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In 2014 the Ministry of Culture outlined draft Guidelines of Strategic Development of Museums for the years 2014 – 2020.

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Lithuania/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.3 Cultural heritage

Since the restoration of independence in 1990, cultural heritage and its protection has been regarded as the most important priority of cultural policy in the programmes of all levels of government. The primary concern has been the development of a legal basis for the protection of monuments. During the 1990s and 2000s, a number of laws and other legal acts were adopted which regulate a vast number of cultural heritage sectors and institutions (see chapter 5.2).

Protection of the national cultural heritage is guarateed in the Constitution of the Respublic of Lithuania (articles 42, 47, 54). The objects of immovable cultural heritage are protected under the Law on Protection of Immovable Cultural Heritage (2005), the Law on Protected Territories (2001), and the Law on Planning of Territories(2004). The objects of movable cultural heritage are protected by the Law on the Protection of Movable Cultural Properties (2010).The Seimas, the government and the Ministry of Culture are the responsible institutions for the formation national policy for the protection of cultural heritage. Thestate's administration of immovable heritage protection falls under the remit of the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture.

By the Order of the minister of Culture on the Guidelines for National Protection of Cultural Heritage (2012) the priorities of planning of protection of cultural heritage and directions of its implementation were defined. The Council of Cultural Heritage functions at the Ministry of Culture as an advisory body for the minister in cultural heritage policy matters.

The Law on the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage (2004) was amended in order to harmonise its commitments under the UNIDROIT Convention. The Law on the Protection of Immovable Culture Heritage (2004) includes several important changes in the administration of national heritage and requires more cooperation among government institutions. The Minister of Culture, responsible for the heritage sector, is to delegate more heritage protection functions to local authorities. The content of the law corresponds to regulations and other legal acts of the EU.

Operations and procedures: Regulation on State's indemnity for temporally imported cultural goods to Lithuania (2003). The Regulation defines the state's commitment to compensate for the costs of damages, loss, theft and other accidents concerned with temporary imported cultural goods on Lithuanian territory (art works, archives, movable heritage, etc).

Museums: the Law on Museums (1995, new version in 2003) defines the system of museums, their classification, stocktaking and other activities. The Museums Council was established in 2003 in accordance with the new law and acts as an advisory board to the Ministry on all issues related to museums. In 2007 the government adopted the "Museums Modernisation Programme" for the year 2007-2015, which foresees investments in museum modernisation, new technologies, restoration and digitalisation of collections, etc. However in 2014 the Programme was considered to be inadequate and the Ministry of Culture framed the draft Guidelines of Strategic Development of Museums for the year 2014 – 2020. The document underlines the main functions and methods for museums innovative management, new forms of communication with visitors and improvement of educational programes, guidelines for consistent training of museums specialists, etc. However, the Guidelines were drafted without any financing basis for its implementation, therefore still remain under consideration.

Chapter published: 11-12-2014

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