3 February 2016
The Australian Government has released the final report of the independent review of the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986.
The review, conducted by Mr Shane Simpson AM, Borders of Culture: Review of the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 was provided to the Government on 30 September 2015.
The Act, which has not been substantially amended since its enactment more than 25 years ago, regulates the export of objects that are significant to our history.
It also plays an important role in protecting Australia’s cultural heritage by assisting collecting institutions to acquire significant cultural material and provides for the return of foreign cultural property which has been illegally exported from its country of origin.
The Government recognises that there is a clear need for reform in this area and the principles identified by Mr Simpson provide a sound basis for developing a comprehensive simplified model.
It is timely to modernise this legislation to ensure Australia can respond appropriately to the developments in the cultural heritage sector, both in relation to Australian and foreign cultural material, and to strengthen the legal framework to prevent illicit trade internationally.
For more information about the review of the Act or to read the final report, Borders of Culture: Review of the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 visit the Ministry for the Arts website http://arts.gov.au/movable