Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan

The Australian Government's Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan (PCOL).

PCOL and immunity from suit and seizure

The Australian Government’s Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Scheme (PCOL Scheme) has been established to administer the Commonwealth Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013 (PCOL Act). The PCOL Act was established to encourage international lenders to lend objects for temporary public exhibition in Australia.

The Act limits the circumstances in which the lender, exhibiting institution, exhibition facilitator, and people working for them can lose ownership, possession, custody or control of an object through legal proceedings or seizure while the object is in Australia.

In order to be eligible for protection under the Act, the objects must be loaned by a lender ordinarily resident or incorporated in a country outside Australia or the government of another country, and the objects must be imported into Australia for the primary purpose of temporary public display. The objects will be protected from the date of import until they are exported from the country.

PCOL and the Museum

The Australian Museum is an approved borrowing institution under the PCOL Act.

For further information on the Museum’s policies regarding borrowing objects from overseas, see:

In compliance with the PCOL Act the Museum will publish information about all objects to be protected under the Act prior to their import and until they are exported from the country. Information about currently protected loans is provided on this page.

Claims and enquiries

The Museum is committed to exhibiting objects only in accordance with its statutory charter, with its mission and its vision statements and in compliance with the highest legal and ethical standards.

As part of this commitment, if you have any concern about an object that the Museum has borrowed or proposes to borrow from overseas, the Museum invites you to contact it.

The information you will need to provide if you would like to make a claim or enquiry

If you want to make a claim or enquiry, or if you need additional information about an object the Museum has borrowed or is borrowing from overseas, you will need to provide us with the following in writing:

  • your name, address and contact details (or, if you are making a claim or enquiry on behalf of someone else, that person’s name, contact details and their relationship to you);
  • a short summary of the claim to the object;
  • copies of any documents or other evidence that may be relevant to the claim or enquiry; and
  • a statement confirming that you are aware that the Museum may inform the lender of the request and supply them with information on the claim.

How the Museum will deal with and respond to your claim or enquiry

The Museum will give serious consideration to every enquiry and claim it receives in relation to an object borrowed from overseas, based on the nature and circumstances of each enquiry or claim.

The Museum will respond within 28 days of receiving your enquiry or claim. To enable the Museum to respond promptly, please make sure that you provide all the details that the Museum will likely need to assess your claim and to accurately identify any information you have requested.

Contacting the Museum if you want to make a claim or enquiry

If you want to make a claim or enquiry in relation to an object that the Museum has borrowed from overseas for exhibition purposes, please address your enquiry to the Registrar at this address:

pcol@austmus.gov.au

This information applies only to claims and enquiries concerning the ownership or provenance of an object borrowed from overseas for temporary public exhibition. For all other comments and enquiries about objects either held by or on loan to the Museum, please contact Museum staff.

Further information on how the Museum handles claims and enquiries under the PCOL Scheme is available at:

Protected loans

Images of the objects listed below have been published to this page by the Museum under the requirements of the PCOL Scheme.

Protected loans: Whales | Tohora

Further information about the PCOL Act and Scheme can be found at:

https://www.arts.gov.au/funding-and-support/protection-cultural-objects-loan-scheme
 


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