Mission and Statement of Principles
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.
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,
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:
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.
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.
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.