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Amendments to legislation aimed at preventing unlawful extraction and circulation of archaeological artefacts

July 25, 2013

Vladimir Putin signed the Federal Law On Amending Individual Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation to Prevent Unlawful Archaeological Activities.

The Federal Law is aimed at improving legal regulation to protect the nation’s archaeological heritage, and create legislative prerequisites for preventing the unlawful extraction and unlawful circulation of archaeological artefacts.

In particular, the Federal Law specifies procedures for issuing permits to conduct archaeological field work, determines the types of works and procedures for conducting these works, and the responsibilities of the people carrying out these works.

It also establishes limitations on the circulation of archaeological artefacts privately owned by individuals and legal entities.

The Federal Law increases the criminal and administrative liability for offences committed against cultural assets, including archaeological artefacts, and artefacts of cultural heritage from the peoples of the Russian Federation. Criminal liability is established for unlawfully seeking and extracting archaeological artefacts from their resting places, and failure by archaeological field workers to comply with the requirement of transferring discovered artefacts that have particular cultural value or large cultural assets to the government. In addition, administrative liability is established for the unlawful circulation of archaeological artefacts.

July 25, 2013