Antiquities, Monuments and Museum Act


Published: 1999-07-01

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Antiquities, Monuments and Museum Act
ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM [CH.51 – 1


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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM
CHAPTER 51

ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS


PART I
PRELIMINARY


SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.


PART II
MONUMENTS


3. Declaration of monuments and plans thereof.
4. Declarations affecting private land.
5. Control of monuments generally.
6. Acts prohibited in relation to certain monuments under permit.
7. Grant of sums for preservation, etc. of monuments.
8. Compensation.
9. Assessment of compensation by Supreme Court.


PART III
ARTIFACTS


10. Certain artifacts to be property of Government.


PART IV
DISCOVERY AND EXCAVATION OF ANTIQUITIES


11. Discovery of Antiquities.
12. No excavation etc. of antiquities, without licence.
13. Grant of licences.
14. Rights of licensee.
15. Cancellation of licence.
16. Appeal against refusal of licence.

CH.51 – 2] ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

PART V
ESTABLISHMENT, FUNCTIONS AND MANAGEMENT OF

NATIONAL MUSEUM

17. Establishment of National Museum.
18. Common Seal of the National Museum.
19. Functions of the National Museum.
20. Director of the National Museum.
21. Secretary of the National Museum.
22. Establishment of the Board.
23. Pensions of persons transferred from the public service to the National Museum.
24. Board to be subject to directions of Minister.



PART VI
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS


25. Funds and resources of the National Museum.
26. Moneys deposited to General Account.
27. Expenditure of gifts and grants.
28. Advances to the National Museum.
29. Surplus moneys.
30. Reserve Fund.
31. Balancing of revenue account and surplus revenue.
32. Accounts and audit.



PART VII
MISCELLANEOUS


33. Offences.
34. Evidence.
35. Payments to be made from funds provided by Parliament.
36. Pensions and gratuities.
37. Regulations.
38. Vesting of property.
39. Provisions of this Act to prevail.

SCHEDULE — Constitution and Procedure of the Board

ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM [CH.51 – 3


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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 51

ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM
An Act to provide for the preservation, conservation,

restoration, documentation, study and presentation of sites
and objects of historical, anthropological, archaeological and
palaeontological interest, to establish a National Museum,
and for matters ancillary thereto or connected therewith.

[Assent 12th May, 1998]
[Commencement 1st July, 1999]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1. This Act may be cited as the Antiquities, Monu-
ments and Museum Act, 1998.

2. In this Act —
“antiquity” means —

(a) an artifact; or
(b) A place, building, site or structure erected,

formed or built by human agency which is
at least fifty years old and the ruins or
remains of any such place, building, site or
structure, whether or not the same has been
modified, added to or restored at any time;

“artifact” means —
(a) a movable object made, shaped, painted,

carved, inscribed, or otherwise created,
manufactured, produced, used or modified
by human agency which is at least fifty years
old, whether or not it has been modified,
added to or restored at any time; or

(b) fossil remains or impressions;
“Board” means the Antiquities, Monuments and

Museum Board established by section 22;

5 of 1998

Short title.

Interpretation.

CH.51 – 4] ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

“Crown land” means land vested in Her Majesty or
the Governor-General on behalf of Her Majesty
as property of the Crown for the beneficial
interests of The Bahamas;

“designated person” means —
(a) an Administrator;
(b) designated officers of the National

Museum;
(c) an officer of the Defence Force;
(d) the officer in charge of a police station;
(e) a police officer of or above the rank of

inspectors; and
(f) any person specified by the Minister by

notice published in the Gazette;
“Director” means the Director of the National

Museum appointed under section 20;
“discovery” means the findings in The Bahamas —

(a) in, on or under land or strandline;
(b) in or on anything growing on land; or
(c) attached to or within the fabric or

foundations of a structure in, on or under
land or sea,

of any antiquity or supposed antiquity, the
presence of which was previously unknown to
the owner of such land or structure,

“Government land” means land, other than private
land or Crown land, owned by the Government;

