What is considered cultural property under the Federal Act on the International Transfer of Cultural Property (CPTA)?

To qualify as cultural property in terms of the CPTA (art. 2 para 1 CPTA), the object must:

  • belong to one of the categories provided for under article 1 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention; and
  • be meaningful property from a religious or secular point of view for archaeology, pre-history, literature, art or sciences.

Decision-making tools

The checklist assists in determining whether or not property is considered cultural property.

Examples of cultural property

Examples of archaeological cultural property in Switzerland (not exhaustive) (PDF, 8 MB, 28.06.2010)The Conference of Swiss cantonal archaeologists has compiled examples of archaeological cultural property in Switzerland.

Examples of cultural property from the cantonal legal practice (not exhaustive) (PDF, 399 kB, 14.11.2013)Multiple cantonal criminal judgments have been pronounced for violations of the CPTA since its entry into force. This legal practice also illustrates possible examples of cultural property.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) publishes so-called red lists of cultural property categories from various countries and regions, which are particularly affected by looting and illicit trade. The goal is to combat looting and illicit trade, to increase public awareness, to support affected circles and to promote international cooperation in maintaining and protecting cultural heritage.

Last modification 03.04.2019

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Specialized Body for the International Transfer of Cultural Property
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