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Ukraine: New Rules for Transfer of Cultural Valuables

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 15, 2007, the Verkhovna Rada (legislature) of Ukraine adopted amendments to the Ukrainian Law on Export, Import, and Return of Cultural Valuables, which regulates the transfer of artifacts moved during World War II. According to the new Law, artifacts transferred to Ukraine during World War II are considered partial compensation for damage caused by the German occupation. The newly defined procedure allows the return of imported cultural valuables to foreign states on the basis of a Cabinet of Ministers' resolution and in accordance with an international agreement between Ukraine and a claiming state, which has to be ratified by the Verkhovna Rada. The Law obligates the claiming state to replace the returning artifacts with an analogue similar in its historical, cultural, or monetary equivalent. Identification, examination, storage, restoration, and transportation of the returning artifacts will be provided by the claiming state. One-way transfers of cultural valuables by Ukraine are prohibited. The Law further provides for the creation of a state system to control the transfer of the cultural valuables. Additionally, ten regional offices of the newly established Artifacts Protection Service will decide on issuance of permits for transfers abroad of non-World-War-II-related cultural valuables by individuals; the new offices will substitute for export control at present conducted by art specialists at nine border customs checkpoints. (Rada Regulates Transfer of Cultural Values Moved During WWII, UKRAINIAN NEWS ONLINE, [ISI Emerging Markets database], Oct. 18, 2007.)