“licence” means a licence granted under section 13;
“Minister” means the Minister responsible for Anti-

quities, Monuments and Museums;
“monument” means a place, building, site or struc-

ture which is declared to be a monument under
section 3;

“movable object” means an object which does not
form part of land or seabed;

“National Museum” means the National Museum of
The Bahamas established by section 17;

ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM [CH.51 – 5


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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

“permit” means a permit granted under section 6;
“private land” means land other than Government

land or Crown land;
“public officer” shall have the meaning assigned

thereto in thePensions Act;
“Secretary” means the Secretary to the National

Museum appointed by virtue of section 21;
“supposed antiquity” means an object or site which

may reasonably be supposed to be or to contain
an antiquity.

PART II
MONUMENTS

3. (1) Subject to section 4, the Minister may, after
consultation with the Board, by notice published in the
Gazette, declare any place, building, site or structure,
which the Minister considers to be of public interest by
reason of its historical, anthropological, archaeological or
palaeontological significance to be a monument.

(2) A declaration under subsection (1) may include
as part of a monument any land adjoining the place,
building, site or structure required for fencing, covering or
protecting the monument or for providing or facilitating
access thereto.

(3) A notice under subsection (1) shall include a
reference to the appropriate plan deposited under subsec-
tion (4).

(4) The Minister shall, before publication of a
declaration under subsection (1) —

(a) sign and deposit in The Registrar General's
Department a plan clearly showing the location
of the proposed monument; and

(b) if the declaration relates to a monument within
private land, register the declaration in the
Registrar General's Department.

(5) The Minister shall —
(a) keep available at his office, for public inspection

at all reasonable times, a copy of every plan
deposited under subsection (4); and

Ch. 43.

Declaration of
monuments and
plans thereof.

CH.51 – 6] ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) at the request of the owner or a lawful occupier
of a monument which is shown on a plan so
deposited, deliver a copy of the plan free of
charge to the owner or occupier.

4. (1) If a proposed monument is within private
land, then, prior to the making of the declaration, the
provisions of this section shall have effect.

(2) The Minister shall serve on the owner and any
lawful occupier of the private land a notice in writing of his
proposal to declare a monument therein together with a
plan clearly showing the location of the proposed
monument.

(3) Within one month, or such longer period as may
be allowed by the Supreme Court in any particular case,
after the service of a notice under subsection (2), the owner
or a lawful occupier may object to the proposed monument
by application to the Supreme Court.

(4) The Supreme Court, upon considering an
application made under subsection (3), may direct that the
proposed declaration shall or shall not be made or shall be
made subject to such variations or conditions as it thinks
fit.

(5) A direction of the Supreme Court under subsec-
tion (4) shall be final.

(6) A notice required to be served under this section
may be served —

(a) by delivering it personally to the person to be
served;

(b) by leaving it at the usual or last known place of
residence or business of the person to be served;

(c) by sending it by post addressed to the person to
be served at the usual or last known place of
residence or business of the person; or

(d) by serving it in such other manner as the court
may, on application made to it in that behalf,
direct.

Declarations
affecting private
land.

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5. (1) Subject to this section, the Minister, or any
designated person authorized by him in writing, may, for
the purposes of this Act, at all reasonable times —

(a) enter and inspect any monument;
(b) fence, repair, maintain, preserve or restore any

monument; or
(c) excavate or search for artifacts in any monument

and remove any artifacts hitherto undiscovered.
(2) Neither the Minister nor a designated person

authorized by him may enter any premises, in the exercise
of the powers conferred by subsection (1), unless he first
notifies the owner or the lawful occupier of such premises
of his intention to do so:

Provided that the Minister shall dispense with such
notification where he considers it necessary to do so.

(3) Nothing in this section shall authorize the
exclusion from any part of a monument of —

(a) the owner or lawful occupier of the monument;
(b) a person beneficially interested in the monument;

or
(c) a person authorized by such owner, occupier or

person beneficially interested in the monument.
6. No person shall —
(a) excavate, carry on building or other work, plant

or fell trees or deposit earth or refuse on, in or
near a monument; or

(b) demolish, remove, obstruct, deface or interfere
with a monument,

except in accordance with a permit granted by the Minister.
7. The Minister may grant to a person who proposes

to carry out work for the maintenance, preservation,
restoration, documentation, study or presentation of a
monument such sum as the Minister thinks fit for the
purpose of assisting the person to carry out the work.

