The Danish protection act

Rare works of art, objects of importance to cultural history, books, manuscripts, documents and the like may not be taken out of Denmark without permission. This is decreed in an Act covering the protection of cultural assets which came into force on the 1st of January 1987 with later amendment of the 1st of March 2010.

The direct purpose of the Act is to ensure that objects of cultural value remain within the borders of Denmark. It is an important supplement to other regulations which protect our national heritage, for example the rules applicable to ‘treasure trove’.

Contravention of the law

Contravention of the protection regulations contained in the Cultural Assets Act will be punishable by a fine or imprisonment for a period up to one year.

Who grants permission

A commission of five persons, the Commission on Export of Cultural Assets, decides whether an export license is to be granted or not. The members of the Commission are the directors of the National Gallery (“Statens Museum for Kunst”), the National Museum, the Danish National Archives (“Rigsarkivet”), the Royal Danish Library (“Det Kongelige Bibliotek”), and as the fifth member a director of a non-governmental museum; this member is appointed by the Minister of Culture for four years at a time.