Moving the cultural heritage

Cultural heritage must not and should not be considered as any other object and therefore the precautions for its safety will be far superior.

What does the law, and what precautions should be taken into account when cultural property is moved from its original site and in particular in cases of loans for exhibitions or events of high cultural interest?

It must first consider that cultural heritage, in Italy, to a broader framework than just the Cultural Heritage Code, therefore it is necessary to frame them in the large Italian legislation, not forgetting its history within of the law and how it is organized today the supreme organ used for their protection, that is, the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Tourism, now simply called Mibact.

The loan of cultural heritage is n a confined space within the Cultural Heritage Code, with a few items directly related to it, then it is only right also to analyze other points on the same code directly or indirectly connected to the root node, although it is equally true that is broad consensus that the Italian law is adequate and quite restrictive from the point of view of protection and leave ample room for manoeuvre to the industry, not forcing them to excessive red tape and pedantic.

There are also European and international standards in this regard, which is not further restrict the activities of those who work daily with the cultural heritage, but they offer means of protection in case of crimes, such as the permanent transfer of a work of art from the own country of residence without the necessary authorizations, supporting the judicial authorities in case of an inquiry.


In order to better understand the strengths and weaknesses it is always necessary to go beyond what is obviously close to us, so it would be an illustrative comparison between reality and completely different cultural norms such as Peru and Britain. These two states chosen because they not only have obvious major differences, but mainly because they have two different visions of the protection of their cultural heritage. Moreover Peru, a developing country, which is showing great attention to cultural heritage, as well as having a typical continental law system or common law, is discovering its treasures still buried, thanks to the collaboration with Italy (for eg. through the campaigns of excavations by Italian archaeologists) and finally the protection of these discoveries seem to go hand in hand with the spread of this knowledge through art exhibition and cultural events, such as the exhibition “Inca. Origins and mysteries of the golden civilization”, Italy, Brescia, Santa Giulia Museum, December 4, 2009 to 27 June 2010.

Britain, always holds a great cultural heritage and jealous of this, arouses our attention to the fact that nothing has been able legislation to fully protect these resources, but all that concerns the protection of cultural heritage is entrusted to associations and organizations recognized at the state level, but that does not have the same structure, and perhaps the same protective power of those Italian.

Moreover, the Anglo-Saxon loan cards are the most complete, which claim, and rightly so, every detail is the organizer for both the use made of it the work required. These nodes are the fundamental key parts that have large joints and possible complications both for the provider and for the recipient.

The world of the art loan, that for us, simple users of the single art exhibition seems obvious, almost banal, but, as they say industry insiders, has a extraordinarily back office complicated work, where a myriad of experiences and expertise from around the world are intertwined and interact, sometimes clashing, but where they always find a wide field in which to confront.

Giandomenico Padovan

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