Penalties for tampering with antiquities detailed

Penalties for tampering with antiquities detailed
Updated 21 November 2015

Penalties for tampering with antiquities detailed

Penalties for tampering with antiquities detailed

BAHA: It is illegal to possess antiquities without the proof of legitimate ownership, said Zaher Al-Shahri, director of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage in Baha.
The adoption of urban plans and detailed urban designs requires commitment to protecting these buildings or sites, and architectural heritage, as well as historical sites and surrounding areas, he said.
Ownership of land does not give the owner the right to deal with any antiquities and artifacts of national heritage at the site, nor the right to dig for artifacts. Any identified heritage sites belong to the state, said Al-Shahri, noting the commission has the right to leave such property after it has been documented and classified.
Citizens and residents are prohibited from damaging any heritage or architectural heritage site, making any changes to the structure, removing, or posting any advertisement or writings.
He said violators of these regulations, or individuals who establish projects on national property, face a prison term of between three months and two years, a fine of between SR50,000 and SR200,000, or both.
A jail term of between one month and one year, a fine of between SR10,000 and SR100,000, or both, apply to those who violate or damage a national heritage site or antiquities, or who dig for antiquities without approval.
A jail term of up to six months and a fine of up to SR50,000, or both, applies to anyone who forges a national artifact and claims it is real, undergoes partial or total demolition inside any national heritage site, initiates construction without approval, violates construction regulations for land surrounding a heritage site, or obtains artifacts from underwater.
Individuals who make any amendments to artifact or archeological site, resulting in damage, transfer any objects or block from the site, start a fire, or write on any artifact face a fine of SR30,000.
Anyone who identifies an artifact and sells it or exports it will be fined SR15,000, while individuals who have an artifact and fail to submit a report to the commission regarding this, those who own unregistered original artifacts, or who are in possession of artifacts without proof of ownership will be fined up to SR10,000.
The same penalty applies to all those who operate museums without prior approval, or who violate licensing requirements.