Movable Monuments are all monuments which do not fall under the category "immovable monuments". According to Art. 20 I movable monuments are classified as follows:
(a) monuments dating up to 1453
(b) monuments dating after 1453 and up to 1830 which constitute finds from excavations or other archaeological research, or have been removed from immovable monuments, as well as icons and other religious objects used for worship, dating from the same period.
(c) monuments dating after 1453 and up to 1830 which are not subject to above (a) or (b) and are classified as monuments due to their social, technical, folk, ethnological, artistic, architectural, industrial or in general historical or scientific significance.
Protection Ancient Monuments under (a) and (b) are protected by law (ex lege), without need for the issuance of any administrative act. Antique monuments under (c) shall be classified as monuments by a decision of the Minister of Culture, issued following a recommendation of the Archaeological Service and an opinion of the Central Archaeological Council and published in the Official Gazette.
"Possessor" - "holder" - "owner" Unlike most of other legal systems Greek civil law distinguishes not only between the “owner” and the “possessor” but also between the “possessor” and the “holder”. The “possessor” (in Greek “nomeas”) is the person who exercises physical control over a thing with the intent to own it (possession stricto sensu/ “possessor). The “holder” (in Greek “katochos”) is the person who exercises physical control over a thing without the intent to own a thing (possession/holder).
Ownership of movable monuments
Movable monuments dating up to 1453 and finds from excavations or other archeological research, regardless of date, belong to the state in terms of ownership and possession. They cannot be alienated by sale or adverse possession. The right of ownership for imported antiquities dating up to 1453 and for those dating after 1453 can be exercised under specific terms and conditions.
Possession of movable monuments
A permit for the possession of an ancient movable monument, the ownership of which belongs to the state, may be granted to a natural or legal person unless:
a) the antiquity is of particularly great scientific or artistic significance.
b) the applicant does not ensure its satisfactory. safeguarding and preservation (particularly if he fails to declare a suitable place to safeguard it)
c) the applicant does not possess the credentials for compliance with the duties of the holder (particularly if he has been sentenced irrevocably for a violation of legislation for the protection of cultural heritage).
The above permit may be revoked by decision of the Ministry of Culture if the conditions of its issuance have ceased to exist. In the case of a movable monument of very small scientific and commercial value, it is catalogued by the Service and left to the free use of the applicant by decision of the Minister of Culture.
The holder of an antiquity dating up to 1453 may transfer his “possession", after notifying the Service giving the personal data of the candidate holder, who has to submit a relevant application. Duties of holders and owners of movable monuments.
The owner or holder of an antiquity is responsible for its safety and preservation. He has to:
- notify the Service of the exact location
- allow periodic or ad hoc inspection by the Service
- facilitate photography and study by specialists who have been granted the relevant permit by the Service.
- make the antiquity available to the Service for a reasonable time, if so requested, for exhibition to the public within or outside Greek territory.
If the monument suffers deterioration or is lost when outside the owner's possession, the state is liable to pay compensation.
Assistance for the location and claim
a) The holder of an antiquity will be protected against third parties as possessor and shall enjoy the autonomous protections of the possession. He will be entitled to exercise in parallel with the State the eviction action or the action for the disturbance of possession. If the antiquity has been illegally exported the claim will be assumed by the state.
b) The owner of a monument may request the assistance of the Service for its location as well as restitution or return, in case it was stolen or illegally exported. Confiscation of movable monuments Movable antiquities dating up to 1453 shall not be subject to confiscation and can not constitute bankruptcy property. The confiscation of more recent monuments belonging to private individuals has to be effected in the presence of an employee of the Service.