French museums have had strict acquisition criteria since Napoleonic times. All objects that enter the museum inventory are therefore regarded as classified, important cultural heritage.
If a museum wants to declassify an object, making it eligible for disposal, it is arranged by law that the Commission Scientifique Nationale de Collections (CSNC) must reflect upon this request. The commission will try to research all possible other options first, before agreeing on declassification. Transfer between museums is not regarded as a form of disposal. For all Musées de France, the answer of the commission is binding.
If an object were to be declassified from the national heritage list, the museum responsible for the management of it, is free to act as thought appropriate, not excluding sale.
Within the French museum field, there is still a strong presumption against declassification and disposal. The CSNC has never since its existence (2010) received a request.
Country details for France
Number of residents:
Number of museums:
Legislation, Classification systems, National register of objects, and Accreditation scheme
Deaccessioning possibilities in France:
The possibility of declassification has been presented in the
The property forming the collections of the Musées de France belonging to a public entity is part of their public domain and as such are inalienable. Decisions on the declassifying any such property may only be taken after the approval of a scientific commission whose composition and operating procedures are determined by decree.)
The mission of the National Scientific Collections Commission is to advise public persons or private persons managing regional funds of contemporary art, in the exercise of their skills in the declassification or transfer of cultural property belonging to their collections, except for archives and library holdings.
To this end, the Committee:
(1) Defines recommendations concerning the declassifying of property belonging to the collections referred to in 2 ° and 3 ° and the transfer of the goods referred to in 4 °; it may also be consulted by the competent authorities for such decommissioning or assignment on any matter relating thereto;
2 ° Gives its advice on decisions on the declassifying of property belonging to the collections of Musées de France and of works or objects inscribed on the inventory of the National Contemporary Art Fund and entrusted to the custody of the National Center for the Visual Arts;
3 ° Gives its opinion on the decisions to declassify cultural property belonging to the other collections which are in the public domain;
4 ° Gives its opinion on decisions to transfer assets belonging to the collections of private individuals managing regional contemporary art funds.)
France does not have other tools regarding deaccessioning and disposal.
France has a classification system for museum objects. All objects that enter a museum inventory are directly classified.
NATIONAL REGISTER OBJECTS
The Ministry of Culture holds, via the Service des Musees a list of classified objects from all Musées de France.
France has an official accreditation scheme, called Appellation Musée de France that is administered bij the Service des Musées, a national agency that is part of the Ministry of Culture.
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