The Antiquities Act
Chapter 1 Ancient Monuments
Chapter 2 Movable Objects
Chapter 3 Finds of Ships and Vessels
Chapter 4 Special Provisions
17 June 1963/295
Following a ruling of Parliament in accordance with § 67 of the Parliament Act, the following is hereby laid down.
Ancient monuments are protected by law as antiquities pertaining to the past settlement and history of Finland.
Without permission stipulated in this Act, it is forbidden to excavate, cover, alter, damage or remove ancient monuments, or to disturb them in any other way.
Ancient monuments comprise the following:
1) mounds of earth and stone, cairns, circles and other settings and structures of stones made in the past by man;
2) pre-Christian graves and cemeteries, including those without any visible signs on the surface of the ground;
3) stones and rock faces with inscriptions, illustrations or other drawings, paintings, ground markings, traces of grinding or hammering, and hunting pits made in the past;
4) sacrificial springs, trees and stones, other ancient places of worship, and ancient trial sites;
5) the remains of ancient dwellings, and ancient dwelling- or work-sites, and formations resulting from the use of said dwellings or sites;
6) abandoned ancient castles, hillforts, fortresses, forts, walls of earth, moats and their remains, the ruins of churches, chapels, monasteries and other significant buildings, and ancient burial sites not within cemeteries in the care of congregations;
7) stones, crosses and statues erected in the past to commemorate persons or events, or for religious purposes, and other monuments of similar nature;
8) the remains of significant ancient roads, road markers and bridges, and fire-signalling constructions and similar structures; and
9) fixed natural objects associated with old traditions, tales or significant historic events.
The official protection of ancient monuments is supervised by the State Archaeological Commission (present-day National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments).
Ancient monuments include an area of land necessary for the preservation of the remains in question and for providing sufficient space around them in view of their nature and significance.
The area stipulated in Subsection 1 above is herein termed 'protective area'.
Should ancient monuments and their protective areas be laid down in official surveys or be condemned through eminent domain, their boundaries as laid down shall be recognized and the parties concerned shall abide by them.
Where the boundaries of an ancient monument are not laid down as stipulated in Subsection 1 above and are not subject to a written agreement between [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] and the landowner concerned, the local provincial government shall upon application by [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] and the landowner confirm the boundaries. The necessary application shall contain a proposal for the boundaries of the ancient monument, a statement confirming the ownership of the property on which the monument is located, an extract [from the Land Register], and a reliable map or site plan giving the location of the ancient monument. The landowner shall be allowed to present his or her statement if the application has been drawn up by [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments], and [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] shall be allowed to present its statement if the application has been drawn up by the landowner.
Unless the boundaries of the ancient monument concerned are laid down as stipulated in this Section, the boundaries shall be defined so as to leave a protective area of two metres wide from the visible perimeter of the monument.
Where an ancient monument is in an area pending land survey and parcelling, the monument and its protective area shall be mapped and marked [in the Land Register].
Should the parties concerned so agree, an ancient monument and its protective area may be allotted in official survey as land held jointly by the parties concerned.
Should a protective area with agreed-upon boundaries or boundaries laid down as according to subsection 2 of Section 5 above considerably limit the use of the property concerned or a part thereof, whose use has not been previously limited similarly, the party concerned shall be entitled to compensation from state funds.
If no agreement is reached concerning compensation, legal action concerning it must be taken in a court of law in the area where the protective area is located within one year of the boundaries of the protective area being laid down, upon pain of losing compensation.
In cases where the property on which the protective area is located is in lien for claims or recurrent payment, the compensation stipulated above in this Section shall be deposited with the lienor and shall be distributed as decreed in connection with the sale of distressed property. The lienor shall have equal rights to the deposited compensation as to the property. The deposit shall not be made if the lienor's consent thereto is given or if said compensation is not regarded as appreciably diminishing the value of the security owing to its small amount or for similar reasons.
The local provincial government shall, where necessary, issue special regulations ensuring the value of ancient monuments. Such regulations can be extended to areas beyond the protective area if this does not cause considerable encumbrance and impediment to the owner of said area or to others concerned.
The ruling of the provincial government shall be publicly displayed on the notice-board of the local commune in accordance with regulations concerning public announcements, and, should it be deemed necessary, in the proximity of the monument concerned.
