Laws:

UK Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan 2007

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CONSULTATION
Between 8 March and 10 May 2006, the UK government sought comments on a proposal to legislate to provide immunity from seizure for international works of art on loan in the UK.  A consultation paper and a Partial Regulatory Impact Assessment were published for interested parties to be able to express their views and concerns.

The purpose of the consultation exercise was to enable the Government to take into account the views of museums and galleries, the art trade, shippers and others who have an interest in cultural property.  It was thought possible that there would be a divergence of views received and that the Government would "have to balance these against the best interests of the UK as a whole".  

23 responses were received from organisations and individuals including the Art Loss Register, the British Library, the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, English Heritage, Leeds Museums and Galleries, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, the Museums Association, the National Museum Directors' Conference, the National Museums of Wales, Professor Norman Palmer, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Society of London Art Dealers, the Spoliation Advisory Committee, the Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museums. 

A summary of responses to the consultation, compiled by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (the DCMS), was published on 8 August 2006.  In the summary, the DCMS wrote that, "The majority of responses were supportive of introducing legislation in this area to bring the United Kingdom in line with other countries and to maintain its position as a major centre for world-class exhibitions. Many respondents emphasised the importance of adhering to the Statement of Principles and Proposed Action on the Spoliation of Works of Art During the Holocaust and World War II period, issued by the National Museums Directors Conference and the principles set out in Combating Illicit Trade: Due Diligence guidelines for museums, libraries and archives on collecting and borrowing cultural material, published by DCMS. They felt that legislative proposals should stick closely to these principles and that proposals should be presented in such a way that they are not seen as removing the need for due diligence research on provenance of items on loan. The need to ensure that Holocaust survivors are not denied access to justice was stressed."

As a result of the concerns expressed by representative bodies and members of the House of Lords, the draft bill was subsequently revised so that museums were to be required to undertake due diligence and publish any works of art they wished to borrow prior to receiving immunity from seizure.  A new consultation was established from 21 September to 21 December 2007 in which the DCMS sought comments on the content of the draft regulations for museums on the publication of information about the cultural objects they wished to borrow and which would be immune from seizure under the terms of the legislation.  Views were also sought on how far in advance museums should be required to publish information about such objects.  

The DCMS stated that "The consultation will enable the Government to take into account the views of museums and galleries, the art trade, shippers and others who have an interest in this issue.  It is possible that there will be a divergence of views received and the Government will have to balance these against the best interests of the UK as a whole.  But it is important for interested parties to be able to express their views and concerns in an open consultation."

The consultation paper is available here.  The list of organisations to whom it was sent is available here
A summary of the responses to the Consultation and the individual responses were published on 8 April 2008.


LEGISLATION
The legislation was brought into effect as Part 6 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 on 31 December 2007, prior to the regulations being finalised, in order to enable the Royal Academy to exhibit paintings in their 'From Russia' show with immunity from seizure.  The legislation is set out below.

The regulations were subsequently brought in by order on 1 May 2008.  The accompanying explanatory memorandum is available hereThe text of the legislation, the regulations and the explanatory memorandum are set out below.

The legislation provides for all works of art for which immunity is sought to be published with full details at least one month prior to the opening of the exhibition.  For an up to date listing of all such works, click here


UK GOVERNMENT WEBSITE TEXT

Part 6 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (“the Act”) provides protection for objects on loan from abroad in temporary public exhibitions in museums and galleries in the UK where certain conditions are satisfied. The legislation was introduced in response to concerns from museums that an increasing number of international lenders were refusing to lend items to UK museums without a guarantee of their safe return.  

Where the conditions for protection are met, a court cannot make an order to seize an object that has been loaned from abroad for an exhibition, except where the court is required to make that order under EU law or the UK’s international obligations. 

Under section 134 of the Act, an object is only protected from seizure if all the conditions set out in section 134(2) of the Act are met when the object enters the UK. See the checklist for the full details of requirements. In summary the conditions are:

  • the object is usually kept outside the UK;
  • it is not owned by a person resident in the UK;
  • its import does not contravene a prohibition or restriction on import; 
  • it is brought into the UK for temporary public display by a museum or gallery that is approved under section 136;
  • the museum or gallery has complied with any requirements about the publication of information specified in Regulations.