8. (1) Subject to this section, the Minister shall pay to
the owner or lawful occupier of a monument compensation
in respect of financial loss suffered or likely to be suffered
by him by reason of —

Control of
monuments
generally.

Acts prohibited
in relation to
certain monu-
ments under
permit.

Grant of sums
for preservation,
etc. of monu-
ments.

Compensation.

CH.51 – 8] ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(a) the exercise by the Minister, or by a designated
person authorized by him, of the powers
specified in subsection (1) of section 5; or

(b) a refusal to grant a permit or any conditions
imposed in a permit.

(2) The compensation shall be such amount as may —
(a) be agreed between the Minister and the owner or

lawful occupier of the monument; or
(b) be assessed by the Supreme Court under section

9.
(3) No compensation shall be awarded under this

section in respect of financial loss which may be suffer in
connection with a contract made or anything done by the
owner or lawful occupier of the monument after the service
of a notice under subsection (2) of section 4.

9. (1) In default of agreement under paragraph (a)
of subsection (2) of section 8, the owner or lawful occupier
may apply to the Supreme Court —

(a) for determination of his interest or right;
(b) for the determination of the legality of the

declaration affecting his interest or right;
(c) to assess the amount of compensation payable

under section 8; and
(d) for obtaining prompt payment of such

compensation.
(2) The Supreme Court may, on such application,

award to the applicant such compensation as it thinks
reasonable in the circumstances.

PART III
ARTIFACTS

10. (1) Subject to this Act, the ownership of every
artifact discovered in The Bahamas after the commence-
ment of this Act shall vest in the Government from the
moment of discovery.

(2) The Minister may, on behalf of the Government,
disclaim the ownership of an artifact so discovered, and
upon such disclaimer —

Assessment of
compensation by
Supreme Court.

Certain artifacts
to be property of
Government.

ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM [CH.51 – 9


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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(a) the ownership of the Government in the artifact
shall be extinguished; and

(b) the ownership of the artifact shall vest in the
person who, but for the enactment of this Act,
would otherwise have been the owner thereof.

(3) The provisions of sections 8 and 9 shall apply
mutatis mutandis to this Part.

PART IV
DISCOVERY AND EXCAVATION OF ANTIQUITIES

11. (1) Any person who discovers, or knows of the
discovery of an antiquity or supposed antiquity shall
forthwith report the discovery to the Minister, or to a
designated person.

(2) A person who makes a report under subsection
(1) shall, if so requested by the Minister or a designated
person, identify to the Minister or to the designated person
the antiquity or the supposed antiquity and its exact
location in respect of which the report was made.

(3) A person who discovers an antiquity or supposed
antiquity shall take all reasonable measures to protect it.

(4) The Minister may award to a person who makes
a report under subsection (1) such sum by way of reward as
the Minister thinks fit.

(5) A designated person to whom a report is made
under this section shall forthwith inform the Minister, in
writing, of the report.

(6) Subject to subsection (7), the Minister and any
designated person authorized by him in writing, may enter
upon and inspect the site of the discovery of an antiquity or
supposed antiquity.

(7) Neither the Minister nor a designated person
authorized by him may enter any premises in the exercise
of the powers conferred by subsection (6), unless he first
notifies the owner or the lawful occupier of such premises
of his intention to do so:

Provided that the Minister shall dispense with such
notification where he considers it necessary to do so.

Discovery of
Antiquities.

CH.51 – 10] ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

12. No person, other than the Minister and a
designated person authorized by him, shall —

(a) excavate or search for antiquities except in
accordance with a licence granted to him;

(b) remove any artifact hitherto undiscovered from a
monument or collect or remove any object
which he supposes to be an artifact from the site
of its discovery, otherwise than for the purpose
of protecting the same or in accordance with a
licence granted to him.

