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COUNCIL OF EUROPE
COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS

______

RECOMMENDATION No. R (85) 8

OF THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS TO MEMBER STATES
ON THE CONSERVATION OF THE EUROPEAN FILM HERITAGE

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 14 May 1985,
at the 385th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council
of Europe,

Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members, and that this aim is pursued notably by common action in cultural matters;

Considering the importance of cinema as art, its value as a cultural and historical document and its character as an expression of the cultural identity of European peoples;

Considering the role of film as witness to the cultural and social heritage and that it must
therefore be protected without qualification;

Considering that a great part of the European film heritage is composed of nitrate material which is irreversibly deteriorating and which therefore must be transferred on to safety material with the greatest urgency;

Considering that the existence of essential parts of the European film heritage is being severely endangered due to the deterioration of colour film;

Considering that, owing to the commercial nature of the film industry, films of great artistic or cultural importance are every year being deliberately destroyed by their rights holders;

Considering that the film heritage is essential to permit the reconstruction of the culture, social life and art of each nation and of Europe as a whole, variously for television and cinema, for mass-media education, for studies in universities and research institutes, and for film redistribution in cinemas, on television and by other techniques;

Having regard to the work of the Council for Cultural Co-operation and to Recommendation 862 (1979) of the Assembly on cinema and the state;

Having regard to Unesco's Recommendation on protection and conservation of moving
images,

I. Recommends that the governments of member states should:

a. stress the essential role played by film archives and make available to them the resources necessary for protecting the national film heritage, especially through restoration and conservation of film;

b. promote the establishment of a system of legal deposit for nationally made films in officially recognised archives and, with special regard to film as historical and cultural document, encourage the archiving of films made for television as well as material recorded electronically and distributed on the national market;

c. encourage the establishment of a system of legal deposit or systematic voluntary deposit in national film archives of foreign films including those sub-titled or dubbed in the language of the country;

d. make the Europeal film heritage better known by giving archives the necessary means for acquiring and making available to the public, within the limits of copyright laws, European films of high artistic quality and historical and cultural value; and, in order to promote understanding between different cultures, also make other resources available to archives so as to establish collections of non-European films, with special emphasis on films from the developing countries;

II. Instructs the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to transmit this recommendation to the governments of those states party to the European Cultural Convention which are not members of the Council of Europe.