Doc. 8334

4 March 1999

Protection of "incidental collections" against dispersal

Recommendation 1375 (1998)

Reply from the Committee of Ministers

adopted at the 660th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (23 February 1999)

      The Committee of Ministers has noted with interest Recommendation 1375 (1998) on the protection of "incidental collections" against dispersal, adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly on 26 May 1998. The Deputies drew the recommendation to the attention of member states' governments at their 634th meeting (3-4 June 1998).

      The Committee of Ministers shares the Assembly's concern about the dispersal of collections of cultural heritage material owned by persons or bodies.

      Recommendation No. R (98) 4 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on measures to promote the integrated conservation of historic complexes composed of immovable and moveable property, adopted by the Ministers' Deputies on 17 March 1998, goes some way to meeting the Parliamentary Assembly's concerns.

      Although this recommendation does not take account of collections as such, it does stress the notion of complexes of moveable heritage, raises the problems which their owners – whether public or private – face in maintaining their unity and recommends that governments establish arrangements for their protection based on appropriate fiscal, financial and administrative measures."

      Therefore, the Committee of Ministers invites its member states to consider how to ensure that no legislation or other administrative arrangement could encourage, or to be used in a way to encourage the dissolution, dispersal or unmotivated dislocation of "incidental collections".