More detailed report: National Policy Report

Thesaurus: Thesaurus - Polish terms

Glossary: Terms in Polish

National coordinator: Aleksandra CHABIERA


Polish heritage management policy is designed, revised and developed within the “National program for the protection of monuments and care of monuments”, which is enacted by the Council of Ministers. This program presented a diagnosis on several issues: organization and tasks of institutions, monuments’ preservation, access to heritage, assets and social development potential assessment, SWOT analysis, strategic state documents, directions of development and horizontal goals, etc. The programme defines Particular goals which are directions of activities built around detailed actions, timeline and financing. It also refers to the responsible bodies for every action, goal and direction. The program was implemented under the supervision and direction of the General Inspector of Monuments (Secretary or Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage) in close cooperation with the institutions responsible for its implementation.

The road map of the national policy towards heritage established the following objectives:

  • Supporting system solutions for heritage protection (register assessment, UNESCO convention ratification, conservation’s standards and cultural landscape protection tools, archaeological research in endangered areas)
  • Strengthening synergies (spatial information infrastructure, communication, support for local authorities)
  • Strengthening active participation in culture, education and promotion of cultural heritage (Faro 2005’s ratification, social awareness, Internet promotion, access to cultural heritage).

The program was established for the years 2014-2017, and the new one, for the period 2018-2021 is being developed.

The state administration authorities are responsible for the protection of monuments, and the owners/holders of monuments are responsible for taking care of monuments.

The Owners/holders are responsible for leading scientific research and providing documentation, managing the conservation, restoration and construction of the monument, preserving and maintaining the monument and its surroundings in the best possible condition, using the monument in a way that ensures permanent preservation of its values and promoting and disseminating knowledge on the monument.

Monuments could be protected through several legal forms: entrance in the register of monuments; entitlement as “Monument of History” (President of Poland decree); establishment of Cultural Park (cultural landscape protection); Monuments protection arrangements within the local spatial development plan or in the location decision of public investment/ the zoning decision/ the permit decision of road investment/ the location decision on railway line/ the permit decision on a public airport investment and inventory of monuments (i.e. identification of historical sites and objects data base).
The protection of monuments registered is funded:

  • At national level, through the Co-financing by the state budget under the operational programs of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage - "Monuments protection", “Museums activities support”, “Protection of archaeological heritage”, “Protection of the abroad cultural heritage”, “National Commemorative sites abroad”, and “Research on Polish war losses”.
  • At European level, through the Co-financing from European funds (Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014 – 2020, and through the Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway grants 2014-2021.

There are also Multiannual Government Programs and regional operational programs of Marshal Offices.




General Inspector of Monuments

The national administration has the following responsibilities: providing legal, organizational and financial information for the conservation, management and maintenance of the monuments; preventing of threats, thwarting from the destruction and improper use, preventing theft, loss or illicit export of historical objects, controlling the state of preservation and use of monuments, complying the protection tasks with spatial planning and development and with the shaping of the environment.
All these activities are performed by local Inspectors of Monuments, responding to the General Inspector of Monuments, under the control and with consulting support of central level institutions.

The General Inspector of Monuments takes charge of elaborating and implementing national program of monuments protection, keeping the national register of the stolen or illegally exported monuments as well as the national inventory of monuments, controlling the compliance with the Law on monuments protection, supervising activities of Voivodship Inspectors of Monuments, promoting scientific research, cooperating with public administration bodies and undertaking actions on protection of the monuments related to the Polish history and lying outside the country.

Voidvodship Inspector of monuments

The Voidvodship Inspector of monuments is appointed by the Voivod with the General Inspector of Monuments’ assent. He/she is responsible for undertaking actions implementing the national program of protection and care of monuments, planning the financial support of monuments protection, keeping the voivodship register and the voivodship inventory, controlling the restoration, conservation, architectural researches and work within registered monuments and archaeological site, controlling the compliance with the Law on monuments protection, elaborating voivosdship plans of monuments protection during events of armed conflict, promoting knowledge about and cooperating with public administration bodies.

National Heritage Board of Poland (responding to the General Inspector of Monuments)

It is responsible for gathering and disseminating information on heritage, setting and implementing standards for its protection and conservation, keeping the National Register of Monuments, establishing new techniques for scientific documentation and research on monuments, dealing with appeal procedures concerning the protection of archaeological monuments, supporting local inspectors of monuments in supervising archaeological rescue research, cooperating in preventing crime against historical monuments, supervising periodic reports on Polish sites and objects on the UNESCO World Heritage List and coordinating the application procedure for the Presidential “Monument of History” title.

National Institute for Museums and Public Collections (responding to the Minister of Culture and Cultural Heritage)

It is in charge of creating and implementing national policy for museums and assisting them, protecting movable heritage and maintaining the National Register of Stolen or Illegally Exported Objects of Historical Value.



The Heritage management (protection, information dissemination, research, financing, use) is based on the Polish Constitution and on the Act of 23 July 2003 on the protection and the care of monuments. Other acts linked directly with heritage protection and use are: the Act of 27 March 2003 on the planning and spatial development and the Act of 7 July 1994 – the Construction Law. Several decrees are also present.

Acts and regulations to download - in Polish

Laws relating directly to the heritage issues:

Laws relating non directly to the heritage protection (in Polish):



Council of Europe:

  • Granada, ratified in 2011
  • Valetta, ratified in 1995
  • Florence, ratified in 2004
  • Faro: in progress.


  • 1954, Hague - protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict, Convention and the I Protocol, ratified in 1956
  • 1970, Paris - illicit trafficking of cultural property, ratified in 1974
  • 1972, Paris - protection of the world cultural and natural heritage, ratified in 1976
  • 2003, Paris - protection of intangible heritage, ratified in 2011
  • 2005, Paris - protection and promotion of diversity of cultural expression, ratified in 2007.
  • 2001, Paris - Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage: in progress