This copy of a rare volume in its collections,
digitized on-site under the
LLMC Extern-Scanner Program,
is made available courtesy of the
Los Angeles County Law Library
-. S.- -
LTHE PROTECTION OF
MOVABLE CULTURAL PROPERTY
Collection of legislative texts
LOS ANGELES COULTR-
Collection of legislative texts concerning
the protection of movable cultural property
LOS ANGELES COUNTY
The designations employed and the presentation of material in
this document do not imply the expression of any opinion
whatsoever on the part of Unesco concerning the legal status
of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or
concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries
Since its foundation Unesco has been constantly engaged in an effort to protect
cultural property against the dangers of damage and destruction which threaten
it and, in particular, against dangers resulting from theft, clandestine excavations
and illicit traffic. The work carried out in this field in recent years has shown
that national laws and regulations governing the protection of movable cultural
property are little known abroad. This has prompted Unesco to embark on the
collection and distribution of legislative texts for the information and use of national
services for the protection of the cultural heritage, museum curators, art dealers,
antique dealers, private collectors, customs and police services, and anyone else
required to have a knowledge of the legal status of cultural property, with a view
to fostering international co-operation in the prevention and repression of offences
concerning movable cultural property.
Unesco has already published two volumes of a compendium containing extracts
from the legislation in force in forty-five Member States. These appeared in French
in 1979 and 1981 under the title "La protection du patrimoine culture mobilier
- Recueil de textes legislatifs" and in English in 1984 under the title "The Protection
of Movable Cultural Property Compendium of Legislative Texts".
The publication of legislative texts governing the protection of movable cultural
property is being pursued in the form of a series of booklets, each presenting the
laws and regulations of one country. The booklets will, as far as possible, contain
the full texts of legislation dealing with:
the definition of protected movable cultural property
the system of ownership and use
the extent of protection
inventory, registration, scheduling, declaration
rights and obligations of the owner, the person in
possession or control and the authorities with respect
to protected property
regulation of trade in antiquities
fortuitous discoveries and archaeological excavations
authorities responsible for protection
The legislative texts are preceded by a brief introduction which provides information
on the international conventions concerning the protection of movable cultural
property to which the State concerned is party and gives the list of the texts
reproduced in the booklet. The introduction also contains an index of the main
provisions of national laws and regulations which concern specifically the protection
of movable cultural property arranged under the above headings.
An index of national laws and regulations concerning the protection of movable
cultural property in force in the Member States of Unesco will be issued at a later
H A I T I
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS CONCERNING THE PROTECTION OF MOVABLE CULTURAL
PROPERTY TO WHICH THE STATE IS PARTY
Haiti has not deposited an instrument of ratification,
acceptance or accession in respect of any of the
international conventions in force relating to the
protection of movable cultural property.
NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS SPECIFICALLY CONCERNING THE PROTECTION
OF MOVABLE CULTURAL PROPERTY
Law of 23 April 1940
Decree-Law of 31 October 1941
INDEX OF MAIN PROVISIONS BY SUBJECT-MATTER
Definition of protected
System of ownership
25 of the Law of 1940
3 of the Decree-Law
Articles 20 and 21 of the Law
Article 2 of the Decree-Law
Extent of protection
- Rights and obligations
of the owner, the person
or control and the
- Export regulations
Articles 15 to 17 and 25 of the
Law of 1940
Articles 18 to 21, 23, 24, 26
and 27 of the Law of 1940
Article 22 of the Law of 1940
Article 4 of the Decree-Law
Articles 30 and 31 of the
Law of 1940
Articles 6 and 10 of the Decree-
Law of 1941
Fortuitious discoveries and
Articles 7 to 9 of the Decree-
Law of 1941
Articles 32 to 37 of the Law
Article 11 of the Decree-Law
Article 29 of the Law of 1940
Article 1 of the Decree-Law
Authorities responsible for
of 23 April 19401'
President of the Republic
By virtue of the right vested in him by Article 21 of the Constitution;
Given Article 7 of the Constitution and the Law of 15 August 1904 on com-
pulsory purchase for reasons of public interest;
Given Article 2 of the Law of 26 July 1927 governing the State Property
Given Articles 441, 448, 526 et seq., 552, 573, 576, 1987 and 2044 of the
Civil Code, and Articles 215, 216, 324 to 333 and 382 of Penal Code;
Considering that in order to prevent their deterioration, dispersal to the
detriment of the country and of national education and in order to ensure
the surveillance essential for their conservation, maintenance and secur-
ity, it is essential to define by appropriate regulations the manner of
designating, scheduling and protecting (1) the historic monuments,
ruins and vestiges which are considered by the above-mentioned Article 2
of the Law of 26 July 1927 to be within the public domain; (2) all other
immovables or movable objects, sites and natural monuments located in
Haiti and belonging to bodies corporate, public institutions or insti-
tutions serving the public interest or to individuals, and possessing an
archaeological, historical, artistic or other character of public
interest qualifying them for and making them worthy of protection and
scheduling as historic monuments or even inclusion in the sacred heri-
tage of the Nation on the same basis as those primarily envisaged;
Considering that current requirements for the development of tourism make such
regulation equally urgent;
On the basis of the considered report of the Secretaries of State for the
Interior, Finance, Public Education, Public Works, External Relations,
Ecclesiastical Affairs and Justice;
And following deliberation of the Council of Secretaries of State,
And the Legislature has passed, the following Law:
1/ Unofficial translation prepared by Unesco.