The authority that is responsible for approving a museum or gallery will depend on where the institution is located. The authority is:

  • The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport  for an institution  located in England;
  • Welsh Ministers for an institution located in Wales
  • Scottish Ministers for an institution located in Scotland; andThe Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure for an institution located in Northern Ireland.

To obtain approval, a museum or gallery must demonstrate that its procedures for undertaking due diligence are robust, comply with international standards and specifically with Combating Illicit Trade:  Due diligence guidelines for museums, libraries and archives on collecting and borrowing cultural material, issued by DCMS in 2005.  Each authority will be assisted in assessing applications for approval by independent experts.

Once a museum has been approved for the purposes of the legislation it will not have to apply in relation to each exhibition or article which it wishes to be protected.  However, the borrowing institution must ensure that the other conditions for protection are satisfied.

Under Section 136(3) of the Act, the authority may withdraw approval from an institution if it appears that its procedures for establishing the provenance or ownership of objects are inadequate, or because it has failed to comply with a requirement of the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan (Publication and Provision of Information) Regulations 2008 on the publication of information about the objects to be borrowed.  

Publication requirements and information for those who think they may have a claim to a loaned object

The Government is committed to doing all it can to set to rights the terrible injustices suffered by the people of Europe during the Nazi era and in 2000 the Government established the Spoliation Advisory Panel  to provide advice to claimants  and museums on the resolution of claims for works of art held in permanent collections in museums in the UK.  The Government is similarly determined that looted or stolen works of art do not find their way into the UK via international loans.  Objects will only be protected if the borrowing museum has complied with the requirements set out in the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan (Publication and provision of Information) Regulations 2008 (“the Regulations”)

These Regulations require the borrowing institution to publish detailed information about the object at least four weeks before the day on which the object enters the UK.  The information must be made available to the public free of charge on the borrowing institution’s website.  This will enable anyone who may have an interest in any of those objects to raise questions about them before they come to the UK.  After the object has arrived in the UK, the borrowing institution must also make the information available free of charge on their website for an additional period which begins on the day after the four week period ends and lasts for at least twelve weeks or for the duration of the exhibition, whichever is the longer period.

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council provides a link on its website to museum websites which have published information about protected objects. This provides a single point of access for those who may wish to research the information.

The Regulations also enable a person who thinks they may have a claim to an object to obtain more information from the borrowing institution.

A person who thinks they may have a claim to an object should make a written request to the relevant institution setting out:

  • their name and address;
  • where the person claims as the heir of another person, the name and last known address of that person, or where that is not possible, sufficient details to identify that person;
  • a short summary of their claim to the object; and
  • confirmation that the borrowing institution may inform the lender of their request.

The borrowing institution must provide the claimant with the information set out in the Regulations unless:

  • the claim has already been rejected by a court or other authority responsible for adjudicating on such claims;
  • all the information that the borrowing institution would be required to provide is already available to members of the public free of charge; or
  • the request is made more than twelve weeks after the end of the additional period during which the borrowing institution must publish information about an object after it enters the UK. (This period which begins on the day after the four week period, ends and lasts for at least twelve weeks or for the duration of the exhibition, whichever is the longer period.)

 The information that the borrowing institution must provide is:

  • the name of each lender if it is not already published on the website;
    • a link to the website where the borrowing institution has  published the information required by the regulations;
    • a written summary of the borrowing institution's enquiries into the  provenance, ownership and history of the object;
    • any other information held by the borrowing institution as a result of its enquires into the provenance of the object that may lawfully be disclosed.

How to apply for approval under Section 136

Museums and galleries in England wishing to apply for approval under Section 136 of the Act should complete the questionnaire and return it to DCMS at least six weeks before an object requiring protection under the Act enters the UK.  Please return you questionnaires by email and hard copy to:

Nicki Fox
Cultural Property Unit
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
2 - 4 Cockspur Street
London SW1Y 5DH
Email: 
nicki.fox@culture.gsi.gov.uk
Tel:             00 44 (0)207 211 6129        

The note on the approval of museums and galleries under section 136 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007  and the accompanying Q&A will give you more information about the application process.

Museums and galleries in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should contact the appropriate approving authorities there.  For further details of these, contact Nicki Fox, above.