13. (1) Subject to this Act, the Minister may grant to
any person a licence to excavate and search for antiquities.

(2) A licence may not be granted to a person unless
the Minister is satisfied that he —

(a) has had sufficient scientific training or experience
to enable him to carry out the excavation and
search;

(b) has at his disposal sufficient staff and financial
or other resources to enable him to carry out the
proposed excavation and search satisfactorily;

(c) is able to conduct or arrange for a proper
scientific study of any antiquities discovered as
a result of the proposed excavation and search
for their proper preservation, restoration,
analysis, documentation and presentation; and

(d) has deposited the prescribed performance bond.
(3) Subject to subsection (2), a licence may be

granted or renewed for a period not exceeding twelve
months.

(4) A licence shall be in the prescribed form and
shall specify the area of land in respect of which it is
granted.

(5) A licence shall not be transferable in whole or in
part.

(6) The Minister may include such conditions in a
licence as he considers appropriate and in particular but
without prejudice to the generality hereof, may include
conditions as to the conduct of any excavation and search,
the reporting, mapping and documenting thereof, the
preservation, conservation and restoration of materials
discovered, their removal, examination, presentation and
return, and the making and delivery of casts, rubbings,
squeezes and other reproductions.

No excavation
etc. of antiqui-
ties, without
licence.

Grant of licences.

ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM [CH.51 – 11


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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

14. (1) The holder of a licence may, subject to the
conditions thereof, enter upon the excavation and search
for antiquities, in, on or under —

(a) any Government land or Crown land within the
area specified in the licence; and

(b) subject to subsection (2), any private land within
the area specified in the licence.

(2) The holder of a licence shall not be entitled to
enter upon, or excavate or search for antiquities in, on or
under private land unless he first obtains the consent in
writing of the owner and any lawful occupier of the land.

15. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister may
cancel any licence.

(2) A licence shall not be cancelled unless the
holder of the licence has been given reasonable opportunity
to make representations to the Minister as to why his
licence should not be cancelled.

(3) As soon as possible after the cancellation of a
licence, the Minister shall, by notice in writing, served
either personally or by registered post, inform the person
whose licence has been cancelled of the cancellation and of
the reasons thereof.

(4) Failure to comply with subsection (3) shall not
invalidate the cancellation of a licence.

16. (1) The decision of the Minister to grant, renew
or cancel a licence shall be final unless it can be shown to
the satisfaction of the Supreme Court by the party
aggrieved that the Minister was acting ultra vires.

(2) The decision of the Supreme Court on the appeal
shall be final.

PART V
ESTABLISHMENT, FUNCTIONS AND

MANAGEMENT OF NATIONAL MUSEUM
17. (1) There shall be established a museum to be

known as “The National Museum of The Bahamas”.

Rights of
licensee.

Cancellation of
licence.

Minister's
decision to be
final.

Establishment of
National
Museum.

CH.51 – 12] ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) The National Museum shall be a body corporate
with perpetual succession and a common seal, and shall be
capable of —

(a) suing and being sued;
(b) taking, purchasing or otherwise acquiring,

holding charging and disposing of property,
movable and immovable; and

(c) doing or performing all such other things or acts
for the performance of its functions under, and
for the furtherance of the provisions of, this Act
which may lawfully be done or performed by a
body corporate.

18. (1) The common seal of the National Museum
shall be kept in such custody as the Board directs and shall
not be used except upon the order of the Board.

(2) The common seal of the National Museum shall
be authenticated by the signatures of the Chairman of the
Board or any other member of the Board duly authorized
by the Board in that behalf, and by the Secretary.

(3) The common seal of the National Museum when
affixed to any document and duly authenticated under this
section shall be judicially and officially noticed, and,
unless and until the contrary is proved, any necessary order
or authorization of the Board under this section shall be
presumed to have been duly given.

