This is a brief excerpt from the document you requested from IFAR’s Art Law & Cultural Property Database.

Country Summary for BRAZIL

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


'Archaeological or prehistoric monuments'

(1) deposits of any kind, origin or purpose representing evidence of the culture of the paleoamerindian of Brazil, as well as prehistoric kitchen middens, man-made mounds or hills, burial shafts, graves, areas filled in with earth, vestiges of prehistoric villages;

(2) sites containing clear evidence of occupation by the paleoamerindians, such as caves, caverns, and rock shelters;

sites identified as cemeteries, graves, or long-term resting places or settlements, stopping places or huts containing human traces; and
rock inscriptions or places such as grooves made by polishing tools and other traces of paleoamerindian activity. (Law No. 3924, Art. 2)

'National historic and artistic heritage'
— totality of domestic material goods and real estate whose preservation is in the public interest, either through their association with memorable events in Brazil’s history or due to their exceptional archaeological or ethnographic, bibliographic or artistic value. (Decree-Law No. 25, Art. 1)


Material goods, including natural monuments and places and landscapes worthy of conservation and protection, must be registered in one of the four Record Books to considered an integral part of the national historic or artistic heritage. (Decree-Law No. 25, Art. 1)

The registration of items shall be dependent on the approval of the Minister of State for Education and Culture. (Law No. 6292, Art. 1)

The President of the Republic may delete items from the register. (Decree-Law No. 3866, Art. 1)

The National Historic and Artistic Heritage Office shall maintain a Register of Archaeological Monuments of Brazil in which all reported deposits, as well as any that come to its attention by other means, shall be recorded. (Law No. 4845, Art. 27)
The National Historic and Artistic Heritage Department shall maintain four Record Books:
(1) Archaeological, Ethnographic and Landscape Record Book
—includes items relating to archaeological, ethnographic, Amerindian and popular art, as well as material goods;
(2) Historic Record Book
includes items of historic interest and works of history-related art;
(3) Fine Arts Record Book
includes objects of high art, whether domestic or foreign; and
(4) Applied Arts Record Book
includes domestic and foreign works of applies art. (Decree-Law No. 25, Art. 4)

Relevant State Agencies

The Department of Culture plans, coordinates, and supervises the development and implementation of cultural policy at the national level and, among other things, protects Brazil’s cultural heritage. (Decree 99600, Art. 1)

The Ministry of the Navy is responsible for protecting items or goods of artistic value of historic or archaeological interest sunken, submerged, stuck, or lost in waters under the national jurisdiction, in marine belts and their sediments on marginal land, as a result of a disaster, being thrown overboard, or a mishap at sea. The Ministry of the Navy is responsible for granting authorization to search for such items. (Ord. 69, Arts. 2.1 & 3.2)

III.  Export Restrictions

IV.  Ownership Rights and Restrictions

V.  Violations, Penalties and Sanctions

VI.  International Conventions and Bilateral Agreements
Click here to subscribe to IFAR's Art Law & Cultural Property Database to access this and other documents about U.S. and international legislation and case law concerning the acquisition, authenticity, export, ownership, and copyright of art objects.
Country Contact
for Cultural Property
Ministry of Culture
SCS - Quadra 09 - Lote C - Torre
Ed. Parque Cidade - 10º Andar
CEP: 70.308-200
Brazil, DF
Ph: (55 61) 2024 2640
F: (55 61) 2024 2503

National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage
SBN Q. 02 - Ed. Central Brasizila
5 andar
CEP 70.040-904
Brazil - DF
Ph: 61-326-4986