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Article 1 The immovables referred to in Article 2 of the Law of 26 July
1927, whose conservation is of public interest for historical or artistic
reasons, are hereby scheduled as historic monuments.
The following immovables are similarly scheduled: immovables located in
Haiti which belong or will belong to the State, the communes or other bodies
corporate, public institutions or institutions serving the public interest
which constitute or will be found to constitute prehistoric or archaeological
monuments, lands which enclose or will be found to enclose prehistoric sites,
deposits, or hot springs; immovables which constitute or will constitute
natural sites or monuments of an artistic nature; immovables whose scheduling
is or will be called for in order to isolate, disencumber or rehabilitate
immovables which remain or will remain scheduled under the terms of this
Article 2 The immovables referred to in the preceding article shall be
designated by decision of the Council of Secretaries of State on the basis of
the report of the Commission for Historical Monuments concerned.
A list of the aforesaid immovables, thus scheduled shall be published in
the Official Gazette. An extract from this list shall also be prepared for
each item, reproducing whatever is of relevance to it; this extract shall be
registered by the General Revenue Service with the Office for the Registration
of Mortgages regarding the property. No duty shall be payable to the treasury
in respect of such registrations.
When these formalities have been completed, such immovables shall be
registered as property in the public domain in a special register to be
1miintained for this purpose by the General Revenue Service, and those items
which were previously within the private domain of the State or of the com-
-in-es shall be automatically transferred to the public domain and shall be
rpistered as such.
Article 3 The immovables subject to automatic scheduling under the present
Law shall include all buildings or land which exhibit or will exhibit, in the
view of the Corcission for Pistorical '!onuments concerned, the same character-
istics as those designated in Article I of this Law and which belong to
individ'lnals. The same applies to imnnovables, the scheduling of which is or
will 1be considered essential in order to isolate, disencumber or rehabilitate
-n ited- of imrmo'.'able property which is scheduled or which is proposed for
Article 4 Proposals for the scheduling of the buildings or land referred to
in Article 2 above shall be subject to the decision of the Council of Sec-
retaries of State taken on the basis of the report of the Commission for His-
torical Ionun-,ents concerned.
'.hen the proposal has been accepted, the owner shall be notified and the
Proposal shall then have the same effect as scheduling; this effect shall
coantin.e except where no declaration of permanent scheduling is made within
t-ree months following that notification.
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Permanent scheduling shall be announced by Order of the President of
Haiti and an extract of this Order shall be registered, without cost to the
treasury, as stipulated in Article 2 of the present Law.
Article 5 Public and private buildings and parts thereof which do not war-
rant an application for immediate scheduling but possess sufficient archae-
ological, historical or artistic interest for their preservation to be
desirable may, at any time, on the basis of the report of the Commission for
Historical Monuments concerned and on the advice of the Secretary of State for
Public Education, duly authorized by the Council of the Secretaries of State,
be entered in a register maintained for this purpose by the General Revenue
Owners shall be informed of such registration, as a consequence of which
it shall be incumbent upon them to refrain from all alterations to the pro-
perty or part thereof which is registered except where they have given two
months' notice of their intention to the Secretary of State for Public Edu-
cation, indicating the work which they intend to have done.
The aforesaid Secretary of State may only oppose such work by initiating
the scheduling procedure established by the present Law.