19. The functions of the National Museum shall be —
(a) to establish, operate and administer museums

throughout The Bahamas;
(b) to provide for the presentation and study of sites

and objects of historical, anthropological,
archaeological, palaeontological, and other
scientific interest and matters ancillary thereto;

(c) to assist other bodies or persons either financially
or in any other way to carry on any undertaking
which appears to the National Museum to be
needed for the achievement of its purposes;

(d) to carry on any activities incidental to any
undertaking which appears to the National
Museum to be necessary for the promotion of
that undertaking;

Common Seal of
the National
Museum.

Functions of the
National
Museum.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(e) to be the major national and public repository of
all artifacts of integral importance to the
prehistory, history and cultural development of
the Bahamian people and The Bahamas;

(f) to hold and display significant archaeological,
anthropological, historical, cultural, palaeonto-
logical and other scientific collections;

(g) to establish, operate and administer a
conservation unit of the National Museum as
prescribed, to be headed by a conservator
appointed by the Board, for the purpose of
superintending the conservation, preservation
and restoration of all antiquities and monuments,
and the supervision of persons and institutions
licensed by this Act to perform similar
functions;

(h) to establish, operate and administer an
archaeological and palaeontological research
unit of the National Museum as prescribed, to be
headed by an archaeologist appointed by the
Board, for the purpose of conducting terrestrial
and underwater archaeological research into the
prehistory and history of the Bahamian people
and The Bahamas and the supervision of persons
and institutions licensed by this Act to perform
such research; and

(i) to establish, operate and administer an historical
site unit of the National Museum as prescribed to
be headed by a surveyor or architect or other
appropriate person appointed by the Board, for
the purpose of identifying, studying, demarcating
and maintaining national, historical and cultural
sites.

20. (1) There shall be a Director of the National
Museum who shall be appointed by the Minister on such
terms and conditions (including salaries, allowances and
other remuneration) as the Minister may determine.

(2) The Director shall, subject to the directions of the
Board, be responsible generally for the management of the
National Museum.

Director of the
National
Museum.

CH.51 – 14] ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of
subjection(2), the Director shall supervise and direct the
work of the National Museum, the administrative and other
staff of the National Museum and also perform such other
functions as may from time to time be assigned to him by
the Board.

(4) The Director may be removed from office by the
Minister on the grounds of misconduct, inefficiency or
other good cause.

(5) Whenever the Director is absent from The
Bahamas or is for any reason unable to perform the
functions of his office, the Minister may appoint a person
to act as Director during such absence or inability.

21. (1) There shall be a Secretary of the National
Museum who shall be appointed by the Board on such
terms and conditions (including salaries, allowances and
other remuneration and disciplinary, control) as the Board
may determine.

(2) The Secretary, under the direction of the
Director, shall be responsible for the administration of the
National Museum, including the administration of funds
and other assets of the National Museum.

22. (1) There shall be established a board to be
known as the “Antiquities, Monuments and Museum
Board”.

(2) The management, control and administration of
the National Museum shall be vested in the Board —

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection
(2), the Board shall have power —

(a) to control and superintend the property and
policy of the National Museum;

(b) to appoint such professional, technical,
administrative and other staff as appear to the
Board to be necessary, on such terms and
conditions (including salaries, allowances and
other renumeration and disciplinary control) as
the Board may determine;

(c) to receive on behalf of the National Museum
gifts, grants or other moneys;

Secretary of the
National
Museum.

Establishment of
the Board.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(d) subject to the prior approval of the Minister, to
make regulations —

(i) to direct and regulate the administration of
the National Museum,

(ii) without prejudice to the generality of
subparagraph (i), to direct and regulate the
conduct, discipline and such other matters
affecting the employment of members of
the staff as the Board sees fit.

(4) The provisions of the Schedule shall have effect
with respect to the Constitution of the Board and otherwise
in relation thereto.

23. (1) Where any public officer holding a pension-
able office under the Government ceases to be the holder
of such office by reason of his transfer with his consent to
the service of the National Museum and such person
subsequently retires from the service of the National
Museum in such circumstances that, had he remained a
public officer, he would have been eligible for pension
under the provisions of the Pensions Act, then in any such
case the provisions of subsections (2) and (3) shall have
effect.

