Monument Protection Act (Schleswig-Holstein)

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Basic data
Title: Law for the Protection of Monuments
Short title: Monument Protection Act
Previous title: Law for the Protection of Cultural Monuments
Abbreviation: DSchG SH 2015
Type: State Law
Scope: Schleswig-Holstein
Legal matter: Monument protection law , cultural protection law
References : DSchG SH 2015
Issued on: December 30, 2014
( GVOBl. Schl.-H. 2015, p. 2)
Entry into force on: January 30, 2015
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The law for the protection of monuments (Monument Protection Act) of the State of Schleswig-Holstein (DSchG SH 2015) is the legal basis for monument protection and monument preservation in Schleswig-Holstein. Due to the constitutionally regulated cultural sovereignty of the federal states , monument law in the Federal Republic of Germany falls under the jurisdiction of federal state legislation .


The first Schleswig-Holstein Monument Protection Act was passed on July 7, 1958 and came into force on October 1, 1958. It was last amended in 1996 and replaced in 2015 by the currently applicable Monument Protection Act.



The preamble of the law defines monuments as “material witnesses of human activity” and determines the task of monument protection and preservation to serve the “basic need [...] for memory” through the preservation of monuments. The use of monuments has to be based on the preservation of the substance.

This intention is elaborated in § 1, in that the protection of monuments and the preservation of monuments is mandated to record, research and document monuments, the obligation for the cooperation of all parties is determined and all corporations under public law are obliged to care for their monuments.

Types of monuments

The law distinguishes between cultural monuments and protected areas. Cultural monuments are movable or immovable objects "from the past, the research and preservation of which is of public interest due to their particular historical , scientific , artistic , technical , urban or cultural landscape value" (§ 2 (2)). This includes, in particular, architectural monuments , archaeological monuments , foundation monuments such as gardens , parks and cemetery complexes, as well as individual items and collections of movable cultural monuments.

The protection zones include world heritage sites with their associated buffer zones, monument areas and excavation protection areas. Monument areas as larger cultural landscape units can, for example, be settlement structures, townscapes and ground plans. Excavation protection areas are areas in which “archaeological monuments are known or can be identified” (§ 2 (3) 4.).

Monument protection authorities

The Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of Culture acts as the state's highest monument protection authority. Subordinate to it are the State Office for Monument Preservation Schleswig-Holstein and the Archaeological State Office Schleswig-Holstein as upper monument protection authorities. The State Archaeological Office is responsible for archaeological cultural monuments and protection zones, the State Office for Monument Preservation for all other cultural monuments and protection zones. These two authorities exercise the technical supervision over the districts and independent cities, which are responsible as lower monument authorities for the implementation of the law. A special feature applies to the Hanseatic city of Lübeck , which is also the upper monument protection authority for its area.

The highest monument protection authority establishes a voluntary, independent monument council; the lower monument protection authorities can form voluntary monument advisory boards. Voluntary stewards for cultural monuments can also be appointed. For world heritage sites, a world heritage coordination and a world heritage officer must be appointed and a management plan drawn up. The only UNESCO World Heritage site in Schleswig-Holstein so far is the old town of Lübeck.

Monument protection

The law stipulates that the interests of monument protection and preservation must be taken into account in all public planning and measures. This includes the early participation of the monument protection authorities in all monument protection-related planning.

In detail, the protection of the cultural monuments takes place through entry in an electronic monument list , which is kept by the upper monument authorities. The monument lists replace the monument books prescribed in the Monument Protection Act of 1958. In the case of immovable cultural monuments, the legal protection exists regardless of an entry in the list of monuments. In contrast to the monument books, in which entry and inspection were only made on request, the entry in the list of monuments takes place ex officio and the list of monuments is published.

A separate list of monuments is kept for movable cultural monuments. Here, entry in the list of monuments, which can be made ex officio or at the request of the owner, is an administrative act that is a prerequisite for legal protection as a cultural monument; the list is generally not public.

Protection zones are designated by the upper monument protection authorities in consultation with the other monument protection authorities and the municipalities by ordinance . Recognized world heritage sites automatically count as protection zones.

Effects of monument protection

Repair, change, destruction and changes to the location and the surroundings of a cultural monument are only permitted with the approval of the lower monument protection authority. Approval from the upper monument protection authority is required for measures that are capable of significantly impairing monument areas, measures that impair or endanger excavation protection areas or world heritage sites, interventions in the existence of a monument for research purposes, archaeological investigations to find cultural monuments as well as earthworks and salvage Divers in places where cultural monuments are known or suspected. The approval procedure is specified in more detail by law. If a measure requiring approval is carried out without approval or improperly, the monument protection authority can order the restoration of the old condition at the expense of the person responsible.

Owners and other persons entitled to dispose of them have to preserve monuments within the scope of what is reasonable and protect them from danger. Changes of ownership are to be reported to the upper monument protection authority immediately. The willful or grossly negligent damage to a monument obliges to compensate for the damage .

In the case of permissible interventions in a monument, the person who caused it must bear the costs for the examination, maintenance and documentation of the monument within the framework of what is reasonable.

The monument protection authorities have the right to required information and inspection of monuments. You can prohibit actions that are likely to damage or endanger a monument and take necessary measures at the expense of the owners or those authorized to dispose of them if they do not fulfill their duty to protect the monument. The economic use of a property on which there are monuments can be restricted.

All official measures must take into account the legitimate interests of the obliged entity.

Monument finds

The discovery of cultural monuments must be reported immediately to the upper monument protection authority; the source may not be changed as far as this is reasonable. Movable cultural monuments whose owners can no longer be determined and which are discovered during state investigations, in excavation protection areas or during unauthorized excavations, or which have excellent scientific value, become the property of the state ( treasure shelf ). The finders are entitled to an appropriate reward , except for government inquiries or unauthorized excavations. Otherwise, the state, district or municipality can request the delivery of a found item within three months if its state of preservation otherwise deteriorates or it could be lost to scientific research.

Criminal offenses and administrative offenses

The deliberate unauthorized destruction or damage of a cultural monument, the unauthorized execution of archaeological excavations and the taking possession of found objects are threatened with imprisonment of up to two years or a fine.

In addition, administrative offenses can be punished with a fine of up to 100,000 euros (in particularly serious cases up to 500,000 euros): the unauthorized implementation of measures requiring approval, the violation of notification and disclosure obligations, the removal or destruction of a monument that is subject to delivery, the violation of a regulation based on the law as well as incorrect information, plans or documents.


Cultural monuments can be expropriated if a threat to their preservation cannot be eliminated in another way. In addition, the upper monument protection authority can take possession of a cultural monument for up to a month if damage cannot be averted in any other way. The owners are to be compensated for any financial disadvantages suffered.

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