Cultural heritage — i.e. archive documents, manuscripts, works of art, old utensils, immaterial heritage, etc. — is a matter falling under the policy field of Culture, which is a competence of the Flemish Community. Immovable heritage is a separate policy field, residing with the Regions (see 1.2.3).
The Cultural Heritage Decree of 24 February 2017 is the most important legal framework for cultural heritage in the Flemish Community, arranging project-based support and grants (see 7.2.1) or multi-year funding for organisations such as museums (also art museums), archives, heritage libraries, or heritage societies (see especially 3.1 and 3.2). The Masterpieces Decree (“Topstukkendecreet”) of 23 January 2003 provides regulation on the protection and trafficking of rare and valuable artistic and cultural assets from Flanders (see also 3.4). Legislation on archive management of public institutions resides with both the Federal level and the level of the Communities and Regions. Belgium has signed a number of international treaties with regard to cultural and immaterial heritage (see 4.2.1).
The Decree on Immovable Heritage of 12 July 2013 (“Onroerenderfgoeddecreet”) provides the legal framework for monuments, landscapes, and archaeological sites in the Flemish Region. With regard to nautical heritage there is the Heritage Fleet Decree of 29 March 2002 (“Varenderfgoedecreet”). Together with international treaties (see 4.2.1), these decrees are the basis for assigning legal statuses to immovable heritage (see 1.3.2 and 3.1). Regulation on immovable heritage in the Brussels-Capital Region is subsumed under the Brussels Code of Spatial Planning of 9 April 2004.