Protection of Cultural Objects On Loan Scheme (PCOL)

Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan

The Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013 (the Act) supports the future of international cultural exhibitions in Australia. It establishes a scheme to protect Australian and foreign cultural objects on loan from overseas for temporary public exhibition.

Further information about the scheme can be found at

(The Queensland Museum is an approved borrowing institution under the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013, since December 2016)

Queensland Museum Policies

The Museum has a number of specific policies which govern the process of acquiring, borrowing and lending objects and specimens in accordance with the requirements of due diligence and in keeping with the parameters of the Act.

The purpose of these policies is to outline the principles upon which the Queensland Museum ensures material is only acquired or borrowed where the vendor, donor or lender has legal title to the items, there is established provenance and the material is authentic and has not been looted or illegally obtained or exported. The policies apply when material is being considered for acquisition via purchase, gift (including via the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program), bequest or exchange or in the case of inward loans and when lending material to external borrowers:

Consideration of Claims

The Queensland Museum is committed to hosting exhibitions of international standing from around the world in accordance with the highest principles of professional practice; by adhering to ethical and moral standards and all applicable laws and conventions.

As part of this commitment, the Museum will consider all enquiries from people who might have concerns about an object on loan from overseas; such as a claim or clarification of ownership or provenance. In order to provide complete transparency in this regard, all objects on loan from overseas which are subject to the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013 are published below in the section Upcoming International Exhibitions at least one month prior to importation into Australia. 

What information must be provided when lodging a claim or enquiry?

In the event that an individual, cultural group, organisation, institution, keeping place or Government wishes to make a claim or enquiry, or if additional information is required regarding an object the Museum has on loan from overseas, the following information will need to be provided in writing:

  • name, address and contact details;
  • if a claim or enquiry is being made on behalf of another person, that person’s name, contact details and relationship to the claimant;
  • short summary of the claim or enquiry;
  • copies of any documents or other evidence that may be relevant to the claim or enquiry.

How will the Museum respond?

  • The enquiry or claim will be designated to a specific staff member who will liaise with the claimant directly to ensure they have a single point of contact. 
  • The staff member will review and assess the enquiry or claim in a professional, sensitive and timely manner guided by the requirements of due diligence and the respective Museum Polices and Procedures.
  • The information they collate will be forwarded to the Museum’s Senior Decision Maker (usually the CEO); and if it relates to an object borrowed from overseas that is subject to the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013, also to a representative from the Department of Communications and the Arts, so that the most appropriate course of action can be followed.
  • Within 4 weeks of receiving a claim or inquiry the staff member will supply the web address where the information about the object is published and information held by the institution as a result of due diligence research conducted in accordance with the Museum's policies and procedures.

Who should be contacted at the Museum to make a claim or enquiry?

In the first instance the Museum should be contacted directly at the following email address: