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Taiwan: Law on Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage Adopted

(Nov. 30, 2015) The main legislative body of the Republic of China (on Taiwan), the Legislative Yuan, adopted a new Law on Underwater Cultural Heritage Preservation on November 24, 2015. (Draft Law on Preservation of Underwater Cultural Heritage (Nov. 24, 2015), Legislative Yuan website (in Chinese) (scroll down to item 6 and click on hyperlink […]

UNESCO: Palmyra Temple Bombing Deemed a War Crime

(Sept. 10, 2015) On August 24, 2015, the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, issued a statement condemning the destruction the previous day of the temple of Baalshamin by Islamic militants. That temple is an ancient structure that formed part of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site in […]

Armenia: Private Cemeteries to Be Established

(July 27, 2015) On May 27, 2015, the President of Armenia signed into law amendments to the Law on Organization of Funerals and Operation of Cemeteries and Crematoria, the main purpose of which is to allow private cemeteries to operate in the country. (Law on the Organization of Funerals and Operation of Cemeteries and Crematoria, […]

Iceland: Family Fined over Daughter’s Name

(Mar. 20, 2015) Icelandic parents of a young girl are facing daily fines of ISK1.47 (about US$0.01) because they gave their daughter a name not previously used in Iceland for a girl. (Anita Rienstra, Icelandic Parents Facing Daily Fines over Daughter’s Name, ICE NEWS (Mar. 15, 2015).) Iceland’s Personal Names Act requires all names to […]

Indonesia: Bali to Protect Traditional Textiles

(Jan. 14, 2015) Indonesia’s province of Bali is planning a new bylaw, to be passed within the year, on the protection of the intellectual property involved in the creation of local traditional textiles. The purpose is to preserve the fabric techniques and enhance production and quality, to better suit the market. (Wasti Atmodjo, Bali Prepared […]

Italy: Measures to Enhance Protection of Cultural Patrimony

(Aug. 12, 2014) Decree-Law No. 83 of 2014, which entered into effect on July 31, 2014, establishes urgent tax, financial, and administrative measures aimed at the protection and promotion of Italy’s cultural patrimony and the national tourism industry. (Decreto-Legge 31 maggio 2014, n. 83, Disposizioni urgenti per la tutela del patrimonio culturale, lo sviluppo della […]

Indonesia: Bylaw on Cultural Heritage of Bali Proposed

(June 13, 2014) On June 9, 2014, Bali’s Governor, Made Mangku Pastika, submitted a proposed bylaw on preservation of cultural heritage to the province’s legislative council. Balinese culture is based on the predominant Hinduism of the island, and Pastika argued that this “cultural heritage must be preserved and developed for the interest of our future […]

European Union: Revision of Directive on Return of Unlawfully Removed Cultural Objects

(Dec. 6, 2011) On November 29, 2011, the European Commission launched a public consultation inviting interested stakeholders, such as museums, libraries, archives, and cultural or customs authorities, to submit their ideas on a possible revision of Directive 1993/7/EEC on the Return of Cultural Objects Unlawfully Removed from the Territory of a Member State, as amended. […]

Austria: Restitution of Nazi-Looted Art

(Dec. 2, 2009) On November 23, 2009, Austria promulgated the Act Amending the Federal Act Concerning Restitution of Works of Art from Austrian Federal Museums and Collections (BUNDESGESETZBLATT I No. 117/2009, at This Act amends an Act of 1998, which provides for the restitution of Nazi-looted art (BUNDESGESETZBLATT I No. 181/1998, available at […]

France; New Zealand: The Government of France Changes Its Position on Returning Preserved Tribal Heads to New Zealand

(July 30, 2009) In recent years, the Government of New Zealand has made concerted efforts to recover preserved Maori heads taken abroad so that they can be returned to the appropriate tribe (iwi) for burial. New Zealand has signed both the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Means of Prohibiting […]