Prohibition to seize exhibition items

The purpose of the prohibition against seizure is to promote the organisation of important exhibitions in such a way that the return of items can be guaranteed.

Kivinen kasvoveistos



Upon application, the Ministry of Education and Culture may prohibit the seizure of an exhibition item if it is on loan for an exhibition which is artistically or cultural historically significant or which is considered important in terms of international cultural exchange. In addition to the general significance of an exhibition, another condition for a prohibition against seizure is that the exhibition is organised by a Finnish public legal person or a not-for-profit private legal person. The prohibition is not issued for commercial exhibitions.

A prohibition against seizure may not be issued if: it can justifiably presumed that the exhibition item has been criminally obtained; its ownership is in dispute; or if there is reason to believe that the exhibition item would be placed on sale in the exhibition. Furthermore, a prohibition will not be issued if it would violate an international treaty binding Finland or European Community law. The prohibition can be granted for a maximum of one year.


An application for a prohibition against seizure must reach the Registry of the Ministry of Education and Culture at least two (2) months before the date on which the prohibition is to start. Address: P.O. Box 23, 00023 Government.

However, if the decision is required before the date on which the prohibition of seizure begins, the application must be submitted at least one month before the required date.

The organiser of the exhibition may apply for a prohibition against seizure. The following information must included on the application or an appendix to it:

  1.  the applicant;
  2.  the lender of the exhibition item;
  3.  information identifying the exhibition item;
  4.  an account attesting that the conditions for issuing the prohibition laid down in Section 2(1) and (2) of the Act are fulfilled and indicating whether the country from which the exhibition item comes requires an export licence for bringing the item to Finland;
  5.  a copy of the agreement or draft agreement between the applicant and the lender of the exhibition item;
  6.  the dates on which the prohibition against seizure is to start and end.

The information identifying the exhibition item must include at least the lender of the item and the name, production date, inventory number and provenance of the item.

Application form in Finnish (doc)



Contact information

Päivi Salonen, kulttuuriasiainneuvos 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Kulttuuri- ja taidepolitiikan osasto (KUPO), Taiteen ja kulttuuriperinnön vastuualue (TAKU) Telephone:0295330281   Email Address: