A new draft Heritage Act should be submitted in autumn 2013.
4.2.2 Heritage issues and policies
The support and protection of monuments and cultural heritage in the Czech Republic (CR) has been a primary aim of all cultural policies. This also applies to the National Cultural Policy 2009-2014, although it focuses more on the possibilities of making use of the economic potential of cultural heritage. In Objective 1 – Using the benefits of the arts and cultural heritage and associated creativity to increase competitive strength in other areas and activities, there is an undertaking to implement a system of utilising the potential of non-material monuments in cultural and tourism services with higher added value. The Ministry of Culture (MC) wants to elaborate a methodology and system of support in cooperation with the Ministry for Regional Development and the regions and municipalities. Implementing progressive forms of management and information and communication technologies as well as mechanisms allowing more regular use of services by families, for instance, will be part of the programme too.
Objective 3 of the National Cultural Policy – Providing direct and indirect support to maintain existing cultural values and creating new values – is entirely dedicated to cultural heritage. The objective is intended to be fulfilled through programmes that, for instance, create new provisions that increase the motivation of monument owners to preserve the monuments in their care, create support programmes for the preservation of small cultural landscape monuments, give greater support to the acquisition activities of museums, galleries, libraries and the National Film Archive, accelerate the process of the digitisation of cultural content, or create conditions for the permanent preservation and accessibility of digital documents as important parts of cultural heritage.
In the field of cultural heritage, the key task is the proposal of a new Act on Cultural Heritage that should redefine public interest in the protection of cultural heritage, strengthen the role of cultural monument owners, simplify public administration in the field of cultural heritage and create a fund for motivating owners of cultural heritage. One essential preparatory step was to elaborate a statement of purpose for the Heritage Act that the Government of the Czech Republic adopted in Resolution No. 156 dated 6 March 2013. A bill should be submitted by the end of September 2013.
In July 2011 the government adopted the Concept for Cultural Heritage in the Czech Republic for 2011–2016. The document has two sections: the first describes the current situation, and the second outlines the objectives that heritage conservation in the Czech Republic hopes to achieve. This conceptual document envisions that a new Heritage Act will be drawn up in 2013.
The Ministry is the founder of the National Institute of Cultural Heritage, which provides professional services to all parties in this field, provides documentary evidence for the Cultural Heritage Fund and carries out research in the field of cultural heritage protection. The Institute's main role is the administration and presentation of a chosen group of 103 cultural heritage objects or their collections and sites owned by the state, such as castles, chateaux and national cultural monuments.
In 2011 the Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the National Institute of Cultural Heritage obtained financial resources for the project "Applying the Principle of Smart Administration to the Cultural Heritage Fund in the CR" of the Integrated Operational Programme. The part of the Integrated Operational Programme managed by the MC specialises in the field of cultural heritage. Intervention area 5.1, "National Support for Using the Potential of Cultural Heritage", is intended to increase the potential of cultural heritage and cultural services of the CR and stimulate economic and social growth. The aim of the programme Bringing Monuments Back to Life is to restore and utilise cultural heritage objects or groups listed at UNESCO and on the List of Candidates of national cultural heritage (http://www.kultura-evropa.eu/).
In the field of movable cultural heritage the Ministry is responsible for 18 museums, galleries and monuments plus the National Film Archive. The field of museums and galleries is covered by the Concept of Effective Care of Movable Cultural Heritage in the CR 2009-2014 (The Concept of Museology), which is the second strategic plan in this field, and the Government of the CR acknowledged the document in December 2010. The Concept outlines ten strategic goals and a series of specific tasks, one of which is to improve access to information on cultural heritage through digitisation. The Concept also envisions support for research and development, for which it aims to use museum and gallery collections and to prepare a strategy for the development of museums in nature.
The Ministry operates a unique database on museum-like collections that has slowly become a "virtual exhibition of Czech museology" (http://ces.mkcr.cz). An oral description of more than two and a half thousand objects is complemented by visuals, including photographs of objects, images of depositaries, laboratories etc. Registration in this database is a precondition for applying for some grants from the "Integrated System of Movable Cultural Heritage Protection".
An unprecedented step was taken in the Czech Republic in relation to cultural collections. Due to a legal dispute between the Czech state and Diag Human, the latter's claims led to the seizure of three works of art inside Austria that are the property of the collections of the National Gallery in Prague and the Moravian Gallery in Brno. A similar step was planned in other countries, so with the aim of protecting state culture the MC halted the loan of any cultural goods that are the property of the Czech Republic. This situation has continued into 2013, and given that the restriction affects a large number of collections it has had a paralysing effect on international cooperation in the cultural sphere.
In the field of care of intangible cultural heritage – folk music, theatre, dance, rituals, and traditional craft procedures – the UNESCO Convention on the Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage was ratified in the CR in 2009. In May 2009, this Convention became part of the system of law in the CR, which is the first time that intangible cultural heritage has been supported by law. For the purpose of implementing this Convention a network of information, training, and methodological bodies was set up for the documentation of traditional folk culture and its conservation. At the national level the MC assigned this task to the National Institute of Folk Culture and at the regional level to museums designated by regional authorities. These regional bodies cooperate on fulfilling their tasks with other museums in the region and with national museums with ethnographic units (National Museum, Moravian Provincial Museum, Silesian Provincial Museum, Wallachian Open-Air Museum in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, National Agricultural Museum), and they develop their own networks of volunteers and use the services of local chroniclers and the resource network of the Czech Ethnographic Society.
In January 2011 the Government of the CR approved the second Concept for the Effective Care of Traditional Folk Culture in the CR for 2011-2015. The basic objective is to support the preservation of existing artefacts of traditional folk culture and pass them on to future generations. The objective will be fulfilled using instruments that under the previous Concept adopted by the government in 2003 proved effective and promising. These mainly include economic instruments in the form of grant programmes supporting traditional folk culture, research and development, providing MC arts and study scholarships or awarding MC prizes in the field of traditional folk culture. The Concept's major tasks involve activity in the competence of various other ministries. Alongside measures within the competence of the MC, other measures relate mainly to education and science (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, and the Academy of Sciences of the CR) and working with archives (Ministry of the Interior). http://www.mkcr.cz/assets/kulturni-dedictvi/regionalni-a-narodnostni-kultura/STRATEGY-OF-IMPROVED-CARE-FOR-TRADITIONAL-FOLK-CULTURE-IN-THE-CZECH-REPUBLIC-2011-2015.pdf