Legal and Ethical Guidelines for Research on Archaeological and Heritage Artefacts

A resource for staff and students at MF who work with cultural heritage materials such as ancient, medieval, and modern artefacts from different countries around the world. 

Working with these types of materials sometimes raises legal and ethical issues, and this page can be a resource for beginning to engage with these challenges.

Academic guidelines, codes and policy documents

NESH Guidelines for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences and Humanities/ Forskningsetiske retningslinjer for samfunnsvitenskap, humaniora, juss og teologi (2006, p. 25). The guidelines are currently under revision. See esp. the new (preliminary) § 32

Relevant academic guidelines, codes of conduct and policy documents 

Examples of policy documents at academic presses 

Brill’s publication ethics.  

Examples of policy documents enacted at academic institutions

UCL Cultural Property Policy Guidelines.

Norwegian law, EU regulations and international conventions

Norwegian law:
Lov om kulturminner (1978-06-09 nr 50) 
Forskrift 1. januar 2007 nr 1 om utførsel of innførsel av kulturgjenstander (esp. § 23, 23a, 23b.)
Forskrift 4. oktober 2001 nr 1179 om tilbakelevering av stjålne og ulovlig utførte kulturgjenstander


Other UN organisations: 

Council of Europe:


See, also, European Commission, Illicit Trade in Cultural Goods in Europe, Final Report, 2019

UNESCO list of National Cultural Heritage Laws

Cultural heritage laws for nations world wide can be found by searching the UNESCO List of National Cultural Heritage LawsIn the field One or several countries, type in the name of the country whose laws you wish to see, and apply the filter.

Laws not in the UNESCO list:

MF wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Michael Press, Josephine Munch Rasmussen and Nils Hallvard Korsvoll in the development of this resource.