Where required by the common good, the state shall be entitled to condemn through eminent domain an ancient monument and its protective area, or a part thereof, in accordance with regulations on the condemnation of property through eminent domain.
[The National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] shall be entitled to investigate an ancient monument, to mark its boundaries with posts, fences or otherwise, or to indicate its boundaries on a sign at the site, and to restore an ancient monument and to carry out clearance and other measures required by the protection and care of the monument in its location. [The National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] may, upon conditions laid down by itself, permit other parties to investigate an ancient monument and, with the consent of the receiving party, grant temporary authorization for the care of an ancient monument to the local commune, congregation or other public body.
Where required for special reasons, [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] may take possession of an ancient monument or a part thereof to be placed in another location for care. This also concerns an ancient monument or part thereof that has been joined with masonry or other means to a building or other structure.
Those incurring financial losses resulting from the actions stipulated in Subsections 1 and 2 above shall be entitled to reasonable compensation from state funds.
Where an ancient monument is an undue encumbrance or impediment in relation to its significance, the local provincial government may, pending submission of an application including a detailed description of the antiquities concerned and having received the statement of [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] permit action to be taken thereon which is otherwise forbidden in Subsection 2 of Section 1 of this Act. Such permission can be subject to conditions deemed necessary.
If the application mentioned in Subsection 1 is drawn up by a party other than the landowner concerned, the landowner's statement in the matter must be obtained.
The ruling of the local provincial government permitting action to be taken upon the monument concerned must be ratified by the Ministry of Education in cases where the ruling is in conflict with the statement of [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments].
The granting of permission to take action upon a monument in connection with public works is stipulated in Section 13.
Should an application defined in Subsection 1 of Section 11 concern a previously unknown ancient monument with no visible signs on the surface of the ground and should such an application be rejected despite the monument being of considerable encumbrance to the applicant, the applicant shall be entitled to apply for reasonable compensation for said encumbrance from state funds upon the condition that the rejected application has been drawn up no later than two years after the discovery of said monument.
Legal action concerning compensation mentioned in Subsection 1 above shall, unless compensation has been agreed upon, be taken at a court of law in the locality of the monument no later than one year from the applicant being informed that the application mentioned in Subsection 1 of Section 11 has been lawfully rejected upon pain of losing rights to said compensation.
Where a property on which an ancient monument is located is in lien for receival of recurrent payment or delivery of goods, the depositing and distribution of compensation shall follow the stipulations of Subsection 3 of Section 7.
In the planning of public roads, railways, canals, airports, waterworks or other public works or in the preparation of urban or zone plans, those responsible shall establish in sufficient time beforehand whether the execution of such works or plans will concern ancient monuments. If this is the case, [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] must be informed thereof without delay to arrange necessary negotiations. The statement of the landowner concerned shall be noted in said negotiations.
Should the parties to negotiations mentioned in Subsection 1 above not reach agreement, [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] shall forward the matter in question to be resolved by the Council of State.
Should a hitherto unknown ancient monument be discovered in the removal of earth or in other works, such works shall immediately be suspended insofar as they concern said monument, and those responsible for said works shall inform [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] thereof without delay for necessary action to be taken. Where said works are of the nature stipulated in Section 13 above, the procedures laid down in said Section shall be followed.
Where the execution of public or considerable private works concern an ancient monument insofar as they require special investigations of said monument or special action to preserve it, the party responsible for the works shall defray the costs arising there from or remunerate part of them, unless this requirement is deemed unreasonable under the prevailing circumstances.
The finder of a coin, weapon, tool, ornament, vessel, transport equipment, or the like, of which the owner is not known and which can be expected to be at least one hundred years old, shall immediately submit the object in question to [the Archaeological Commission ] in the condition in which it was found, uncleanness and with detailed information on the place of discovery and attendant circumstances. Should there be any risk that the object may be damaged by being moved or if it is otherwise difficult to send the object to [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments], the find shall immediately be reported to [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] together with the information stated above.
If the object in question has been discovered in a bog or deep in the ground, or if the location in question indicates the existence of an ancient monument, such as a dwelling-site or burial ground, no further work shall be undertaken at the site until [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments], to which the find must immediately be reported, has issued instructions concerning the matter upon investigating the site.
The provisions of Subsections 1 and 2 above also apply to fragments or parts of objects.