Approved Museums (by 5 August 2008)
The following museums have been approved by the Minister under section 136 of the Act:-

The Royal Academy – From Russia exhibition only

Tate

The British Museum

The Henry Moore Foundation

_________________________________



TEXT OF LEGISLATION, REGULATIONS AND MEMORANDUM

Part 6 Protection of cultural objects on loan

134 Protected objects

(1) An object is protected under section 135 if the conditions in subsection (2) are met when it enters the United Kingdom.

(2) The conditions are—

(a) the object is usually kept outside the United Kingdom,

(b) it is not owned by a person resident in the United Kingdom,

(c) its import does not contravene a prohibition or restriction on the import of goods, imposed by or under any enactment, that applies to the object, a part of it or anything it conceals,

(d) it is brought to the United Kingdom for public display in a temporary exhibition at a museum or gallery, and

(e) the museum or gallery has complied with any requirements prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State under this paragraph about the publication of specified information about the object.

(3) A person owns an object for the purposes of subsection (2)(b) whether he owns it beneficially or not and whether alone or with others.

(4) The protection continues—

(a) only so long as the object is in the United Kingdom for any of the purposes in subsection (7), and

(b) unless subsection (5) applies, for not more than 12 months beginning with the day when the object enters the United Kingdom.

(5) The protection continues after the end of the period specified in subsection (4)(b) if the object has suffered damage while protected, and—

(a) it is undergoing repair, conservation or restoration in the United Kingdom because of the damage, or

(b) it is leaving the United Kingdom following repair, conservation or restoration because of the damage.

(6) A new period of protection begins each time an object enters the United Kingdom and the conditions in subsection (2) are met.

(7) The purposes mentioned in subsection (4)(a) are—

(a) public display in a temporary exhibition at a museum or gallery;

(b) going to or returning from public display in a temporary exhibition at a museum or gallery;

(c) related repair, conservation or restoration;

(d) going to or returning from related repair, conservation or restoration;

(e) leaving the United Kingdom.

(8) Repair, conservation or restoration is related if it is carried out in the United Kingdom and is done—

(a) to prepare the object for public display in a temporary exhibition at a museum or gallery, or

(b) because of damage suffered in the course of something within subsection (7).

(9) The Secretary of State may make regulations requiring a museum or gallery to provide persons with specified information about an object in specified circumstances (which may include in particular compliance with conditions imposed by or under the regulations).

(10) Regulations under this section—

(a) may not be made without the consent of the Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Ministers and the Department for Culture, Art and Leisure in Northern Ireland, and

(b) must be made by statutory instrument.

(11) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

135 Effect of protection

(1) While an object is protected under this section it may not be seized or forfeited under any enactment or rule of law, unless—

(a) it is seized or forfeited under or by virtue of an order made by a court in the United Kingdom, and

(b) the court is required to make the order under, or under provision giving effect to, a Community obligation or any international treaty.

(2) Protection under this section does not affect liability for an offence of importing, exporting or otherwise dealing with the object, but (subject to subsection (1)) any power of arrest or otherwise to prevent such an offence is not exercisable so as to prevent the object leaving the United Kingdom.

(3) In this section, references to seizure or forfeiture in relation to an object include references to—

(a) taking control of the object under Schedule 12 (in England and Wales);

(b) execution or distress (in England and Wales or Northern Ireland);

(c) diligence or sequestration (in Scotland);

(d) seizure, confiscation or forfeiture, or any other measure relating to the custody or control of the object, in the course of a criminal investigation or criminal proceedings (against the owner, the museum or gallery or any other person);

(e) the making or enforcement of an order relating to the custody or control of the object in civil proceedings (against the owner, the museum or gallery or any other person).

136 Relevant museums and galleries

(1) In this Part “museum or gallery” means an institution in the United Kingdom approved under this section by the appropriate authority.

(2) The matters that the appropriate authority must have regard to when deciding whether to approve an institution include—

(a) the institution’s procedures for establishing the provenance and ownership of objects, and

(b) in particular, compliance by the institution with guidance about such procedures published by the Secretary of State from time to time.

(3) The appropriate authority may withdraw approval from an institution if it thinks fit, and, in particular, if—

(a) it thinks that the institution’s procedures for establishing the provenance or ownership of objects are inadequate (because of the institution’s failure to comply with guidance published by the Secretary of State or for some other reason), or

(b) the institution has failed to comply with a requirement of regulations under section 134(9).