Nevertheless, if the aim or effect of the work Is to divide or break up a
registered building or part thereof for the sole purpose of selling all or
part of the materials thus detached, the Secretary of State for Public Fdu-
cation shall have a period of five years in which to undertake scheduling and
may, in the interim, order the suspension of the work concerned.
Article 6 When immovable property belonging to an individual has been
automatically scheduled without his express agreement, this scheduling may
give rise to the payment of compensation corresponding to the loss which may
be suffered by the owner as a result of the application of the servitude of
automatic scheduling, it being the responsibility of the interested party to
prove this loss and to establish precisely the criteria which would enable it
to be assessed in money terms.
Claims must be presented to the Council of Secretaries of State within
three months of the publication in the Moniteur of the scheduling order.
When such a claim is brought before the Council of Secretaries of State,
the Council shall determine the compensation to which the owner concerned is
entitled if scheduling actually results in a loss and, in the event of any
related challenge by the owner, the scheduled property shall be subject to
compulsory purchase in the name of the State on the basis of the report of the
Commission for Historical Monuments concerned, approved by the Secretary of
State for Public Education.
In this particular instance, the procedure laid down by the Law of
15 August 1904 shall not be applicable. A law or a decree-law initiated by the
Executive shall give force to the compulsory purchase, determine the compen-
sation to be awarded to the owner and order the expropriated property to be
incorporated in the public domain in accordance with the procedure laid down
in the final paragraph of Article 2 of the present Law.
Article 7 The immovables referred to in Article 5 above ray, before they are
scheduled, be subject to compulsory purchase as provided for in Article 6 of
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the present Law. The full effect of scheduling shall automatically apply to
the property concerned from the day on which the State notifies the owner of
unscheduled property of its intention to subject it to compulsory purchase. It
shall cease to apply if the law or decree-law sanctioning the aforesaid com-
pulosry purchase is not promulgated within three months of the notification.
Property subject to compulsory purchase shall automatically be scheduled
as an historic monument and an extract of the law or decree-law of compul-
sory purchase shall be registered in accordance with the provision in Article
2 of the present Law.
Article 8 The scheduled property may not be destroyed or displaced, even in
part, or subject to any restoration, repair or modification without the con-
sent of the Council of Secretaries of State.
Work authorized by the Council of Secretaries of State shall be carried
out in the style and, as far as possible, with the materials used during the
period in which the property was built, under the supervision of an architect
specializing in this type of work, designated by the General Directorate of
The Council of Secretaries of State may also authorize the execution, by
the same architect and at the expense of the State, with a possible contri-
bution from the interested parties, of repair or maintenance work considered
essential for the preservation of scheduled monuments which do not belong to
Should the interested parties declare that they are unable to make such a
contribution, the property shall be subject to compulsory purchase by means of
i law or decree-law, in accordance with Article 6 of the present law.
Article 9 To ensure the execution of urgent consolidation work in scheduled
properties, the Secretary of State for Public Fducation, duly authorized by
t'e Council of Secretaries of State, may, if an amicable agreement is not
reached with the owners, authorize the temporary occupation of the property or
An announcement shall be published in the Official Gazette stating that
an order is being issued for this occupation, the duration of which may in no
'-ase exceed six months, and that the occupation gives no grounds for further
State compensation other than the provision of accommodation during that
period for an- owner clearly unable to pay rent.
Article 10 No property which has been scheduled or proposed for scheduled
status shall be subject to compulsory purchase in the public interest except
in Ithe manner and for the reasons laid down in Article 6 of the present law.
Article 11 No new structure shall be built against a property which has been
scheduled or proposed for scheduled status without the authorization of the
Council of Secretaries of State.
No one ray acquire prescriptive rights in relation to a scheduled
Legal servitudes which ray result in the deterioration of monuments are
.not applicable to scheduled property.
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No servitude may be established by agreement in relation to a scheduled
property except with the assent of the Council of Secretaries of State.
Article 12 The effect of scheduling as defined by the provisions of the pre-
sent law shall continue to apply to the property, irrespective of its sub-
Article 13 No transfer of ownership of scheduled property or even of pro-
perty proposed for scheduled status or of registered property may be made,
under pain of being declared void, except by notarial deed. Its owner shall
also provide prior notice to the Secretaries of State for Finance and for
Public Education. The State shall then, as of right, have a period of six
months from the date of this notification in which to acquire the property by
mutual agreement or, in the absence of agreement, to make a compulsory pur-
chase if it considers this to be appropriate. After this period, the property
concerned may be transferred by its owner.
