WOKÓŁ DEFINICJI ZABYTKU ARCHEOLOGICZNEGO
ON THE DEFINITION OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MONUMENT
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The binding statute of 23 July 2003 on the protection and care of historical monuments was the first Polish legal regulation relating to the protection of the national heritage to introduce the concept of the archaeological monument. Its pre-war predecessors and the statute on the protection of cultural property from 1962 consistently used the terms “excavations” or “findings”. The introduced division of monuments into mobile, immobile and archaeological (the latter are also classified as mobile and immobile) constitutes irrefutable proof that the object under protection has become more extensive and concrete. New systemic, economic and legal conditions have become the reason why the scale of threats to archaeological heritage grew rapidly already at the onset of the 1990s. The solutions introduced into the statute, concerning the protection of archaeological monuments, imposedcivic duties whose neglect is now threatened with penalaccountability. From the viewpoint of the almost five years-long existence of the statute on monuments it has become apparent that the application of its regulations can be problematical. Reservations are formulated not only by bodies using this law in their decision-making process but also those involved in combating and preventing crimes committed against monuments (the police force, border guards, customs services). Fundamental doubts are produced by an interpretation of the definition of the historical monument and its classified form, i.e. the archaeological monument. Attention is also drawn to the fact that the range of the definition of the archaeological object has been delineated much too generally, which makes it possible to classify, for instance, an item originating from the early twentieth century as an archaeological monument. Indubitably, the clarity and acuteness of the definition are closely associated with legal consequences pertaining to, e.g. , awarding a person who had discovered an archaeological monument or punishment for damaging or appropriating it. It is high time, therefore, to answer whether the binding definition should be modified, and if so, then to what extent. It seems that this question should be addressed to archaeologists, since in the course of the past decade the range of the interests of contemporary archaeology has changed due to the development of large municipal agglomerations and the construction of roads and highways, always accompanied by archaeological investigations. A discussion on the definition of the archaeological monument is also directly connected with the increasingly universal search for monuments, conducted across the country.
- dr, adiunkt w Katedrze Kryminalistyki Wydziału Prawa, Administracji i Ekonomii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, zastępca dyrektora Muzeum Miejskiego Wrocławia. Autor publikacji z zakresu przestępczości przeciwko zabytkom.
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