(4) The withdrawal of approval from an institution does not affect the application of sections 134 and 135 to any object which is a protected object immediately before the withdrawal.

(5) In this section “the appropriate authority” means—

(a) the Secretary of State, in relation to an institution in England,

(b) the Welsh Ministers, in relation to an institution in Wales,

(c) the Scottish Ministers, in relation to an institution in Scotland, and

(d) the Department for Culture, Art and Leisure, in relation to an institution in Northern Ireland.

137 Interpretation

(1) The following apply for the purposes of this Part.

(2) “Enactment” includes an enactment comprised in, or in an instrument made under, an Act of the Scottish Parliament.

(3) “Public display” means display to which the public are admitted, on payment or not, but does not include display with a view to sale.

(4) “Temporary exhibition” means an exhibition of one or more objects which is open to the public for a period of less than twelve months, whether at a single location or at a succession of locations.

(5) A temporary exhibition is at a museum or gallery if it is held at or under the direction of the museum or gallery.

(6) An individual is resident in the United Kingdom if he is ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom for the purposes of income tax, or would be if he were receiving income on which tax is payable.

(7) The trustees of a settlement (or, in Scotland, the trustees of a trust) are resident in the United Kingdom if they are resident and ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom for the purposes of income tax, or would be if they were receiving income on which tax is payable.

(8) A partnership (including a limited partnership) or unincorporated association is resident in the United Kingdom if it is established under the law of any part of the United Kingdom.

(9) A body corporate is resident in the United Kingdom if it is incorporated under the law of any part of the United Kingdom.

(10) “United Kingdom” includes the territorial sea adjacent to the United Kingdom (within the meaning given by section 1 of the Territorial Sea Act 1987 (c. 49)).

138 Crown application

This Part binds the Crown.

____________________________________________________________________

 

2008 1159 1159

Cultural Objects

The Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan (Publication and Provision of Information) Regulations 2008

Made

21st April 2008

Laid before Parliament

23rd April 2008

Coming into force

20th May 2008

The Secretary of State makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 134(2)(e) and (9) of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007(1) and section 26 of the Welsh Language Act 1993(2):

The Regulations are made with the consent of the Scottish Ministers, the Welsh Ministers and the Department for Culture, Art and Leisure in Northern Ireland.

Citation and commencement

1.  These Regulations may be cited as the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan (Publication and Provision of Information) Regulations 2008 and come into force on 20th May 2008.

Interpretation

2.  In these Regulations—

(a) “the Act” means the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007;

(b) expressions used in Part 6 of the Act have the same meaning as in that Part;

(c) in relation to an object—

“the borrowing institution” means a museum or gallery approved under section 136 of the Act at which the object is, or is to be displayed in a temporary exhibition in the United Kingdom(3);

“the exhibition” means the temporary exhibition in which the object is, or is to be so displayed;

“the lender” means the owner of the object and any other person with proprietary or personal rights over the object such that their permission is required to make the object available for the exhibition;

“the relevant information” means the information described in regulation 3.

The relevant information

3.  The relevant information in relation to an object is the following—

(a) the name and address of—

(i) the lender (or if there is more than one, of each lender); or

(ii) a person who is authorised to act on behalf of the lender (or if there is more than one lender, a person who is authorised to act on behalf of each lender) in relation to any claims which may be made in relation to the object;

(b) a description of the object sufficient to identify it, including—

(i) the type of object it is (for example a painting, sculpture, drawing, installation or historic artefact), and a description of the material from which, or on which it was created;

(ii) the identity and nationality of the artist, manufacturer or other creator of the object, where this is applicable and known;

(iii) the title (if any) by which the object is known;

(iv) the dimensions of the object;

(v) the date on which the object was created, or if this is not known the period in which it was created or is most likely to have been created;

(vi) except where an object consists of archaeological or palaeontological material, a photograph of the object if it was created or manufactured before 1946 and acquired by the owner (or a person from whom the owner inherited or acquired the object) after 1932;

(vii) a brief description of the appearance of the object, including any identifying marks or inscriptions found on it;

(viii) the actual or likely place at which the object was created or manufactured, or, where the object consists of archaeological or palaeontological material, the place where it was found, or likely to have been found;

