Proclamation n° 36/1989
A proclamation to provide for the study and protection of antiquities
31st August 1989
WHEREAS antiquities constitute the imprints of a people’s age old way of life, labor and creativity;
WHEREAS antiquities constitute a unique source of information for the purpose of research regarding the origin and evolution of man and other forms of life and thereby for the better understanding of nature;
WHEREAS antiquities make a major and a universal contribution to the development of science, ideology, ethics, fine arts and generally regarding the whole garmut of human knowledge;
WHEREAS Ethiopia has, through the course of its long history, acquired numerous antiquities including those which have been entered in the World Cultural Heritage List;
WHEREAS antiquities play a major role in imbuing the working people with a spirit of national pride and love for the Motherland commensurate with the span of their history and the profundity of their culture, and for this reason, the protection and preservation of antiquities has been made the responsibility of the state and society by the Constitution;
WHEREAS it has become necessary to devise ways and means for the full protection and preservation of antiquities and to ensure that the research of antiquities, at all stages, is carried out in consonance with the national interest and the rights of the people;
NOW THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 63 (1) (a) of the Constitution, it is hereby proclaimed as follows;
1. Short Title
This Proclamation may be cited as the “Study and Protection of Antiquities Proclamation No. 36/1989”
In this Proclamation unless the context otherwise requires;
1) “Minister” and “Ministry” means the Minister and Ministry of Culture and Sports respectively:
2) “Antiquity” means any:
a) human, faunal or floral remains;
b) buildings, memorial places or monuments;
c) remains of ancient towns, ancient burial places, cave paintings, parchment manuscripts, stone inscriptions, sculptures, painting and statues made of gold, silver, bronze or iron or alloys of these, or of wood, stone, skin, ivory, horn, bone or earth;
d) written and graphic documents or cinematography and photographic documents or sound and video recordings;
e) gold, silver, bronze or copper coins;
f) church, monastery, mosque or any place of worship;
g) ethnographic implements, ornaments or any other cultural object;
h) structures or objects which are the products of labor or the creations of man;
having major artistic, scientific, cultural or historical value with regard to the pre-history and history of Ethiopia;
3) ”person” means any physical or juridical person.
PART TWO - MANAGEMENT OF ANTIQUITIES
3. Ownership of Antiquities
1) Antiquities may be owned by the State or by any person.
2) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-article 1 of this Article, antiquities discovered in accordance with the provisions of Part Three hereof may only he held in ownership by the State.
4. Registration of Antiquities
1) The Ministry shall register antiquities using codes appropriate for their custody and preservation.
2) Any person who holds antiquities in ownership shall get same registered in accordance with directives issued by the Minister.
3) A certificate of registration shall be issued to the person evidencing registration of the antiquity.
4) Expenses incurred in connection with the registration of an antiquity pursuant to this Article shall be borne by the Ministry.
5. Duties of Owners of Antiquities
Any person who owns an antiquity shall have the following duties:
1) to property preserve, repair and restore the antiquity;
2) to allow, upon request by the Ministry, the use of antiquity for exhibition or other public shows; and
3) to observe the provisions of this Proclamation and regulations and directives issued for the implementation of this Proclamation regarding the handing and use of the antiquity.
6. Preservation of Antiquities Situated on Land Given in Usufruct
A person shall ensure the preservation of antiquities situated on land which has been given to him in usufruct.
7. Repair and Restoration of Antiquities
1) The repair and restoration of antiquities may only be carried out with the approval, and in accordance with the directives, of the Ministry.
2) The cost of the repair and restoration shall be borne by the owner of the antiquity; provided however, that in cases where the expenses required for the repair and restoration are beyond the means of the owner, the government may be grant the necessary assistance to cover part of such expenses.
8. Removal of the Antiquities
The prior, written approval of the Ministry shall be required to remove an antiquity from its original site.
9. The Use of Antiquities
1) Antiquities shall be used for the purpose of promoting the development of science, education, culture and fine arts.
