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Denmark/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.3 Cultural heritage


Museums are regulated by the first comprehensive Law on Museums - the Danish Museum Act (Law No 118 of 15 April 1964 om Statstilskud til Kunstmuseer passed by the Parliament on 3 April 1964). The Act establishes the function of museums within each museum category (culture, art and nature), conditions for state recognition, and subsidy arrangements. The Act also includes provisions on archaeological research conducted by museums, Danefæ (official treasure trove) and Danekræ (natural history finds). The law has been amended on several occasions. In 1974 the Law on Cultural Heritage Museums passed by the Parliament on 14 March 1974 (Law No 193 of 29 March 1974 om ændring af lov om statstilskud til kulturhistoriske museer). A Law concerning Compulsory Deliveries of Published Material was passed by the Parliament (Law No 1439 passed by the Parliament on 22 December 2004). Most recently, the law has been complemented by a new departmental order (Law No 1513, 13 December 2006) regarding the objectives and powers of the Danish National Cultural Heritage Agency.


The first Danish Act on Archives was passed by the Parliament on 8 May 1992 (Law No 337 of 14 May 1992). The Act lays down the overarching principles governing public archives and how public bodies are to treat their records. The Public Archives Act requires public bodies to submit their records to the State Archives so that they can be made accessible to the public after a period of thirty years. Municipalities are not obligated to submit their records to the public archives.

The Act has been amended twice, most recently in 2005 (Law No 563 of 24 June om ændring af en række love på kulturområdet (Udmøntning af kommunalreformen på kulturområdet) related to the Local Government Reform which implies more local responsibility to the Municipalities (see chapter 3.2). Most recently, a new Law on Archives regarding extended accessibility (Law No 532) came into force on 6 June 2007.

Chapter published: 10-04-2012

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