UCL CULTURAL PROPERTY


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Cultural Property

Background

Policy

Guidance

Frequently Asked Questions

Case Studies

Links

Contact

Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Why do we need a Cultural Property Policy?

    2. Why don’t other universities have cultural property policies?

    3. Doesn’t this mean yet more bureaucracy?

    4. Won’t the requirements of the scheme impair my academic freedom?

    5. Why won’t I be able to keep my personal cultural property to furnish my office?

    6. When will the Cultural Property Register be completed?

    7. Who will decide what goes on the Cultural Property Register?

    8. Will the Cultural Property Register be available for public inspection?

    9. What happens if I decline to follow the policy?

    10. Where can I get further guidance, and ask any questions that occur to me?


1. Why do we need a Cultural Property Policy?

UCL’s long history, international connections and breadth of interests increase the risks of damage to the university’s reputation from poor practice in this area. The policy is a means of telling our stakeholders and supporters that we aspire to excellence in this as in everything that we do.

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2. Why don’t other universities have cultural property policies?

Changes in accounting standards means that many universities will need to put systems in place to report their heritage assets in their annual accounts. We are trying, by taking a broader view than the accounting requirements alone, to add value to the process so that UCL, its staff and students will all benefit.

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3. Doesn’t this mean yet more bureaucracy?

Not really. Most cultural property acquired or lent to UCL already has some paperwork attached, but documentation often tends to be designed for each occasion, is sometimes easily lost or misfiled. We aim to produce a single, simple form that will provide an audit trail for the item and ensure that appropriate security, insurance and emergencies cover is in place.

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4. Won’t the requirements of the scheme impair my academic freedom?

Only if you work outside the law! The policy reflects recent UK legislation.

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5. Why won’t I be able to keep my personal cultural property to furnish my office?

You will, provided it is of trivial academic or financial value. Otherwise this might still be possible, but you will have to gain formal permission and indemnify UCL against any loss or damage that may be caused by it being on UCL premises.

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6. When will the Cultural Property Register be completed?

It is not expected that the Register will completed on a fixed date. Its completion will be a continuing exercise in line with asset registers and other administrative systems.

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 7. Who will decide what goes on the Cultural Property Register?

 The basis of the Register already exists in different systems throughout the University. For example, we know which of the University’s buildings are Listed; the museum and library collections are already documented; other items are on our asset register; and some departments have already provided information on cultural property they hold. The UCL Finance Directorate will be compiling and maintaining the Register, overseen by the Museums, Heritage & Cultural Property Committee, supported by the Museums & Collections team.

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8. Will the Cultural Property Register be available for public inspection?

The Register is a management tool rather than a public catalogue. However, it is hoped that by drawing attention of the audience inside UCL to the cultural property it holds there will be increased awareness and this will inspire activities that feature and use this significant inheritance for the public benefit.

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9. What happens if I decline to follow the policy?

 Besides the risk of legal pitfalls that might fall on you personally, you would risk being in breach of your contract of employment with UCL.

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10. Where can I get further guidance, and ask any questions that occur to me?

 Any enquiries can be directed to Sally MacDonald

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This page last modified 16 December, 2009 by UCL Cultural Property

Image: Butterflies in the UCL Grant Museum of Zoology | link: UCL Grant Muaseum of Zoology

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