The Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (LCCHP) is a nonprofit organization of lawyers, law students and interested members of the public who have joined together to promote the preservation and protection of cultural heritage resources in the United States and internationally through education and advocacy.
We formed because we perceive a need for greater legal education and advocacy in the legislative, judicial and policy arenas.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation is a nonprofit, educational organization of lawyers, law students, and interested members of the public who have joined together to promote the preservation and protection of cultural heritage resources in the United States and internationally through education and advocacy, including through legal action as appropriate. LCCHP believes in the value of cultural heritage as a source of inspiration and understanding for contemporary people and for future generations. We believe that understanding the past leads to a better understanding of ourselves and of the human potential to shape a better future. Consistent with these interests, the Board of Directors of LCCHP has adopted the following statement of principles:
With respect to the archaeological and historical record:
LCCHP supports the preservation of prehistoric, historic, and other types of cultural resources while maintaining respect and appreciation for the diversity of cultures. To that end, we encourage preservation in situ of significant prehistoric, historic, and cultural resources. When archaeological excavation, collection or recovery of cultural resources takes place, it should occur through scientific means, including appropriate recordation, conservation, and curation of these resources by legally authorized individuals and institutions, using the least destructive techniques possible to avoid harm to the cultural and historical record.
With respect to collection, display, and exchange of cultural objects:
LCCHP supports lawful and responsible collecting of objects of cultural, historical, archaeological, literary, artistic or scientific importance by individuals and institutions in ways that do not cause harm to the cultural and historical record. We also encourage the lawful and ethical exchange of cultural objects as a way of increasing cross-cultural understanding among peoples. LCCHP believes it is appropriate for museums and other institutions to borrow, collect, conserve, preserve, study, publish, and display cultural objects, provided the provenance of those objects is documented and title has been lawfully acquired. When provenance of an object in a collection is undocumented or title is unclear, we believe that an institution has an affirmative obligation to make this information public. Institutions also have the obligation to address and resolve fairly potential restitution claims, whether by other institutions, individuals, indigenous groups, or states.
With respect to the built environment:
LCCHP supports sustainable development through heritage conservation. Consequently, we support the enactment and enforcement of laws that protect buildings, structures, streetscapes, and landscapes that have historic, architectural, or other cultural significance. We also support the use of public incentives for historic preservation by the private sector, through tax incentives and other means of financial support. LCCHP believes in the economic viability of development that promotes revitalization of communities through rehabilitation of sites and structures of historic and architectural significance.