(c) details of the provenance of the object including—

(i) subject to sub-paragraph (ii), the date on which, the place at which, and the person from whom it was acquired by its current owner (or if there is more than one current owner, the date on and place at which, and the person from whom, each owner’s interest was acquired);

(ii) if the person from whom the object or interest was acquired is not known, the circumstances in which the object or interest was acquired, to the extent known;

(iii) a statement indicating whether or not the borrowing institution possesses a complete history of its ownership from the beginning of the year 1933 to the end of the year 1945;

(d) information about where the object may be seen by a member of the public including—

(i) each address within the United Kingdom where the object is or is to be displayed as part of the exhibition and the title of that exhibition; and

(ii) the period during which it is proposed that the object is to be on display at each such address.

Publication: prescribed requirements before an object enters the United Kingdom

4.—(1) It is a requirement prescribed under section 134(2)(e) of the Act that the relevant information about each object has been published in accordance with this regulation for the initial period by the borrowing institution or by another museum or gallery in connection with the same exhibition.

(2) In this regulation and in regulations 5 and 6, “the initial period” means a period of at least four consecutive weeks ending on the day before the day on which the object enters the United Kingdom.

(3) In calculating the initial period—

(a) any occasional and minor interruptions in the availability of the information resulting from technical or other problems outside the reasonable control of the borrowing institution may be included;

(b) it is immaterial whether part of the period occurs before the coming into force of these Regulations.

(4) The relevant information must be published by being made available on the borrowing institution’s website for inspection free of charge by members of the public.

(5) If the borrowing institution is in Wales the information shall be published in Welsh and in English.

Provision of information after an object enters the United Kingdom

5.—(1) The borrowing institution shall provide members of the public with the relevant information by making it available on its website for inspection free of charge for the additional period.

(2) In this regulation and in regulations 6 and 7 “the additional period” means the period beginning on the day after the conclusion of the initial period and ending twelve consecutive weeks thereafter or on the day after the last day on which the exhibition is open to the public, whichever is the later.

(3) In calculating the additional period—

(a) any occasional and minor interruptions in the availability of the information resulting from technical or other problems outside the reasonable control of the borrowing institution may be included;

(b) it is immaterial whether part of the period occurs before the coming into force of these Regulations.

(4) The borrowing institution need not comply with paragraph (1) in respect of the whole or any part of the additional period during which the relevant information is available on the website of another museum or gallery by virtue of and in accordance with this regulation.

(5) If the borrowing institution is in Wales the information shall be provided in Welsh and in English.

Publication or provision of information: errors or omissions

6.  If during the initial period or the additional period the borrowing institution determines that relevant information published or provided by it is materially incomplete or materially inaccurate, the institution must as soon as reasonably practicable amend the information as it considers appropriate.

Provision of information: potential claimants

7.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6) a borrowing institution must provide the information described in paragraph (5) to a person (“the claimant”) who believes that he or she has or may have a claim to possession of an object that is, or is to be included in an exhibition if that person makes a written request in accordance with paragraph (2).

(2) The claimant’s written request is in accordance with this paragraph if it includes—

(a) the claimant’s name and address;

(b) where the claimant claims as the heir of another person, the name and last known address of that other person or, if the claimant is unable to supply the last known address, details sufficient to identify that other person;

(c) a short summary of their claim to the object;

(d) a statement confirming that the borrowing institution may inform the lender of the request and supply them with the information provided by the claimant in support of his or her request.

(3) The borrowing institution need not provide the information listed in paragraph (5) if it determines that claimant’s request is unreasonable.

(4) The borrowing institution may determine that the claimant’s request is unreasonable only if—

(a) the claimant’s claim (including any appeals or reviews) has already been rejected by a court or other authority responsible for adjudicating on or making recommendations concerning such claims;

(b) all of the information described in paragraph (5) has already been disclosed to the claimant either by the institution or by another person or is available to members of the public free of charge from some other source; or

(c) the institution receives the request more than twelve weeks after the end of the additional period.

(5) The information is—

(a) the name of each lender if it is not available to the public in accordance with regulation 4 or 5;

(b) a link to the website at which the borrowing institution has published or provided the information in accordance with regulation 4 or 5;

(c) a written summary of the institution’s enquiries into the provenance, ownership and history of the object;

(d) any other information held by the institution as a result of its enquiries into the provenance of the object that the institution may lawfully disclose to the claimant.

