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Country Summary for GERMANY

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


A national register is separated into two categories: one for paintings, sculptures and other cultural treasures, and the other for archives. Works of art and other cultural treasures – including bibliographic works in libraries – the dispersion of which outside the area of jurisdiction of this law would represent a significant loss for the German cultural heritage are to be entered in a “Register of Cultural Treasures of National Significance” in that state in which they are to be found upon the taking of effect of this law. (§1 KultgSchG)

Archives, archived collections, work left by writers and artists and collections of correspondence of significant importance for German political, cultural and economic history [that are] to be entered in a “Register of Nationally Significant Archives” in that state in which they are to be found upon the taking of effect of this law. (§10(1) KultgSchG)

Under the terms of this law archive material is defined apart from the written material of all kinds as cards, plans, seals, pictorial, film and sound material. (§10(2) KultgSchG)

The registration of an object or an archive at the state level is mandated by state historic preservation laws (Denkmalschutzgesetze). Each of the sixteen German states has a relevant law. An overview (in German) is available here.

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
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
Cultural Affairs Department
4645 Reservoir Rd, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Ph: 202-298-4000
F: 202-471-5530