HH Dr Sheikh Sultan issues a law on cultural heritage in Sharjah

The law states that tangible cultural heritage in the emirate is its public property, whether it is on its lands or its territorial waters

HH Dr Sheikh Sultan issues a law on cultural heritage in Sharjah [representative image]
CW archives / Wam
HH Dr Sheikh Sultan issues a law on cultural heritage in Sharjah [representative image]

Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, has issued Law No. 04 of 2020 on cultural heritage in the emirate, which applies to both tangible and intangible cultural heritage, as well as underwater cultural heritage, and foreign tangible heritage in the emirate.

The law states that tangible cultural heritage in the emirate is its public property, whether it is on its lands or its territorial waters.

This is applicable whether the tangible cultural heritage was discovered as a result of legitimate or illegal excavations, or accidentally excavated – except or the tangible heritage whose ownership proves to it by a legal basis – and the emirate may acquire it in accordance with the provisions of this law and the applicable UAE legislation, according to the state-run news agency, Wam.

In addition, the concerned authority may order the payment of a suitable financial reward for those who discover a tangible heritage and inform the concerned authority about it during the specified period in accordance with the provisions of this law. The relevant authority determines the amount of the reward.

The concerned authority should take the necessary measures to protect cultural heritage sites in coordination with government agencies.

The law includes actions that punish any offender with imprisonment for a period of not less than two years and a fine of no less than $136,000 (AED500,000) and no more than $2.72m (AED10m).

As a result, The Antiquities Law No. 01 of 1992 will be annulled in Sharjah.

The law is in effect from the date of issuance and will be published in the official gazette. The law also requires other competent authorities to implement its provisions each in their respective fields.

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