NEW PRINCIPLES OF MUSEUM WORK WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE TASKS OF TERRITORIAL SELF-GOVERNMENTS (A PRACTICAL COMMENTARY TO THE STATUTE ON MUSEUMS) (Nowe zasady dzialalnosci muzealnej w kontekscie zadan samorzadu terytorialego...)
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Museums comprise a distinct category of cultural institutions, whose legal status is defined by two fundamental legal acts, i. e. the statue of 21 November 1966 on museums, regulating their special status, and the statute of 25 October 1991, pertaining to all cultural institutions and supplementing the statute on museums, about the organisation and pursuit of cultural activity. From 17 November 2003 a new legal regulation concerning the principles of the protection of historical monuments, essential from the viewpoint of the statutory work performed by museums, is the statute of 23 July 2003 about the protection of, and care for historical monuments; it replaced the statute of 15 February 1962 about the protection of cultural property. In the current organisational configuration, connected with the administrative reform dating from the end of the 1990s, the majority of museums has the status of self-government cultural institutions, i.e. their organiser is a territorial self-government unit - a commune, a county or a self-governing voivodeship. Only a few museums have retained the status of state museums supervised directly by the Ministry of Culture. From the vantage point of their organisation, Polish museums remain differentiated. Preferential rank is enjoyed by the so-called registered museums, recorded in special registers and granted assorted privileges as regards priority in purchasing exhibits. Such museums also include boards of trustees, which correspond to the boards active in other museums. Statutory activity concentrates on the gathering, storage, protection, conservation of collections, as well as pertinent publications; according to the copyright law such museum exhibits possess the status of movables, and comprise monuments mentioned in the statute on the protection of historical monuments. Despite the fact that in the majority of cases the exhibits do not render indelible work envisaged by the copyright law, in certain instances the activity pursued by museums does possess all the traits of creative work as understood by the statute of 4 February 1994 on copyright and affiliated rights, e. g. in the context of exhibitions organised by museums or their publishing activity.
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