The National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments is entitled to redeem objects stipulated in Section 16 above for the collections of the National Museum of Finland or to transfer its right of redemption to another public museum or institution. In the case of items of considerable significance the permission of the Ministry of Education shall be obtained for the transfer of the right of redemption. If the item is not redeemed it shall be returned to the finder who may keep it .
If an object stipulated in Subsection 1 above is redeemed, a reasonable compensation shall be paid to the finder. The compensation is determined by [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments], with due consideration of the nature of the item. If the object is of precious metal the compensation shall at least be equal to its metal value plus twenty-five per cent.
An ancient object found within a known ancient monument shall go to the state without compensation.[The National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] may, if it considers it reasonable, pay a special reward to the finder.[The National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] is entitled to investigate, or upon its own conditions, to issue permission to investigate the site where an ancient object has been found, even if there is no ancient monument at the site.
If damage or losses are incurred by anyone as the result of an investigation stipulated in Subsection 1 above, the party concerned shall be recompensed to a reasonable amount by the state.
The provincial government may, if necessary, forbid, under penalty of fines, measures which may jeopardize investigations to be undertaken at a location stipulated in Subsection 1 above.
Movable objects in a church or other public building, or belonging to such a building, which relate to the memory of ancient traditions or skills, and which are not private property, such as old paintings, works of sculpture, or other works of art, valuables, coats of arms, robes, armour, banners, weapons, poor-boxes, or other such items, shall not he destroyed or transferred before [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments] has been informed of the matter and has duly dealt with it. The Board is entitled to have a replica or copy made of the object and to have it photographed, and, when the item is to be destroyed or transferred to the possession of a private person, to redeem it for the National Museum of Finland.
The provisions of Section 17 above concerning the transferal of the right of redemption of ancient objects shall also apply to such right of redemption as stipulated in Section 1 above.
Finds of Ships and Vessels
The wrecks of ships and other vessel discovered in the sea or in inland waters, which can be considered to be over one hundred years old, or parts thereof, are officially protected. The provisions concerning ancient monuments shall apply, where relevant, to wrecks and parts thereof.
Objects discovered in wrecks stipulated in Subsection 1 above, or objects evidently originating from such contexts, shall go to the state without redemption. In other respects the provisions concerning movable ancient objects shall apply where relevant.
The finder of a wreck stipulated in this Section shall immediately report the discovery to [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments].
Where the measures stipulated in Subsections 1 or 2 of Section 10, Subsection 2 of Section 16, or Subsection 1 of Section 18 are to be undertaken, the owner of the site or structure concerned and its holder, if said property is not in the possession of the owner, shall be informed in sufficient time beforehand as to when such measures will be undertaken. Notice shall be given verifiably to a known mailing address or by other means.
A copy of a decision stipulated in Subsection of Section 5 or Subsection 1 of Section 8 above shall be forwarded without delay to the Archaeological Commission and to the local police authorities.
The applications stipulated in Subsection 1 of Section 11 and reports stipulated in Subsection 1 of Section 13, Section 14, Subsection 2 of Section 16 and Subsection 1 of Section 19 above are to be given immediate official attention. The investigations and measures stipulated in Section 15 shall also be undertaken promptly.
The reports stipulated in Subsection 1 of Section 13, Sections 14 or 16, or Subsection 3 of Section 20 may also be drawn up and the objects stipulated in Subsection 1 of Section 16 may also be delivered to the local police authorities who shall forward them without delay to [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments].
Whoever undertakes the measures stipulated in Subsection 2 of Section 1 without due permission, or exceeds the regulations issued under Subsection 1 of Section 8 or the provisions of Section 14 , Subsection 2 of Section 16, Subsection 1 of Section 19 or Section 20 shall be punished by fine unless more severe punishment is prescribed in another act.
Whoever neglects to forward an object stipulated in Subsection 1 of Section 16 to the appropriate authorities or to report it as prescribed shall be punished as laid down in Subsection 1 above and ashall forfeit his or her rights relating to the find. The same shall apply to anyone who otherwise conceals, transfers, acquires or exports objects of said kind which under the provisions of this Act are to be forwarded to [the National Board of Antiquities and Historical Monuments], or damages or alters such objects.
This Act shall come into force of the 1st of July 1963. Accordingly the former Decree issued on the 2nd of April 1883 on the Protection of Ancient Monuments shall be annulled with the exception of Section 8 therein.
Helsinki, 17 June 1963
President of the Republic of Finland
Minister of Education Armi Hosi