Article 14 Complete or partial descheduling of a property is effected by
order of the President of Haiti on the basis of the considered report of the
Commission for Historical Monuments concerned, with the prior approval of the
Secretary of State for Public Education.
Reference to the descheduling order shall be made in the margin of the
registration of the scheduled property concerned.
Article 15 Movable objects which are movables in the full sense of the term,
or fixtures, belonging to the State, the communes or other bodies corporate,
public institutions or institutions serving the public interest or to indivi-
Tuals, and whose conservation is or will be in the public interest on archae-
ological, historical, artistic or other grounds, may be subject to automatic
scheduling by order of the President of Haiti, on the basis of the considered
report of the Commission for Historical Monuments concerned and that of the
Secretary of State for Public Education.
The effect of scheduling shall continue to apply to fixtures which have
been scheduled and which have again become movables in the full sense of the
Article 16 The scheduled status of movable objects belonging to individuals
shall become permanent if their owners do not appeal against their scheduling
within 60 days from the date of publication of the scheduling order.
In the event of an appeal, the Council of Secretaries of State shall give
a final decision on the merits of such appeal.
Nevertheless, the full effect of scheduling shall apply provisionally and
ipso jure to the movable object concerned from the date of publication of the
Ihen the scheduling has been carried out with the express agreement of
the owner, no objection shall be admissible.
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Article 17 The scheduling order shall contain a detailed description of the
movable objects to which it applies.
A special register shall be maintained by the General Revenue Service in
which extracts from scheduling orders shall be entered.
Article 18 All scheduled movable objects are imprescriptible, irrespective
of their ownership.
Scheduled items belonging to the State, the communes or other bodies
corporate, public institutions or institutions serving the public interest are
non-transferable. No transfer of scheduled objects belonging to individuals is
valid unless effected, under pain of being declared void, by notarial deed and
with the authorization of the Council of Secretaries of State.
Article 19 The effect of scheduling shall continue to apply to the object
irrespective of its subsequent ownership. Any individual transferring a sched-
uled object in his possession is required to inform the purchaser of its
In order to be valid, any transfer of ownership must also be communicated
to the Council of Secretaries of State within two weeks from the date on which
the transfer takes place.
Article 20 Any transfer of a scheduled object effected in violation of the
provisions of this law shall be invalid and shall lead automatically to the
transfer of sole ownership of the object concerned to the State. Consequently,
only the State shall be empowered to bring any appropriate action for avoid-
ance of contract, for recovery of property or for damages against the con-
tracting parties who shall be jointly and severally responsible.
When an unlawful transfer has been authorized by a body corporate or an
institution officially recognized as serving the public interest, such action
for damages shall be brought on behalf of and for the benefit of the State
against the representatives responsible or any other person having authorized
The purchaser or subpurchaser shall always be presumed in this case to
have acted in bad faith and shall have no right to reimbursement of the pur-
Article 21 Any theft or loss of a scheduled movable object shall be
reported, within 24 hours of the theft or loss, by the individual to whose
care it was entrusted, to the Secretaries of State for the Interior, Finance
and Public Education, failing which that person shall be liable for all
Furthermore, when the aforesaid object has been recovered, it shall
become the property of the State irrespective of the good or bad faith of its
owner, except where he has been relieved of responsibility for its care in
accordance with Article 27 of the present law.
Nevertheless, the owner of a scheduled object who has been relieved of
responsibility for its care in accordance with Article 27 of the present law
and who has been convicted of having removed it or caused it to be removed
from the place in which it was deposited, shall forfeit ownership, which shall
automatically revert to the State.
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Scheduled objects which have been stolen or lost through the negligence
or with the complicity of their owners or their agents, may be claimed only by
the State which shall automatically acquire ownership, and the present holder
of the aforesaid object may in no case raise an objection on the basis of the
provisions of Article 2044 of the Civil Code.
Nevertheless, in cases where scheduled objects have been stolen or lost
and where their owners were no longer responsible for their care in accordance
with Article 27 below, the State may only bring an action for their recovery
on behalf of the owner.
Article 22 The exportation of scheduled objects is prohibited.
Article 23 Scheduled objects may not be altered, repaired or restored with-
out the express authorization of the Council of Secretaries of State, or with-
out the supervision or control of the agent designated by the Council for that
Article 24 Scheduled movable objects shall be collected and inspected at
least once a year by the General Revenue Service. The owners or holders of
such objects are also required, when so requested, to produce them to agents
of the General Revenue Service.