2) The use of antiquities for economic and other purposes may only be allowed if such use is not detrimental to their preservation and does not impair their historical, scientific, cultural and artistic value.
3) The use of antiquities pursuant to this Article shall be in accordance with directives issued by the Minister.
10. Transfers of Ownership of Antiquities
1) Any person who desires to transfer the ownership of any antiquity through sale, donation or otherwise, other than through succession, shall submit a written notification to, and obtain the approval of, the Ministry prior to such transfer.
2) Any person who acquires an antiquity by succession shall notify the Ministry of same.
3) The Ministry shall enjoy a right of preemption over the sale of antiquities.
11. Trading in Antiquities
No person may engage in the purchase and sale of antiquities for commercial purposes.
12. Nationalization of Antiquities
1) Any antiquity:
a) which is not properly protected, repaired and restored, or which is exposed to spoilage, contrary to the provisions of this Proclamation and regulations and directives issued for the implementation of this Proclamation, or which is exposed to damage or spoilage due to its use contrary to the manner prescribed in Article 9(3) thereof; or
b) whose custody in a museum has been deemed to is necessary, may, where the Council of State so decides, be nationalized upon payment of appropriate compensation.
2) The provisions of sub-article of this Article shall not apply to antiquities which are being used for religious purposes.
No person may, unless he has a written permit from the Ministry, record antiquities on film or cost or reproduce them in any manner for commercial purposes.
14. Removing Antiquities Outside the Country
1) No antiquity may be taken out of Ethiopia without the approval of the Council of Ministers.
2) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-article 1 of this Article, an antiquity may be temporarily taken out of Ethiopia for scientific study, cultural exchange or exhibition upon the approval of the Minister.
15. Foreign Antiquities Brought into Ethiopia
Foreign antiquities which are temporarily brought into Ethiopia for the purpose of cultural exchange shall be accorded government protection as necessary.
PART THREE - EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY OF ANTIQUITIES
16. Requirement of Permit
1) No person may conduct exploration of antiquities without obtaining prior written permit from the Ministry.
2) The Ministry shall, before granting the permit ensure that the applicant is professionally competent and has adequate financial resources to carry out the exploration work.
17. Particulars of the Permit
The particulars of the permit shall include:
1) the full name, nationality and address of the permit holder;
2) site of the exploration; and
3) duration of the exploration.
18. Duration of Validity of the Permit
1) Antiquities exploration permit may be granted for a period not exceeding five years.
2) The Minister may renew the permit for a period of not more than five year where the period of its validity expires before the exploration work is completed.
19. Fees for the Issuance and Renewal of Permit
Fees for the issuance and renewal of permit shall be determined by regulations issued for the implementation of this Proclamation.
20. Duties of Permit Holder
Every permit holder shall have the following duties:
1) submit periodically, to the Ministry, progress reports on the exploration work;
2) keep a special register with complete description of each discovery;
3) properly preserve every discovery and hand over same to the Ministry;
4) keep every discovery in secret in accordance with the terms of the agreement he concludes with the Ministry;
5) restore the site, as far as possible, to its original state at the completion of the exploration work;
6) ensure the participation and training of Ethiopians in the exploration and research of antiquities; and
7) fulfil such other duties as are required by the profession.
21. Suspension and Revocation of Permit
1) In the event a permit holder commits irregularities the Ministry may suspend the permit until such time that the permit holder rectifies such irregularities.
2) The Ministry may revoke the permit where the holder fails to comply with the requirements of this Proclamation and regulations and directives issued for the implementation of this Proclamation or where public interest so requires.
1) The Ministry shall assign an official to represent it in matters relating to the exploration project.
2) The official assigned pursuant to sub-article 1 of this Article shall supervise the proper carrying out of the exploration work in accordance with the provisions of this Proclamation and regulations and directives issued for the implementation of this Proclamation.
3) The permit holder shall give to the official assigned under sub-article 1 of this Article access to the exploration site and cooperate with him in his supervision of the exploration work and shall, unless otherwise provided in an agreement entered into with the Ministry, hear expenses necessary for the official’s travel to and from, and his stay at, the site of exploration for the purpose of carrying out the supervision.