(2) Any pension payable to any such person as is
mentioned in subsection (1) by the National Museum to
whose service he has been transferred shall be calculated
and granted to him in respect of his total service under the
Government and with the National Museum taken together
and such service shall be reckoned as continuous for
pension purposes.

(3) There shall be payable out of the Consolidated
Fund upon the warrant of the Minister of Finance to the
National Museum as contribution to every pension paid in
accordance with subsection (2), such amounts as would
have been payable to the person concerned by way of
pension under the Pensions Act, if such person had retired
from the public service and if he had been granted a
pension under the Pensions Act upon the date of his
ceasing to be a public officer.

Schedule

Pensions of per-
sons transferred
from the public
service to the
National Mu-
seum.

Ch. 43.

Ch. 43.

CH.51 – 16] ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

24. (1) The Minister may give the Board such
general directions as he thinks fit with respect to the
exercise of its functions under this Act.

(2) In the exercise of its functions under this Act,
the Board shall comply with any directions given by the
Minister under subsection (1).

PART VI
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

25. The funds and resources of the National Museum
shall consist of —

(a) such sums as may be voted for the purposes of
the National Museum by Parliament;

(b) all other sums or property which may in any
manner become payable to or vested in the
National Museum in respect of any matter
incidental to its functions.

26. (1) All moneys received by the National
Museum pursuant to section 25 shall be deposited into as
account (to be known as “the General Account”) to be
maintained by the National Museum with such bank or
banks as the Board may determine.

(2) The National Museum shall keep in respect of the
General Account, two separate accounts —

(a) an account to be known as “the General Current
Account” in which shall be recorded all deposits
into and withdrawals from the General Account
for applications towards defraying current
expenditure; and

(b) an account to be known as “the General Capital
Account” in which shall be recorded all deposits
into and withdrawals from the General Account
for applications towards defraying capital
expenditure.

Board to be sub-
ject to directions
of Minister.

Funds and
resources of the
National
Museum.

Moneys depos-
ited to General
Account.

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27. (1) Subject to subsection (2), where any gifts,
grants or other moneys are received by the Board on behalf
of the National Museum, the National Museum shall
inform the Minister of the receipt of such gifts, grants or
other moneys, and such gifts, grants or other moneys shall
be expended in such manner as the Board may determine.

(2) Where a donor or grantor, as the case may be,
has attached any reasonable stipulation to any such gift or
grant or other moneys, such stipulation shall be given
effect thereto.

28. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Minister of
Finance may, at the request of the Board, make advances
for the purpose of enabling the National Museum to defray
expenditure properly chargeable to the capital account,
including provision of working capital.

(2) No advance shall be made under this section
unless prior approval thereof has been signified by the
House of Assembly in accordance with the Financial
Administration and Audit Act.

29. At the end of each financial year, any surplus
moneys standing to the credit of the National Museum and
not required for any current purposes shall be carried to the
reserve fund established under section 30.

30. (1) The National Museum shall establish a reserve
fund.

(2) The management of the reserve fund, the sums
to be carried from time to time to the credit thereof, and the
application thereof, shall be as the Board may determine,
but, the reserve fund shall not be applied otherwise than for
the purposes of the National Museum.

31. (1) It shall be the duty of the National Museum to
discharge its functions as to ensure that its revenue are not
less than sufficient to meet all sums properly chargeable; to
its revenue account (including, without prejudice to the
generality of that expression, provisions in respect of its
obligations under section 29 and this section) taking one
year with another.

Expenditure of
gifts and grants.

Advances to the
National
Museum.

Ch. 359.

Surplus moneys.

Reserve Fund.

Balancing of rev-
enue account and
surplus revenue.

CH.51 – 18] ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) Any excess of the revenue of the National
Museum for any financial year over the sums properly
chargeable to its revenue account for that year (including
the provisions referred to in subsection (1)) shall be applied
by the National Museum for such purposes as the Board
may determine.