Article 25 Movable objects shall be descheduled by order of the President of
the Republic on the basis of the report of the Commission for Historical Monu-
ments concerned and of the Secretary of State for Public Education.
Reference shall be made to this in the margin of the registration pre-
scribed by Article 17 of the present law.
The safeguarding and conservation of
scheduled immovables, movable objects and
all historic monuments
Article 26 The different services of the State, the communes, public insti-
tutions and institutions serving the public interest are required to ensure
the safeguarding and conservation of immovables, movable objects and other
scheduled historic monuments of which they are the owners, allottees or
trustees and to take the necessary measures to this end.
The expenditure which these measures entail is binding on them with the
exception of costs for the construction or reconstruction of premises.
On account of the expense incurred by the execution of these measures,
the owners, allottees or trustees may be authorized by decision of the Com-
mission for Historical Monuments concerned, duly approved by the Council of
Secretaries of State, to introduce an entrance charge, the amount of which
shall be laid down by the aforesaid decision and which shall be collected by
the General Revenue Service. The income resulting from this charge shall be
collected as non-fiscal revenue and expended by order of the Secretaries of
State for Finance and Public Education.
- 8 -
Article 27 When the Council of Secretaries of State considers that the
conservation or safety of a scheduled object belonging to a commune, public
institution or institution serving the public interest, or to an individual,
is threatened and when the community or individual in the position of allottee
or trustee is unwilling or unable immediately to take the measures considered
necessary by the authorities to remedy the state of affairs, an order of the
President of Haiti based on the recommendation of the Commission for Histori-
cal Monuments concerned and the Secretary of State for Public Education may
require the appropriate conservation measures to be carried out without delay
at government expense and also, where need has been duly demonstrated, the
provisional transfer of the object to a cathedral treasure house if it is
assigned for religious worship or, if not, to a museum or other national or
communal public place providing the required guarantees of security and, as
far as possible, located in the neighbourhood of its original site. This
measure may, if necessary, be revoked following the same form as that employed
when it was ordered, and the community or individual in the position of owner,
allottee or trustee may at any time secure the return of the object to its
original site by proving that the required conditions have now been met.
Article 28 The keepers or curators of scheduled immovables or objects shall
be appointed by the President of Haiti on the recommendation of the Commission
for Historical Monuments concerned, approved by the Secretary of State for
Public Education. Before taking up their duties, keepers or curators shall
swear before the senior officer of the civil court within whose jurisdiction
their residence is located to carry out effectively and loyally the duties
imposed on them by the present law.
Article 29 A special commission entitled the 'Commission for Historical
Monuments' shall be established in the chief town of each department. In
addition to the duties explicitly assigned to it in Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
14, 15, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30 and 41 of the present law, its task shall be to
propose all such measures as will ensure the safeguard, surveillance, protec-
tion and conservation of the scheduled immovables and movable objects under
the terms of the present law. It shall be composed of the prefect, the com-
munal magistrate, the department engineer and three other citizens selected in
each department by the Secretary of State for Public Education.
Excavations and discoveries
Article 30 When monuments, ruins, inscriptions or objects of possible
archaeological, historical or artistic interest are discovered as a result of
excavations, works or any occurrence on land belonging to the State, the com-
munes, public institutions or institutions serving the public interest, the
communal magistrate responsible for the site on which the discoveries were
made shall see to the temporary conservation of the objects discovered and
immediately inform the prefect for his district of the measures taken. The
prefect shall refer the matter to the Secretary of State for the Interior as
soon as possible and the Council of Secretaries of State shall rule on the
definitive measures to be adopted on the basis of the Secretary of State's
If the discovery is made on the land of an individual, the communal
magistrate concerned shall likewise inform the prefect for his district. The
- 9 -
Secretary of State for the Interior shall submit the matter to the Council of
Secretaries of State on the basis of the report of the prefect. On the basis
of the confirmed opinion of the Commission for Historical Monuments con-
cerned, the scheduling of the objects discovered and their compulsory purchase
in the public interest may be effected following the procedure laid down in
Articles 6 and 15 of the present law.
Article 31 When treasure is discovered, one half shall revert to the State
and the other half to the individual finding it on his own land. If treasure
is found on land belonging to others, one third shall revert to the State, one
third to its finder and the remaining third to the owner of the land.
