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France/ 5.2 Legislation on culture  

The majority of the legal provisions relative to cultural policies are in the following codes:

  • Cinema and Animated Images Code (Code du cinema et de l'image animée);
  • Architecture Deontological Code (Code de déontologie des architectes);
  • Education Code (Code de l'éducation);
  • General Code of the Territorial Authorities (Code général des collectivités territoriales);
  • Heritage Code (Code du patrimoine);
  • Intellectual Property Code (Code de la propriété intellectuelle);
  • Research Code (Code de la recherche);
  • Social Security Code (Code de la sécurité sociale); and
  • Labour Code (Code du travail).

Many other texts that relate to cultural policies pertain to other codes or legal provisions, as we can see in chapter 5.3.

The law on freedom of creation, architecture and heritage (Loi n° 2016-925 du 7 juillet 2016) modified several of these codes. The 119 articles of this law form an ambitious act on cultural policies, with for instance:

Artistic creation

  • affirmation of the principle of freedom of creation (similar to freedom of expression or freedom of the press) and the principle of free cultural programming
  • relation between artists-performers and producers, creation of a music mediator to regulate disputes
  • transparency of the production and operating accounts of cinema works
  • restructuring and clarification of the remit of the stakeholders of artistic and cultural higher education
  • access to culture and the arts for all, including the disabled
  • new rules to encourage musical diversity in broadcasting
  • creation of an observatory on cultural diversity and artistic creation

Heritage and architecture

  • legislative consecration of the fonds régionaux d’art contemporain (FRAC), cf. chapter 8.1.2
  • creation of a single label “remarkable heritage sites” (site patrimonial remarquable) to replace the three existing labels secteurs sauvegardés, aires de mise en valeur de l'architecture et du patrimoine (AVAP) and zones de protection du patrimoine architectural, urbain et paysager (ZPPAUP)
  • reinforcement of the fight against illicit traffic in cultural goods
  • inclusion of the Unesco World Heritage into the Heritage Code
  • possibility to have limited and controlled derogations to urbanism rules for architectural creation projects and creation of experimentation zones dedicated to architects.

Chapter published: 18-05-2017

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