(3) The National Museum shall prepare for each
new financial year an annual budget of revenue and
expenditure which shall be submitted to the Minister at
least two months prior to the commencement of the
financial year.

32. (1) The National Museum shall keep proper
accounts and other records in relation thereto, and shall
prepare in respect of each financial year a statement of
accounts.

(2) The accounts of the National Museum for each
financial year small be audited by an auditor to be
appointed by the Board.

(3) As soon as the accounts have been audited the
National Museum shall submit a copy thereof to the
Minister together with a copy of any report made by the
auditor.

(4) The Minister shall lay a copy of every such
audited accounts before each House of Parliament, together
with a copy of any report made by the auditors on the
accounts.

PART VII
MISCELLANEOUS

33. Any person who —
(a) knowingly makes a false statement to the

Minister or to a designated person as to the
situation or circumstances of the discovery of an
antiquity;

(b) contravenes section 6, subsection (1) of section
11 or section 12;

(c) without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a
request made to him by the Minister or a
designated person under subsection (2) of section
11;

Accounts and
audit.

Offences.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(d) wilfully obstructs the Minister, or any designated
person authorized by him, in the exercise of his
powers under subsection (1) of section 5 or
subsection (6) of section 11; or

(e) fails to report a discovery within a reasonable
time,

is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary
conviction to a fine of ten thousand dollars or to
imprisonment for one year.

34. (1) Subject to this section, in any civil or
criminal proceedings if it is proved that an artifact or
alleged artifact was in The Bahamas after the date of the
commencement of this Act, it shall be presumed, until the
contrary is proved, that the discovery of the artifact or
alleged artifact occurred after that date.

(2) A presumption arising under subsection (1) shall
be rebutted if the court is satisfied that the artifact or
alleged artifact —

(a) has been in the possession of a party to the
proceedings, or of such a party and any
identifiable person from whom he acquired
possession, for a period of not less than ten year
prior to the commencement of the proceedings;
or

(b) has at any time before the commencement of the
proceedings been imported into The Bahamas.

(3) In any civil or criminal proceedings a certificate
purporting to be signed by the Minister and stating that
anything is an antiquity, shall be admissible in evidence and
shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

35. A sum —
(a) granted under section 7;
(b) awarded as compensation under section 8 or 9;
(c) awarded under subsection (4) of section 11,

shall be paid from such moneys as may be provided from
time to time by Parliament, and from funds of the National
Museum.

Evidence.

Payments to be
made from funds
provided by
Parliament.

CH.51 – 20] ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

36. As soon as practicable after the commencement
of this Act, the National Museum shall, subject to the
approval of the Minister, establish a scheme for the
payment of pensions or gratuities for officers and servants
of the National Museum who retire from the service of the
National Museum or otherwise ceased to hold office by
reason of age, or of infirmity of mind or of the abolition of
office.

37. The Minister may make regulations —
(a) prescribing the forms of licences and permits;
(b) prescribing the manner in which applications for

licences and permits shall be made;
(c) prescribing the fees and performance bonds to

be paid to the Minister upon the grant or renewal
of licences;

(d) regulating the conduct of excavations and
searches for antiquities;

(e) providing for the preservation, conservation,
restoration, analysis, documentation and
presentation of antiquities;

(f) providing for the management and control of
antiquities and monuments;

(g) providing for the prohibition and control of
access to excavations, monuments and sites, and
for the payment, restriction and regulation of
entrance fees thereto;

(h) providing for the establishment , operation and
administration of the conservation unit, the
archaeological and palaeontological research
unit and the historical site unit of the National
Museum;

(i) generally for the better carrying out of the
provisions of this Act.

(2) No regulations made under this Act shall —
(a) prohibit or restrict access to a monument of the

owner or lawful occupier of the monument or of
any person beneficially interested therein, or of
any person authorized by the owner, occupier or
person beneficially interested; or

Pensions and
gratuities.

Regulations.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(b) confer upon a person any right which he would
not otherwise have had to enter upon private
land.