However, the share attributed by the present article to the State shall
be specially deposited in the public coffers as non-fiscal revenue, one half
being allocated for museum construction and the repair of historical monuments
and the other half being transferred to welfare funds.
Any individual convicted of attempting to remove or of removing, to the
detriment of the State, all or part of the share of a treasure allocated to it
by this provision shall be punished by the penalty applicable to theft in
accordance with the provisions of Articles 324 to 333 of the Penal Code. More-
over, if the guilty party is the owner of the land or the finder, he shall
forfeit his right to the share attributed to him by the present law and his
share shall revert to the State.
Article 32 Any infringement of the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 5
(alteration without prior notification of immovables registered with a view to
scheduling), Article 13 (transfer of scheduled immovables without prior
notification to the Secretaries of State for Finance and Public Education),
paragraph 3 of Article 18 (transfer of a scheduled movable object without
prior authorization of the Council of Secretaries of State), Article 23
(alteration, repair or restoration of a scheduled movable object without the
express authorization of the Council of Secretaries of State and without the
supervision or control of its appointed agent), paragraph 2 of Article 24
(obligation to produce the movable objects scheduled under the present law to
the agent of the Revenue), shall be punished by a fine of 100,000 gourdes.
Article 33 Any infringement of the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 4
(effect of a proposal to schedule immovables), or paragraph 1 of Article 7
(effect of notification of an application for compulsory purchase), para-
graphs 1 and 2 of Article 8 (displacement, restoration and modification of
scheduled immovable property), paragraphs 1 and 4 of Article 11 (new struc-
tures, agreed servitudes), or Article 22 (prohibition of the export of sche-
duled movables) of the present law shall be punished by a fine of 200 to
2,000 gourdes, without prejudice to action against the persons ordering the
work or the measures taken in violation of the aforesaid articles.
Article 34 Anyone who transfers, knowingly acquires or exports a scheduled
movable object in violation of Article 18 or Article 21 of the present law
shall be punished by a fine of 100 to 10,000 gourdes and a period of imprison-
ment of from six days to three months or by one of these two penalties only.
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Article 35 Anyone desecrating, destroying, demolishing, mutilating or
defacing scheduled immovables or movable objects shall be punished by the
penalties laid down in Articles 215 and 216 of the Penal Code without
prejudice to any damages.
Article 36 The infringements envisaged in the four preceding articles shall
be ascertained either by the Secretary of State for Public Education or the
Commission for Historical Monuments concerned. They may also be ascertained by
means of reports prepared routinely by officers of the Criminal Investigation
Department, curators and keepers of scheduled immovables and movable objects,
prefects and communal magistrates; and such reports shall be accepted until
the production of proof to the contrary.
Article 37 Any owner, curator or keeper who, through serious negligence,
allows scheduled immovables or movable objects to be destroyed, demolished,
mutilated, defaced or removed, shall be punished by a period of imprisonment
of from one week to three months and by a fine of 100 to 10,000 gourdes or by
one of these two penalties only.
Article 38 Article 382 of the Penal Code is applicable in the case concerned
in this chapter.
Article 39 When immovable property or a part thereof has been broken up in
violation of the present law, the Secretary of State for Public Education may
institute a search for the structure or the parts removed therefrom, wherever
they may be, and order their return to the original location under the
direction and the supervision of the architect referred to in Article 8, the
cost to be borne by the offenders.
Article 40 The offences dealt with in this chapter shall be judged by the
The proceeds from the fines imposed and damages awarded in accordance
with the articles of the present law shall be collected as non-fiscal revenue
and deposited by order of the Secretaries of State for Finance and for Public
Article 41 The detailed application of the present law shall be defined in a
public service regulation.
This regulation shall be issued after the different commissions for
historical monuments and the national office for tourism have expressed their
These commissions shall also be consulted by the Secretary of State for
Public Education in relation to all the decisions which are necessary in order
to execute the present law.
Article 42 The present law annuls all laws or legal provisions to the
contrary and shall be executed by the Secretaries of State, each in his area
- 11 -
Done at the Palace of the Chamber of Deputies, Port-au-Prince, 17 April
1940, in the 137th year of Independence and the VIth year since Liberation and
(S) C. Polynice, T.J.B. Richard, Lawyer
(S) Edouard Liou
Done at the National Building, Port-au-Prince, 19 April 1940, in the
137th year of Independence and the VIth year since Liberation and Restoration.
