devoted to the development or promotion of artistic and cultural expressions throughout the various territories;
(4) to supervise compliance with international agreements concerning culture;
(5) to develop special programs and projects in the country’s border area. (Law No. 41-00 Art. 5) 


The protection of assets that comprise the cultural heritage of the Nation implies their prior identification, description and classification...using modern registry methods. (Law No. 318 Art. 7)

Owners or holders of immovable property, collections or pieces of indisputable monumental, artistic, documentary or folkloric value are required to declare said belongings. (Law No. 318 Art. 8)

Anyone who hereinafter discovers any object that is considered to be part of the cultural heritage of the Nation is required to make a declaration containing all the information necessary for its classification. (Law No. 318 Art. 13)

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
Nerva Fondeur
Coordinadora General
Viceministerio de Patrimonio Cultural
Ministerio de Cultura
Av. George Washington Esq. Pte. Vicini Burgos
Santo Domingo, República Dominicana
Ph: (809) 221-4141