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The National Museum of Australia is an approved borrowing institution under the Australian Government’s Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Scheme. The Museum’s policies on international loans and claims handling are covered by the:

The Museum publishes information about its international loans, as part of the requirements of the scheme.

International loans

Riding the Olympic Wave: Breakthrough Sports exhibition

Venue: National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Canberra, ACT, 2601

Duration: 31 May to 30 September 2024

Discovering Ancient Egypt exhibition

Venue: National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Canberra, ACT, 2601

Duration: 14 December 2023 to 8 September 2024

Guide to enquiries and claims for objects on loan

If you would like to enquire about, or make a claim on, an object on loan to the National Museum of Australia (the Museum) under the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan (PCOL) scheme, please contact the Museum in person or at or via the Museum’s general information number, (02) 6208 5000.

Information to be provided with an enquiry or claim

To progress a request for information or a claim on an object, please provide the following:

  • your name, address and contact details
  • a short summary of the information required or claim to the object, as well as copies of any documents or other evidence that may be relevant
  • where the enquiry or claim is being made on behalf of another person, that person’s name and contact details, and your relationship to that person
  • a statement confirming that you (or the claimant) are aware that the Museum may inform the lender of the request and supply them with information on the enquiry or claim.

Consideration of the request

The Museum will consider your enquiry or claim, taking into account:

  • if the party making the enquiry or claim is known to the Museum
  • whether the claim has been made in another jurisdiction
  • the documentation or evidence provided by the person making the enquiry or claim
  • in the case of Australian cultural material, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander material, close examination of the object’s provenance and history, including how the object left the custody of the individual or communities and the circumstances in which it was exported from Australia.

Response to the enquiry or claim

The Museum will promptly acknowledge your enquiry or claim and provide an initial response within 28 days of receiving an enquiry or claim. The response may include:

  • the information published in accordance with PCOL publication requirements
  • details on the object’s provenance and due diligence research, conducted in accordance with the Museum's policies and procedures and as required under PCOL.

The Museum will let you know if we intend to contact the lender about your enquiry or claim.

Claims management and reporting

The Museum’s management of a claim will comply with the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013 (the Act), considering the information supplied and the status of the loan. The Act provides that objects imported into Australia under the PCOL scheme are protected from seizure and legal suit. Once an object has been imported, this protection cannot be revoked.

Further information about the PCOL scheme is on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts website

If a legitimate claim is received for an object that has already entered Australia, the protections under the Act will apply. If a legitimate claim is made prior to importation, the Museum will assess whether to continue with the loan.

The Museum will also report claims made on objects that are protected by the Act to the Minister for the Arts in writing and without delay.

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