What is considered cultural property in Lebanon?
Until 1990, a relatively rigid concept was applied: Only objects produced before 1700 are considered cultural property. Only with the ratification of the UNESCO Convention is the definition of the concept of cultural property somewhat broader.
What are the export regulations?
There is an absolute ban on the export of antiquities. By Ministerial Decree No. 8 of 1993, the export of archaeological objects from Lebanon was completely prohibited. The background to this was primarily the civil war that lasted 13 years.
An export ban, which included a reservation to issue licenses, for other cultural property was inserted by way of the regulations from 2008. Since then, it has been forbidden to export any recognized or classified cultural property from Lebanon, unless there is a ministerial export license.
What sanctions are there?
Article 15 of Law No. 37 of 2008 entitles the competent minister to take possession of the cultural property in question or even to expropriate it from the owner (against payment of appropriate compensation) in order to protect against illegal exports. There are no specific offenses. According to criminal law, sanctions for any illegal trade in cultural property are between three and nine years in prison with a fine.