general, to ensure that our country’s assets are not further diminished. It is therefore important to ensure that
our cultural heritage enjoys the necessary protection.
Some work has already been done in the legislative field. The piecemeal, fragmentary nature of
existing rules, however, points to the need for a fuller, more comprehensive legal instrument.
Drawing on international experience and scientific and technical advances in order to define
fundamental concepts and designate bodies and mechanisms for the various procedures involved, the Law
on Cultural Protection establishes the legal and institutional framework necessary for safeguarding and
defending the cultural heritage of the Mozambican people.
Accordingly, pursuant to Article 44(a) of the Constitution, the People’s Assembly hereby orders as
Objective and Scope of Application
The objective of the present law is to ensure the legal protection of the tangible and intangible assets
forming part of the cultural heritage of Mozambique.
Scope of Application
1. This Law shall apply to assets forming part of Mozambique’s cultural heritage in the possession of
the State, public bodies or natural or legal persons, without prejudice to the property rights of the relevant
2. The present Law shall extend to any cultural assets that may be discovered on Mozambican
territory, in particular in the soil, subsoil, beds of inland bodies of water or continental shelf.
3. On the condition that there is reciprocity, cultural assets present in Mozambique belonging to other
countries shall enjoy the protection afforded by the present Law.
For the purposes of this Law, the following definitions shall be adopted:
1. Cultural heritage
“Cultural heritage” means all the tangible and intangible assets created or assimilated by the Mozambican
people throughout history and of importance in terms of the definition of Mozambican cultural identity.
Cultural heritage consists of both tangible and intangible cultural assets.
2. Intangible cultural assets
“Intangible cultural assets” means assets that are essential elements of the collective memory of the
people, such as history and oral literature, popular traditions, rites and folklore, the various national
languages, as well as works of the human mind, together with all forms of artistic and literary creation,
irrespective of the medium or vehicle through which they are expressed.
3. Tangible cultural assets
“Tangible cultural assets” means immovable or movable assets which, owing to their archaeological,
historical, bibliographical, artistic or scientific value, form part of the cultural heritage of Mozambique.
Natural features, sites and landscapes which are protected by law owing to their cultural value, or