• Professional conduct – observing accepted standards and laws; safeguarding individuals and communities against illegal or unethical professional conduct; respecting laws and conventions that regulate the import, export and transfer of cultural property; practising due diligence; and operating in an open and honest way.
  • Respecting the origin of cultural property – initiating dialogues for the return of cultural property to a country or people of origin; returning cultural property that can be demonstrated to have been exported or transferred in violation of the principles of international and national conventions.
  • Doing no harm – avoiding harm to an individual or a community or the general public.
  • Respect for diversity of belief – showing respect for individuals, cultural groups and communities; giving consideration to the cultural and historical backgrounds, beliefs and values relevant to all parties concerned.
  • Solidarity – recognising that we all have a shared humanity and an interest in furthering common goals and tolerating differences that respect fundamental human rights; rising above our differences to find common ground through co-operation and consensus.

The Society of London Art Dealers

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Members of The Society of London Art Dealers (SLAD) have to sign an undertaking to observe high standards of fair and honest dealing. Members are required to ‘strictly observe standards of fair and honest business dealing and to observe the provisions of all Codes of Practice or Codes of Conduct to which the Society is […]

Customs, Excise and VAT fraud reporting

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Any individual working with cultural heritage in public or commercial organisations has an ethical and legal duty to buy and sell cultural property honestly. In cultural heritage organisations, acquisition will be through purchase, donation or bequest and in commercial organisations acquisition will be through purchase. If you have any suspicions about an object and you […]

Society of Fine Art Auctioneers: guidance notes for good practice

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In their guidance notes, the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers (SOFAA) provide a framework for their membership to promote high professional standards, honesty, probity, efficiency and integrity as auctioneers and valuers. The notes include a Statement of Ethics and outline the responsibilities of auctioneers and valuers. Clicking the link on this page will open this resource […]

Code of Practice for the Control of International Trading in Works of Art

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The Code of Practice for the Control of International Trading in Works of Art is adhered to by members of the UK fine art and antiques trade. Subscribing organisations include: Christie Manson & Woods Ltd Messrs Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co British Antique Dealers’ Association Society of Fine Art Auctioneers Fine Art Trade Guild Society of London […]

The Council for the Prevention of Art Theft: Code of due diligence

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The Council for the Prevention of Art Theft (CoPAT) maintains a standard of due diligence which is designed to protect dealers and auctioneers from the activities of thieves and their accomplices, and also to impede the free flow of stolen material through the market. Clicking the link on this page will open this resource to […]

International League of Antiquarian Booksellers: Code of Usages and Customs

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The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) has published its Code of Usages and Customs which can be viewed in this resource. Members of the national associations affiliated with the ILAB should conduct all commercial transactions according to these  usages which expressly indicate that members offer to their customers a clearly defined code of practice based […]

International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art: Code of conduct

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The International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA) has published the Association’s Rules, including a Code of Ethics and Practice and Due Diligence Guidelines. Members must adhere to a stringent code of conduct designed to serve not only the interests of their clients but also the integrity of the objects themselves. Clicking the link on […]

The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers: Code of Practice

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The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers (LAPADA) members adhere to a Code of Practice which aims to reassure the public and give them confidence when they make a purchase from a member. All members have agreed to abide by this strict Code of Practice, which includes guidance for the pricing of goods, descriptions and attributions […]

Antiquarian Booksellers Association rules and guidelines

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Members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) adhere to the ABA Rules and Guidelines, which includes a code of ethics. This resource outlines guidelines for members, including advice regarding the restoration and preservation of historical materials. Clicking the link on this page will open this resource to view on the ABA website.

Code of practice for responsible metal detecting

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  The Portable Antiquities Scheme has published the voluntary Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting which outlines guidance for individuals to be aware of before, during, and after going metal detecting. It includes advice concerning obtaining permission from landowners, adhering to the laws concerning protected sites and reporting finds including any traces of human remains and explosives. […]

The Institute of Field Archaeologists: Code of Conduct

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The Institute of Field Archaeologists (IFA) has published a Code of Conduct which all individual members (of any grade of membership) must adhere to. Members must sign a declaration stating that they will abide by the Code of Conduct when they make their application to join the IFA. Clicking the link on this page will […]

World Archaeology Congress: Codes of Ethics

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This resource outlines the codes of ethics that have been adopted by World Archaeology Congress (WAC). These include: Dead Sea Accord The Vermillion Accord on Human Remains The Tamaki Makau-rau Accord on the Display of Human Remains and Sacred Objects Code Of Ethics For The Amazon Forest Peoples First Code of Ethics Clicking the link […]

Guidance for the care of human remains in museums

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This resource from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport outlines good practice guidance for museums acquiring and holding human remains from any period and aims to offer practical support in the care of human remains in museums. In reference to Collections Development Standards, there is no legislation covering Repatriation and Restitution of Objects and […]

Code of ethics for museums

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The Museum Association Code of Ethics defines the ethical principles which guide museum practice and underpin policy and practice regarding the development of museum collections. An ethical approach to museums also underpins the Accreditation Standard. This code supports museums, those who work in and with them, and their governing bodies in recognising and resolving ethical […]