International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property

United States of America


N.B.: General country data and external links have been provided by the Member State.* Uploaded: 06/2020

General Country data

The main cultural assets of the United States of America

The cultural assets of the United States of America represent the diversity, history, and ingenuity of the American people beginning with the ancient peoples who first inhabited North America. The types of assets include, among others, historic buildings and monuments; vessels and other historic structures; archaeological sites and cultural landscapes; libraries, archives, and museum collections; and forms of traditional cultural expression, such as traditional music, dance, ceremonies, and crafts representative of the country’s diverse communities and groups. Representative examples of cultural assets of the United States are the cliff dwellings of the ancestral Pueblo people at Mesa Verde National Park, the Declaration of Independence, the Star-Spangled Banner, American folk music, the architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, and the Space Shuttle Discovery.

The legal framework on cultural heritage conservation

The United States has a robust legal framework for the preservation and protection of cultural heritage assets. National laws include the Antiquities Act (1906), National Park Service Organic Act (1916), National Stolen Property Act (1934), Historic Sites Act (1935), Indian Arts and Crafts Act (1935), National Historic Preservation Act (1966), National Environmental Policy Act (1969), Archaeological Resources Protection Act (1979), Department of Transportation Act (1966), Cultural Property Implementation Act (1983), Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990), Abandoned Shipwreck Act (1988), Sunken Military Craft Act (2004), and the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act (2016). The United States Code includes copyright and trademark laws for protecting intellectual property, such as writings, music, photographs, and films, as well as basic laws and authorities for preserving cultural material, such as archives and other collections. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, state and tribal laws, and local ordinances are also part of the legal framework for the preservation and protection of cultural assets. The framework provides for the distribution of stewardship opportunities and responsibilities across federal, tribal, state, and local governments and the private sector.

The cultural and natural sites on the World Heritage List

The 24 sites in the United States inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List represent the country’s vast cultural and natural diversity and highlight outstanding and transcendent natural phenomena spanning billions of years of geological history and human contributions and achievements from prehistory to the modern era. Cultural sites include prehistoric earthworks, ruins of ancient indigenous civilizations, and icons of modern architecture. Natural sites range from forests of the tallest tree species on Earth to the world’s largest non-polar ice field.


Adhesion to ICCROM

United States of America is a Member State of ICCROM since 20/01/1971

Within ICCROM

Mandates in ICCROM Council since 1958:

  • 1973-1988: Paul Perrot
  • 1988-2000: Lambertus Van Zelst
  • 2002-2009: Blaine Cliver
  • 2010-2017: Sharon Park
  • 2018-2021: John Robbins

ICCROM Staff since 1959: 10

Involvement of US Nationals

Activities in/with United States of America since 2002


Activities details

Activities details


  • 2002 - 12 Mission(s)
  • 2003 - 9 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2004 - 16 Mission(s)
  • 2005 - 2 Course(s), 15 Mission(s)
  • 2006 - 1 Course(s), 9 Mission(s)
  • 2007 - 4 Course(s), 11 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2008 - 3 Course(s), 10 Mission(s)
  • 2009 - 3 Course(s), 13 Mission(s)
  • 2010 - 3 Course(s), 7 Mission(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2011 - 3 Course(s), 7 Mission(s)
  • 2012 - 2 Course(s), 8 Mission(s), 1 Partnership(s)
  • 2013 - 1 Course(s), 1 Mission(s), 4 Partnership(s), 1 Technical assistance(s)
  • 2014 - 1 Course(s), 4 Mission(s), 4 Partnership(s)
  • 2015 - 3 Course(s), 12 Mission(s), 2 Partnership(s)
  • 2016 - 1 Course(s), 17 Mission(s), 3 Partnership(s)
  • 2017 - 3 Course(s), 10 Mission(s), 6 Partnership(s)
  • 2018 - 4 Course(s), 8 Mission(s), 2 Partnership(s)
  • 2019 - 4 Course(s), 14 Mission(s), 2 Partnership(s)
  • 2020 - 1 Mission(s)


External links

Governmental Cultural Institutions

Museums and Cultural Heritage Institutions


* ICCROM reserves the right to moderate the content provided by Member States for country profiles to ensure that they remain within the scope of ICCROM’s mission and pertinent to cultural heritage. However, ICCROM does not take responsibility for the accuracy and validity of the content supplied. The ideas and opinions expressed are those of the Member States.