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Conservation, 16 U.S.C. §§431-433, Antiquities Act of 1906 ("National Monuments Act")


Antiquities Act of 1906, 16 U.S.C. §§ 431-433


This act provides that the President can declare historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated on lands owned or controlled by the United States government to be national monuments and may reserve parcels of land so that the objects can be protected. The Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and Army may grant permits for the examination of ruins, the excavation of archaeological sites, and the gathering of objects of antiquity to institutions that are properly qualified to conduct such activities. The examinations, excavations, and gatherings must be undertaken for the benefit of reputable scientific or educational institutions to increase the knowledge of such objects, and the gatherings must be made for permanent preservation in public museums.

The Act makes it a crime, subject to a fine of up to $500, up to ninety days in prison, or both, for a person to appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric run or monument, or any object of antiquity, situated on lands owned or controlled by the United States government, without permission.

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