(6) A borrowing institution in Wales, if so requested by the claimant, must provide-

(a) the information mentioned in paragraph (5)(a) to (c); and

(b) where reasonably practicable, the information mentioned in paragraph (5)(d),

in Welsh.

(7) Except where the borrowing institution treats the claimant’s request as unreasonable, the information must be supplied within 28 days of the date on which the institution received the request.

(8) Where the borrowing institution treats the claimant’s request as unreasonable the institution must inform the claimant of this decision and the reason for the decision within 28 days of the date on which the institution received the request.

Margaret Hodge
Minister of State
Department for Culture, Media and Sport

21st April 2008

(3) See section 137(5) of the Act for the definition of “temporary exhibition”. Back [3] 



EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM TO

THE PROTECTION OF CULTURAL OBJECTS ON LOAN (PUBLICATION AND PROVISION OF INFORMATION) REGULATIONS 2008

2008 No. 1159

 

1. This explanatory memorandum has been prepared by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and is laid before Parliament by Command of Her Majesty.


2. Description

2.1 These Regulations specify the information that a borrowing institution must publish about an object lent from abroad for a temporary public exhibition in order for the object to be protected from seizure or forfeiture in accordance with Part 6 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (c. 15)(“the Act”). They also specify the information about the object that must be provided by the institution to certain persons in order for the institution to comply with that Part. The Regulations provide that information concerning the identification and provenance of the object must be published at least four weeks before the day on which the object is brought into the country, and thereafter made available to the public for a further period of twelve weeks or until the closure of the exhibition, whichever is the longer period. Where a person reasonably believes that he or she may have a claim to the object the Regulations provide for the provision of information concerning its provenance to that person.

 

3. Matters of special interest to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments

3.1 None.   

 

4. Legislative Background

4.1 Part 6 of the Act provides that an object lent from abroad for a temporary public exhibition in the United Kingdom is protected from seizure or forfeiture where the conditions specified in section 134(2) of the Act are met when the object enters the United Kingdom. These Regulations are made under section 134(2)(e) and (9) of the Act and specify the information that must be published or made available to the public or certain specific persons, as well as the methods by and times during which it must be so published or made available. The Regulations are subject to the negative resolution procedure.

5. Extent

5.1 The Regulations extend to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
 

6. European Convention on Human Rights


6.1 As the Regulations are subject to negative resolution procedure and do not amend primary legislation, no statement is required. 


 

7. Policy background


7.1 Part 6 of the Act provides immunity from seizure for objects loaned from overseas for a temporary public exhibition at an approved museum or gallery in the United Kingdom. The legislation was introduced to enhance cultural life in the United Kingdom by assuring foreign lenders that a cultural object lent for an exhibition would be returned at the end of the exhibition. This removes a significant and growing obstacle to UK museums’ access to foreign cultural objects for exhibition in the UK - and thus enhances the UK public’s access to such objects.

7.2 The publication of information about an object that benefits from the immunity will enable anyone to raise questions about the object’s past history and ownership. This is an important facility for anyone trying to trace objects which once belonged to them or to a member of their family and which may have been stolen, looted, otherwise unlawfully taken or spoliated in the broader sense of that term. The details concerning the object that must be published or otherwise made available to the public are listed in regulation 3. The applicable methods and time periods are specified in regulations 4 and 5.


7.3 In accordance with regulation 7, an individual who considers he or she has a claim to the object can request further information from the borrowing institution provided the request is not unreasonable; that is, provided the claim has not already been rejected by a court or similar body, the information has not already been made available, or the request is not made more than twelve weeks after the institution ceases to be obliged under the Regulations to make information about the object available to the public at large.  


7.4 The information that the borrowing institution is required to publish has been defined, following public consultation, so as to strike a balance between providing sufficiently detailed information to enable a potential claimant to identify an object and not imposing an unreasonable burden on borrowing institutions and lenders.

8. Impact

    8.1 An Impact Assessment has been prepared and is annexed to this memorandum.
 

9. Contact

     Hillary Bauer at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport Tel:               0207 211 6102        or

     e-mail: Hillary.Bauer@culture.gsi.gov.uk can answer any queries regarding the

     Regulations.


