International Art and Heritage Law > Germany


German Cultural Heritage legislation as at July 2010


State party to international instruments

1954 Hague Convention

1954 Hague Protocol

1999 Hague Protocol

11 August 1967

11 August 1967

25 November 2009

1970 Unesco Convention

1995 UNIDROIT Convention

30 November 2007


1972 World Heritage Convention

23 August 1976

2001 Underwater Heritage Convention


2003 Intangible Heritage Convention


2005 Diversity of Cultural Expressions Convention

12 March 2007

State party to regional instruments

European Cultural Convention

17 November 1995

European Convention for the Protection of the  Architectural Heritage

17 August 1987

European Convention on Offences Relating to Cultural Property


European Convention for the Protection of the  Archaeological Heritage (revised)

22 January 2003

European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

16 September 1998

Framework Convention for the Protection of National  Minorities

10 September 1997

European Landscape Convention


European Convention for the Protection of the  Audiovisual Heritage

Signatory only 15 September 2008

Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for  Society



Constitutional provisions

Federal Constitution for the Republic of Germany (Grundgesetz – GG), Article 5.III GG

1990 Unification Treaty, Article 35

Note: Länder constitutions also have provisions covering culture and cultural heritage.


National legislation

Act on the Protection of German Cultural Heritage against Removal Abroad Source: UNESCO

Federal Building Act

Federal Regional Planning Act

Federal Nature Conservation Act in the version promulgated on 06 August 2009 (Federal Law Gazette [Bundesgesetzblatt] I p. 2542)

Federal Act for the Expellees and Refugees (original language)

Law on Art for Public Buildings

Federal Archives Law

Act on the Assessment of Environmental Impacts published on 12 February 1990 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 205), as last amended by an Act of 18 August 1997

Environmental Information Act (Umweltinformationsgesetz, UIG) Act of 8 July 1994, Federal Law Gazette 1994 I p.1490

Act implementing the Convention of 14 May 1954 for the protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict 2007 Source: UNESCO

Act to implement the UNESCO Convention of 14 November 1970 on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, expert and transfer of ownership of cultural property 2007 Source: UNESCO

Regulation on the register of valuable cultural property under the Act in the Return of Cultural Objects 2008 Source: UNESCO


CE Cultural Heritage Compendium


Other useful links

Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM)

Culture Portal (German only)

German Commission for UNESCO

German Committee for Heritage Protection

Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural affairs



Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM)

Office of the Cultural Minister of State


Willy-Brandt-Strasse 1

D - 10557 Berlin

E mail: [email protected]


Page last updated on 01 August 2015