38. There shall, by virtue of this section and without
further assurance, vest in the National Museum in fee
simple free from incumbrances all such land which
immediately before the commencement of this Act vested
in the Treasurer in trust for Her Majesty in right of Her
Government of The Bahamas and shall be described by the
Minister by notice published in the Gazette.

39. (1) Where there is a conflict between any
provision of this Act and any provision of any other Act,
the provision of this Act shall prevail.

(2) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared
that in relation to monuments, historical and archaeolo-
gical sites and antiquities, the provisions of this Act shall
take precedence over the provisions of The Bahamas
National Trust Act.

SCHEDULE (Section 22(4))

CONSTITUTION AND PROCEDURE OF THE BOARD
1. (1) The Board shall consist of twelve members of whom —

(a) one shall be the Director of the National Museum ex
officio;

(b) one shall be the Director of Archives;
(c) one shall be the President or his representative of the

College of The Bahamas;
(d) one shall be the Director-General of Tourism;
(e) one shall be the Director of Culture;
(f) one shall be the Director of Physical Planning;
(g) one shall he a member of The Bahamas National Trust

appointed by the Minister; and
(h) five shall be appointed by the Minister after consultation with

the Director and such economic or social bodies or associations
from which the Minister considers that such members should
be selected.

Vesting of
property.

Provisions of this
Act to prevail.

Ch. 390.

CH.51 – 22] ANTIQUITIES, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUM





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) In exercise of his powers of appointment under this
paragraph the Minister shall ensure that, after the initial
constitution of the Board, the members of the Board shall not
consist entirely of persons previously appointed to membership
of the Board at the same time.

2. A member of the Board other than the persons referred
to in paragraph 1(1)(a) to (f) shall hold office for a period not
exceeding three years, and shall be eligible for re-appointment.

3. The Minister shall appoint one of the members of the
Board to be the Chairman thereof.

4. (1) Any member of the Board, other than the Chairman,
may at anytime resign his office by instrument in writing
addressed to the Minister and transmitted through the Chairman,
and from the date of receipt by the Minister of such instrument
such member shall cease to be a member of the Board.

(2) The Chairman may at any time resign his office by
instrument in writing addressed to the Minister and such
resignation shall take effect as from the date of receipt by the
Minister of such instrument.

5. The Minister may at any time revoke the appointment of
any member of the Board.

6. (1) If any vacancy occurs in the membership of the
Board, such vacancy shall be filled by the appointment of
another member who shall, subject to the provisions of this
Schedule, hold office for the remainder of the period for which
the previous member was appointed, so however, that such
appointment shall be made in the same manner and from the
same category of persons, if any, as the appointment of the
previous member.

(2) If the Minister is satisfied that the Chairman or any
other member of the Board is unable to act, the Minister shall
appoint any person to act in his place.

7. The names of all members of the Board as first
constituted and every change in membership thereof shall be
published in the Gazette.

8. All documents, other than those required to be under
seal, made by, and all decisions of, the Board may be signified
under the hands of the Chairman, or any other member
authorized to act in that behalf, and the Secretary.

9. (1) The Board shall meet at least once every three months
and at such other times as may be necessary or expedient for
transaction of its business and such meetings shall be held at such
places and times and on such days as the Board may determine.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(2) The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the
Board at which he is present and, in the case of the Chairman’s
absence from any meeting, the members present and constituting
a quorum shall elect a Chairman from among their number to
preside at that meeting.

(3) A quorum of the Board shall consist of five members.
(4) The decisions of the Board shall be by a majority of

votes and, in addition to an original vote the Chairman or other
person presiding at a meeting shall have a casting vote in any
case in which the voting is equal.

(5) Minutes in proper form of each meeting of the Board
shall be kept by the Secretary of the Board and a copy of the
minutes of every meeting shall be submitted to the Minister as
soon as possible thereafter.

10. There shall be paid from the funds of the National Museum
to the Chairman and other members of the Board such remunera-
tion, if any, whether by way of honorarium, salary or fees such
allowances, if any, as the Minister may determine.