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Country Summary for LATVIA

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


'Cultural Monuments'— are a part of the cultural and historical heritage. (PCM §1) Cultural monuments shall be divided into the following typological groups:
(1) Archaeological monuments—including ancient dwelling sites, ancient burial sites, medieval and Early Modern Period cemeteries, ancient cult sites, ancient sites of economic activity, ancient sites of battles, ancient roads, structures of military nature, sunken ships and the cargoes thereof. The archaeological monuments may be located in the ground, above the ground or in the water;
(2) Architecture and urban construction monuments—including historical city centers, villages, gardens, parks, cultural and historical landscapes, manor development, folk construction objects, and buildings;
(3) Monuments of art—including sculptures, paintings, church installations, easel drawings, rare printed works, miniatures, water-color paintings, examples of applied, decorative arts (for example, ceramic, glass, metal, wooden, stone, bone, leather, textile objects), cinema documents, photo-documents, video-documents, sound recordings, era and a certain locality of art;
(4) Industrial monuments—including buildings, structures, installations, articles and other objects of technical nature, which reflect the development of production, crafts, transport, agriculture and the development of the infrastructure of territories, as well as military history; and
(5) Sites of historical events—territories, buildings, and other objects related to important historical events or famous persons. (Reg. 474, Art. 4)

'Immoveable Cultural Monuments'

(1) Individual objects
—buildings, works of art, facilities and articles, individual burial sites; and
(2) Complex objects
—archaeological sites, architectural ensembles and complexes, historical town centers, streets, squares, blocks, cultural layer, cemeteries, cultural and historical landscapes, memorial places, and historical places and territories. (PCM §2)

'Moveable Cultural Monuments'

(1) Individual objects
—archaeological finds, antiquities, elements of immovable monuments, historical relics, works of art, manuscripts, rare printed matter, cinema documents, photo-documents and video-documents, phonograms; and
(2) Complex objects
—historically evolved complexes, holdings and collections of separate objects with an indivisible cultural and historical value; and
(3) Antiquities—objects created as a result of an intentional act of a human being; artifacts (for example jewelry, weapons, household objects, ceramic articles, and coins as intact objects or as fragments), which have been found in the ground, above the ground, or in water. (PCM §2)


The State Inspection for Heritage Protection (“Inspection”) shall perform the registration of all cultural monuments. (Reg. 474, Art. 2 & 3)

Cultural objects shall be subject to State registration irrespective of who owns, possesses, or utilizes them. State registration shall encompass assessment and inspection of monuments and determination of their historical, scientific, artistic, architectonic, archaeological, ethnographic, or other cultural value. (PCM

The Inspection has the right to inspect objects that have cultural value to make a decision regarding the inclusion of such objects in the national register. (PCM

Lists of immoveable cultural monuments shall be submitted to the Land Registry offices by the relevant regional Inspection office. (PCM

Relevant State Agencies

Protection, utilization, and restoration of cultural monuments shall be ensured by the Cabinet, which shall issue regulations that shall be enforced by the Inspection. (PCM

The Inspection is an administration subordinate to the Ministry of Culture that carries out State control of cultural monument protection, performs cultural heritage assessment and research, and manages the registration of monuments. The Inspection may:

verify compliance with legislative enactments regarding the protection of cultural monuments;
bring an action to recover payment from any person who has caused harm to a cultural monument;
examine antique and commission shops, art galleries and auctions to prevent illegal transactions with cultural monuments or, if necessary, take the monuments under State protection;
carry out expert-examination of cultural monuments and issue permits for exportation thereof; and
take part in the work of the customs service by controlling the legality of exportation of cultural monuments. (PCM §26)

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
State Inspection for Heritage Protection
Maza Pils Street 19
Riga, LV-1050
Ph: +371 67229272
F: +271 67228808

Liana Liepa
Pils iela 20
Riga, LV-1050
Ph: +371 67229272
F: +371 67228808