23. Publication of Report and Results of Studies
1) The permit holder shall have the exclusive right to publish the exploration reports and the results of his studies for a period of five years following the completion of the field work, provided, however, that he shall give notice to the Ministry prior to the publication of same.
2) The permit holder shall provide the Ministry, free of charge, with five copies of each such publication.
3) In case of failure by the permit of holder to publish the reports and results of his studies within the period specified under sub-article 1 of this Article, the Ministry may itself publish them fully or partly or authorize their full or partial publication by another person.
24. Ownership Over Results of Studies
Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 23(3) hereof, the ownership right of the permit holder over documents bearing the results of his studies shall be protected in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Civil Code.
25. Fortuitous Discovery of Antiquities
1) Any person who discovers an antiquity in the course of an excavation connected with mining explorations, building works, road construction or other fortuitous event, shall forthwith report same to the Ministry and shall protect and keep intact the antiquity until the Ministry takes charge of it.
2) The Ministry shall, upon receipt of a report submitted pursuant to sub-article 1 hereof, take all appropriate measures to examine, take delivery of, and register the antiquity so discovered.
3) Where the Ministry fails to take, within a reasonable period of time, appropriate measures in accordance with sub-article 2 of this Article, the person who has discovered the antiquity may be released from his responsibility for protecting the antiquity by submitting a written notification, with a full description of the situation, to the local government official.
4) The Ministry shall ensure that the appropriate reward is granted to a person who has handed over an antiquity discovered fortuitously in accordance with sub-article 1 of this Article. And such person shall be entitled to reimbursement, by the ministry, of expenses, if any, incurred in the course of discharging his duties under this Article.
PART FOUR - MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
26. Reserved Areas
1) The Council of Ministers may, upon the recommendation of the Minister, declare an area as a reserved area and publish same in the Negarit Gazeta, where an assemblage of antiquities is situated or where such area is deemed to be an archeological site.
2) Unless otherwise specifically decided by the Council of Ministers, no person may, without a permit issued by the Ministry, carry out building or road construction, excavations or any type or any operation that may cause ground disturbance in an area declared reserved pursuant to sub-article 1 of this Article.
27. Classification of Antiquities
The Ministry may classify antiquities in grades.
28. Repatriation of Antiquities
The Ministry shall, in cooperation with the appropriate organs, take all necessary measures for the repatriation of Ethiopian antiquities held in other countries.
1) An inspector duly authorized by the Minister may, in accordance with directives issued by the Minister, enter, at reasonable hours, any place where there is any antiquity and conduct inspection to ensure that the antiquity is properly maintained and protected.
2) The owner of an antiquity shall have the duty to allow any inspector of the Ministry carrying proper identification to enter any place where the antiquity is found and to inspect same in accordance with subarticle 1 of this Article.
30. Duty to Cooperate
Every person shall have the duty to cooperate in matters relating to the implementation of this Proclamation and regulations and directives issued for the implementation of this Proclamation.
a) violates the provisions of Articles 4(2), 5,6,10(1),10(2),25(1) or 29(2) of this Proclamation shall be unishable with imprisonment not exceeding six months or with fine not exceeding Birr 600 or with both;
b) violates the provisions of Articles 7(1),8,9(3),11,13 or 20 of this Proclamation shall be punishable with imprisonment not exceeding one year or with fine not exceeding Birr 1200 or with both;
c) violates Article 19(1) or 26(2) of this Proclamation shall be punishable with imprisonment not exceeding three years or with fine not exceeding Birr 4000 or with both.
2) Whosoever takes out of the country any antiquity in contravention of Article 14 of this Proclamation shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years.
a) commits theft on antiquities shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years.
b) Destroys or damages antiquities shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding twenty years.
The Antiquities Proclamation No.229/1966 is hereby repealed.
33. Effective Date
This Proclamation shall enter into force on the date of its publication in the Negarit Gazeta.
Done at Addis Ababa, this 31st day of August 1989.
PRESIDENT OF THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA