Om Riksantikvaren

About cultural heritage management

This is a brief overview of the actors, responsibilities and tasks involved in cultural heritage management. You can also find information about the changes in cultural heritage management from 2020.

Tinden trading place - two buildings
Tinden Trading place at the Tind island in Øksnes municipality in Vesterålen. Foto: Trond A. Isaksen, Directorate of Cultural Heritage

Ministry of Climate and Environment

The Ministry of Climate and Environment is primarily responsible for the management of cultural heritage monuments, sites and cultural environments in Norway.

The Directorate for Cultural Heritage

  • must implement government policy and provide the basis for policy
  • is the Ministry of Climate and Environment’s advisory body in all matters relating to cultural heritage and cultural environments
  • has the authority to protect cultural heritage, make objections and is the administrative appeals body
  • has the authority to grant exemptions regarding selected cultural heritage monuments and sites. This applies to the four large medieval towns as well as certain buildings and sites
  • is responsible for church management
  • is the system manager responsible for the development of digital services that ensure unified cultural heritage management, and manages key data on cultural heritage monuments and sites in public administration

County Authority/Sámi Parliament

  • are responsible for county cultural heritage monuments and sites and for cultural heritage monuments and sites in Sámi areas
  • are responsible for safeguarding cultural heritage monuments and sites in relation to land-use planning i.e. ensure that cultural heritage monuments, sites and environments are taken into consideration when planning, also at municipal levels
  • have decision-making authority in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Act for the majority of cultural heritage monuments and sites cf. new liability regulations
  • can prepare cases for the Directorate for Cultural Heritage
  • have responsibility for and manage the work regarding regional planning strategies, regional plans and planning provisions

Municipalities

  • are responsible for safeguarding and facilitating the use of cultural heritage monuments and sites, cultural environments and landscapes in land-use and community planning. The Planning and Building Act is the most important legal tool, but municipalities also have other measures at their disposal such as grants and property tax exemptions.
  • certain city municipalities have a cultural heritage manager. In addition, some municipalities have positions that conduct equivalent tasks

The archaeological museums

The archaeological museums are the Directorate for Cultural Heritage’s professional advisory bodies regarding cultural heritage monuments and sites of archaeological importance on land and under water.

Cultural heritage monuments and sites of archaeological importance are automatically protected by law in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Act. Excavations can only be carried out after exemption from protection provisions has been granted.

The regional archaeological museums:

  • Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo
  • The Museum of Archaeology, University of Stavanger
  • University Museum of Bergen
  • NTNU University Museum, Trondheim
  • The Arctic University Museum of Norway​, Tromsø

These museums are responsible for underwater archaeology:

  • Norwegian Maritime Museum, Oslo
  • Museum Stavanger
  • Bergen Maritime Museum
  • NTNU University Museum, Trondheim
  • The Arctic University Museum of Norway​, Tromsø

The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) investigates cultural heritage monuments and sites of archaeological importance from the Middle Ages. This involves church sites, monasteries, fortifications and the eight medieval towns (Bergen, Hamar, Oslo, Sarpsborg, Skien, Stavanger, Trondheim and Tønsberg).

Governor of Svalbard

Cultural heritage management on Svalbard is administered by the Governor, as determined in the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act.

Contact the Directorate for Cultural Heritage

Visiting hours:
08.00 – 15.45 (wintertime)
08.00 – 15.00 (summertime)

Visiting address
Dronningens gate 13, 0152 Oslo (Google maps)

Postal address
Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage, Postbox 1483 Vika, 0116 Oslo

Reception desk: +47 22 94 04 00
Library: +47 22 94 05 40
Archives : +47 92 20 53 54
Press office: +47 404 65 153

Email: postmottak@ra.no

Cultural heritage management 2020

Cultural Heritage Management 2020 (KF2020) is a project that will prepare and contribute to the transfer of tasks from the Directorate of Cultural Heritage to regional administration from 1 January 2020.

KF2020 develops digital services and prepares guidance materials in connection with the changed division of responsibility within cultural heritage management. Among the digital services are the application portal Digisak and transparency solutions for access to case history from the Directorate of Cultural Heritages’ archives.

In parallel with the regional reform

The regional reform will take effect in Norway 1.1.2020. At the same time, several tasks within cultural heritage management are transferred from a governmental to a regional level.

The main changes are:

From 2020, the county municipalities will take over the administrative responsibility from the Directorate of Cultural Heritage for:

  • a larger share of the state-owned buildings and facilities that are protected (State Cultural Historic Properties)
  • most archaeological heritage sites protected
  • protected and protected vessels
  • non-ecclesiastical medieval buildings

Grant schemes:

From autumn 2020, the county municipalities will take over the processing of applications within these grant schemes:

  • grants for technical-industrial cultural heritage sites (post 72)
  • grants for medieval buildings and facilities as well as fire protection (post 73)
  • grants for vessel protection (item 74)

The scheme is that the Directorate of Cultural Heritage distributes grants to each county municipality upon application. The county municipalities then grant grants for individual projects in the county upon application. This is how the scheme works today in terms of grants to protected cultural heritage sites and cultural environments in private ownership (item 71).

In the other grant schemes within cultural heritage management, there is no change in the division of responsibility.

What does that mean?

The fact that the county municipalities take over administrative responsibility means that they become the right authority to grant exemptions from the Cultural Heritage Act. This is the case already when it comes to privately owned, listed buildings.

The Directorate of Cultural Heritage will be a professional directorate with the overall authority, while the specific solution of tasks is to a greater extent in the county municipalities. Applications for exemptions and grants must be submitted there.

The Directorate of Cultural Heritage shall continue to be the decision-making authority for the protection, the objection authority and the authority for appeals.

What does the Directorate of Cultural Heritage manage?

The Directorate of Cultural Heritage retains responsibility for some of the protected state properties. These are listed on the list of cultural heritage sites and cultural environments that the Directorate of Cultural Heritage will manage as before, from 2020. All the objects on the list are marked in Askeladden as the Directorate of cultural heritages’ responsibility. A separate process has been adopted for any necessary changes to the list.

All applications for exemption related to the properties of the Directorate of Cultural Heritage shall be sent to the Directorate and processed there. The Ministry of Climate and Environment will be the complaints authority on these matters.

For regional management

The project has its own website for regional management, with information for case workers on the practical implementation of KF2020.

Publisert: 13. December 2019 | Endret: 4. November 2020