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Estonia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.3 Cultural heritage

The Heritage Conservation Act of 2002 distinguishes between different types of historical monuments, which are registered by the National Heritage Board (see also chapter 4.2.2). The use of historical monuments is subject to relatively strict regulations in order to guarantee the preservation of their historical value. If the owner of a monument does not follow the regulations, the state and the local government have the option of expropriating it for a "just" price – a provision that has, however, never been implemented. Local governments are expected to inform the Board of any activities in the locality which may be of relevance, regarding cultural monuments. Local governments have the right to impose restrictions on building activities in historically valuable areas. In comparison with the previous 1994 Act, the present one is more explicit in stating the regulations and restrictions for the uses of historical monuments and more detailed in stating the responsibilities of the related offices and civil servants. The 2008 amendment to the Act refers to the possibility of establishing a preserved zone in areas where several monuments are located.

Chapter published: 13-10-2014

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