What is considered cultural property in Germany?
According to the German Act on the Protection of Cultural Property of 2016, all movable objects that have an artistic, historical or archaeological value are considered cultural property. In addition, objects of paleontological, ethnographic, numismatic or scientific value count as part of the cultural heritage, and therefore as cultural property. Archaeological cultural property are objects made or worked on by humans, which give an insight into the human life of earlier times. Such archaeological finds must be at least 100 years old to be considered cultural property. This also applies to components of architectural and religious monuments, as well as books. Pictures and paintings, mosaics, photographs, manuscripts and maps are subject to an age limit of at least 50 years, any means of transportation must be at least 75 years old. National cultural property is cultural property that is registered in a register of nationally valuable cultural property, is in public ownership and in an institution that preserves cultural property or is part of an art collection of the federal or state governments.
What are the export regulations?
According to the German Act on the Protection of Cultural Property of 2016, the export of cultural property is prohibited in various cases: if a procedure for registration as nationally valuable cultural property has been initiated for the object and has not yet been decided on; if there is no export license; if the cultural property was unlawfully imported into Germany, or if it was secured on suspicion of unlawful import or export. In addition, exports are prohibited if they violate European Union regulations.
What sanctions are there?
Fines or imprisonment of up to five years are levied for both the illegal export and import of as well as for illegally trading in cultural property.