 

 

Annex

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Impact Assessment

Title

            1. The Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan (Publication and Provision of Information) Regulations 2008.

 

Purpose and intended effect

            2. Part 6 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (the Act) provides that an object lent from abroad for a temporary public exhibition in the United Kingdom is protected from seizure or forfeiture where the conditions specified in section 134(2) of the Act are met when the object enters the United Kingdom. Borrowing institutions are not compelled to seek protection for objects lent from abroad but, if the borrowing institution and the lender wish to benefit from the protection, the conditions specified in section 134(2) of the Act must be satisfied.

 

            3. These Regulations specify the information that a borrowing institution must publish about an object as a condition for its immunity and the information about the object that must be provided by the institution to certain persons.

 

            4. The Regulations provide that information concerning the identification and provenance of the object must be published at least four weeks before the day on which the object is brought into the country, and thereafter made available to the public for a further period of twelve weeks or until the closure of the exhibition, whichever is the longer period.

 

            5. The publication of information about an object that benefits from the immunity will enable anyone to raise questions about the object’s past history and ownership. This is an important facility for anyone trying to trace objects which once belonged to them or to a member of their family and which may have been stolen, looted, otherwise unlawfully taken or spoliated in the broader sense of that term.

 

            6. The information that the borrowing institution is required to publish has been defined, following public consultation, so as to strike a balance between providing sufficiently detailed information to enable a potential claimant to identify an object and not imposing an unreasonable burden on borrowing institutions and lenders.

 

            7. The legislation was introduced to enhance cultural life in the UK by assuring foreign lenders that a cultural object lent for an exhibition would be returned at the end of the exhibition. This removes a significant and growing obstacle to UK museums’ access to foreign cultural objects for exhibition in the UK - and thus enhances the UK public’s access to such objects.

 

Rationale for Government Intervention

            8. It is optional for museums whether they wish to apply for approved status under the Act, or whether they wish to seek immunity in relation to particular objects for exhibition. However, where an object is to be protected, the Government concluded that it is necessary to ensure that the public and, in particular individuals who may have claim to a cultural object intended for exhibition, should have access to information about the object.

 

Options

            9. DCMS undertook a public consultation on the content of the Regulations towards the end of 2007 and the comments received on various policy options have been taken into account in framing the final version of the Regulations.

 

Costs and benefits

            10. As mentioned above, it is optional for museums whether they wish to apply for approved status under the Act. There will be no costs to the public resulting from the Regulations.

 

            11. The additional work that the Regulations will impose on museums is the publishing of detailed information about objects on the museum's website, where they choose to seek immunity for those objects. The cost of transforming the data into the required format for the Regulations and publishing it on the museum's website is minimal and we have not attempted to calculate this. In accordance with Departmental policy, museums are obliged to seek the information required by the Regulations in any event. Hence, the requirement to publish it on a website is the only substantive change to the burden on museums in this area.

 

            12. The publication of information will enable anyone with an interest to raise questions about objects that may have been wrongfully taken. The website of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council will provide a central link to all the museum websites where protected objects are to be exhibited. This will provide one point of access for those interested in searching the information. Approved museums will need to make the information available in other formats where required to do so under the Disability Discrimination Act. Institutions in Wales will have to make the information available in Welsh in some circumstances.

 

Small firms impact test

            13. The Regulations will have no impact on small firms.

 

Competition assessment

            14. The Regulations will not affect competition in the museums sector as they affect all museums in the same way. We have not addressed the 'competition filter test' as it refers to firms and we are not dealing with these.

 

Enforcement and Sanctions

            15. Under Section 136(3) of the Act, the Secretary of State may withdraw approval from an institution if it appears to him that it has failed to comply with a requirement of the Regulations under Section 134(9) on the advance publication of information about the objects to be borrowed. Additionally, if information is not published by a museum as required when objects enter the UK, the conditions for immunity are not satisfied and the immunity will not be available.

 

Implementation and delivery plan

            16. The Regulations are to be laid before Parliament.

 

Post implementation review

17. Approved museums will be subject to a process whereby their compliance with the Regulations will be monitored and a programme of spot checks will be put in place. An annual report to the Secretary of State on museums' compliance will also be produced. The Government proposes to evaluate the effectiveness of the Regulations 12 months after they come into force.

 

 

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