Dr H. Lanoue, C.Dessources
IN THE NAME OF REPUBLIC
The President of the Republic orders the seal of the Republic to be
affixed to the above Law which shall be printed, published and executed.
Done at the National Palace, Port-au-Prince, 23 April 1940, in the 137th
year of Independence and the VIth year since Liberation and Restoration.
By the President:
Secretary of State for the Interior,
Secretary of State for Finance and Commerce,
Secretary of State for Public Education, Agriculture
Luc E. Fouche
Secretary of State for External Relations and Public Works,
Secretary of State for Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs,
- 12 -
of 31 October 19411/
President of the Republic
Given Articles 30 and 35 of the Constitution;
Given Article 30 of the Law of 23 April 1940, classifying as historical monu-
ments immovables whose conservation is in the public interest;
Considering that archaeological objects discovered on Haitian territory are
the property of the Nation;
Considering that such objects constitute a precious source for research relat-
ing to Haitian archaeology and ethnology;
That a Bureau of Ethnology should be established in order to collect and con-
serve these objects;
On the basis of the report of the Secretary of State for the Interior;
Following the deliberation of the Council of Secretaries of State;
And with the approval of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly;
Article 1 A Bureau of Ethnology is hereby established whose duties shall be
defined by order of the President of the Republic.
Article 2 All archaeological and ethnographical specimens discovered on
Haitian territory are hereby declared to be the property of the Nation and
their owners, if such there be, shall only be authorized to retain them with
the status of keepers after declaring them to the Bureau of Ethnology.
Article 3 All artefacts of scientific or artistic significance produced by
the pre-Columbian population of the Republic are considered as archaeological
Article 4 No archaeological specimen may be exported without the authoriz-
ation of the Department of the Interior, issued on the basis of a report by
the Bureau of Ethnology.
Article 5 In case of uncertainty as to the origin, nature or value of an
archaeological specimen, the final decision shall rest with a Commission
appointed by the Bureau of Ethnology of the Republic of Haiti with the ap-
proval of the Secretary of State for the Interior.
1/ Unofficial translation prepared by Unesco.
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Article 6 Archaeological objects discovered by individuals shall be declared
to the Bureau of Ethnology of the Republic of Haiti. This Bureau shall
appoint, with the authorization of the Secretary of State for the Interior, a
competent Commission which shall draw up an inventory on behalf of the State
and shall decide whether the aforesaid objects shall be included in the
national collections. The State reserves the right to retain any specimen
which is recognized as being unique or of major scholarly interest.
Article 7 No archaeological excavation may be undertaken without the author-
ization of the Secretary of State for the Interior, who shall grant the
necessary permission on the recommendation of the Bureau of Ethnology of the
Republic of Haiti solely to Haitian or foreign institutions of recognized
scholarly authority and to Haitian or foreign nationals representing scholarly
institutions or associations with a well-established reputation.
Article 8 The State reserves the right to send to the excavation site a
representative, to be nominated by the Bureau of Ethnology of the Republic of
Haiti in consultation with the Secretary of State for the Interior.
Article 9 Any foreign archaeologist with the necessary authorization shall
submit the results of his excavations to the Bureau of Ethnology, which shall
list them and conserve on behalf of the State: 1. unique specimens;
2. specimens representative of series. Other specimens, after sorting, shall
remain at the disposal of the institution or individual responsible for the
Article 10 The Law requires all individuals and institutions to report the
discovery or acquisition of an archaeological specimen to the Bureau of
Ethnology of the Republic of Haiti.
Article 11 Any breach of the provisions of the present decree-law shall be
punished by a period of imprisonment of from six months to one year and by a
fine of from 500 to 1,000 gourdes.
Article 12 This decree-law annuls all laws, decree-laws and provisions in
laws and decree-laws to the contrary, specifically Article 30 of the Law of 23
April 1940, classifying as historical monuments immovables whose conservation
is in the public interest, and shall be executed by the Secretaries of State
for the Interior, Public Education and Finance, in their respective areas of
Cone at the National Palace, Port-au-Prince, 31 October 1941, in the
138th year of Independence,
Fy the President: The Secretary of State for the Interior:
By authorization of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly,
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly:
IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC
The President of the Pepublic orders the seal of the Republic to be
affixed to the above decree-law which shall be printed, published and executed.
Done at the National Palace, Port-au-Prince, 5 November 1941, in the
138th year of Independence.