Heritage Objects

A heritage object is defined as any moveable property of cultural significance which requires protection. This may include archaeological artefacts, palaeontological and rare geological specimens, meteorites and any other object which holds cultural significance.
A heritage object is defined as any moveable property of cultural significance which requires protection. This may include archaeological artefacts, palaeontological and rare geological specimens, meteorites and any other object which holds cultural significance.

"Heritage Objects may be publicly and privately owned and could be found in homes, museums, churches, schools, government buildings and universities."
Heritage Objects may be publicly and privately owned and could be found in homes, museums, churches, schools, government buildings and universities. Most objects are produced to serve a specific purpose: a chair for sitting on, a weapon for defence, an artwork that expresses creativity, or jewellery for personal adornment. Some are imbued with additional social and cultural meaning and, consequently, have a broader heritage value or significance for Namibia. 
They become meaningful when we know how and why they were made, who used them and how they may the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property in December 2003.have influenced, or been influenced by individuals and communities. Irrespective of whether these heritage objects are in public or private ownership, they form part of what is defined as the National Estate.

Combating Illicit Trafficking in Heritage Objects

Illicit trafficking refers to the illegal means by which heritage objects leave or enter Namibia. In order to combat illegal trafficking of Namibian heritage objects and to provide frameworks for appropriate action in the event of foreign heritage objects entering Namibia illegally, the following conventions are referred to:

The 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property in December 2003. 

The 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Property.

International Police (Interpol) investigates heritage related crime which includes objects stolen from museums as well as illicit trafficking. Reports of thefts of objects in museums can be lodged on NAHRIS after the crime has been reported to the local police station and a case number is obtained. The public are urged to inform the NHC, report crimes on NAHRIS and/or to report heritage related crime to the police.


"A nation's culture resides in the heart and in the soul of its people" 
- Mahalma Gandhi