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Act CXL of 1997
on the Protection of Cultural Goods, Museum Institutions,
Public Library Services and Cultural Education

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WHEREAS promotion of the preservation and practice of national cultural traditions and those of national and ethnic minorities, the improvement of the personnel, intellectual and economic basis for individual and community cultural education, and activities which improve the quality of life of citizens and transmit values as well as the operation of the institutions and organizations created to achieve these goals is in the common interest of society;

the Parliament hereby enacts the following Act to achieve these goals.

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Objective of the Act

Section 1.

The objective of this Act is to:

a) provide regulations for the registration, preservation and protection of cultural goods which have been developed and retained in the course of national and world history, and for making such goods available as public treasures,

b) regulate the duties and activities of institutions related to these goods, in the interest of preserving national and universal cultural heritage,

c) ensure the right of all persons to use libraries and regulate the operation and development of public library services,

d) regulate the basic conditions for cultural education activities,

e) establish the duties and the professional and financial principles of the State, the local government authorities and other supporting parties.

Basic Principles

Section 2.

In the course of exercising the rights set forth in this Act any form of negative discrimination is forbidden; all persons shall enjoy these rights, without discrimination on the basis of gender, age, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origins, financial situation, birth or other grounds.

Section 3.

The system of museums, libraries and cultural education institutions supported by the State and local governments may not be committed to any single religion, ideology or political conviction.

Section 4.

All persons shall have the right

a) to become familiar with goods of cultural heritage and learn of their significance in history, the formation of national identity and the identity of national and ethnic minorities, and information about the protection of such goods by way of the activities of museum institutions, the services of libraries, education, cultural education, the dissemination of knowledge, the press and mass media,

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Section 60.

(1) The following are central services for assisting the operation and development of the system of public library services:

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e) promotion of the libraries of national and ethnic minorities in Hungary,

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Section 66.

In addition to the provisions of Subsection (1) of Section 55 and Subsection (2) of Section 65, in respect of the entire territory of the county, the county library shall

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c) conduct or organize the library services for the members of population belonging to national and ethnic minorities in the county,

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Local Cultural Education

Cultural Education Duties of Local Government Authorities

Section 76.

(1) Support of cultural education is a mandatory duty of the community’s local government authority.

(2) In particular, the forms of such support are:

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c) presentation of world culture, national culture, the cultural values of national groups and other minorities, supporting understanding, acceptance and preservation of the culture of holidays,

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Section 85.

Within the sphere of its professional cultural education consultation and services duties, the county (Budapest) government authorities shall:

a) promote implementation of the cultural education goals of the county’s local community governments, of the self-government bodies of national and ethnic minorities and of the county’s cultural education organizations,

b) cooperate with the Hungarian Culture Institute and the national professional interest representation organizations,

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Central Budget Resources Related to the Protection of Cultural Goods, Museum Institutions, Archives, Public Library Services and Cultural Education

Section 92.

(1) For the performance of the obligations stipulated by this Act and the Archives Act, contributions from the central budget are necessary for the fulfillment of the duties in the fields of cultural education and public collections, such duties arising from the public-interest nature of the responsibility of the State and local government authorities. Such contributions shall contain the normative grants and centralized appropriations presented in the Budget Chapter of the Ministry of the Interior and the funds presented in the Budget Chapter of the Ministry of Culture and Education.

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(6) The appropriations for cultural education and public collection institutions supported by the Parliament, the Ministries, organs with national scope of competence and the national-level self-government bodies of minorities shall be set forth in the annual Budget Act under the Chapter according to the responsible body.

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Definitions

For the purposes of this Act:

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n) Public collection: any library, archive, museum institution or video and audio archive which is founded by or operating under the ownership (support) of the State, local government authorities, the self-government bodies of minorities, public bodies or public foundations.

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Source: Office for National and Ethnic Minorities in Hungary


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