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Sweden/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.3 Cultural heritage

The Heritage Commemoration Act (Kulturminneslagen, Swedish Code of Statutes 1988:950) contains regulations on ancient monuments, historic buildings, religious monuments and export and restoration of cultural objects etc. The Act stipulates that everyone in Sweden share responsibility for the cultural environment. Authorities, and individuals alike, shall show consideration and respect for the cultural environment.

The following government agencies and institutions have a special role in safeguarding the cultural environment:

  • the National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet) is the central administrative authority. At the national level, the Board has overall responsibility for disseminating knowledge about the cultural environment and for information campaigns and contact with the public;
  • the County Administrative Boards (Länstyrelserna) have responsibility for the cultural environment at the regional level. This means that they decide on matters related to the National Heritage Act and are responsible for ensuring that protection of the cultural environment is taken into account in regional planning and development. The county administrative boards also allocate state funds for the restoration of historic buildings, ancient monuments and historic landscapes;
  • the regional museums are responsible (together with the County Administrative Boards) for major regional efforts to protect heritage resources. Their task includes collecting and disseminating knowledge about the cultural heritage of the country. The regional museums are often involved in the care or restoration of buildings, ancient monuments and historic landscapes; and
  • at the local level, local government is responsible for the protection and development of the cultural heritage. This role is exercised, inter alia, with physical municipal planning and through the application of the Planning and Building Act (1987:10). Several municipalities run municipal museums and / or keep municipal antiquarians.

Chapter published: 16-05-2017

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