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


N.B.: General country data and external links have been provided by the Member State. * Uploaded: 07/2020

General Country data

The main cultural assets of Mozambique

The Republic of Mozambique is located in the Southeast of the African continent, between the parallels 10° and 27′ and 26° and 52′ south latitude, and between the meridians 30° 12′ and 42° 51′ east longitude. It is bathed by the Indian Ocean. Mozambique declared National Independence on 25th June 1975 and its capital is the city of Maputo.

Mozambique has a rich and diverse cultural and natural heritage resulting from the ancient exchange of peoples, traditions and cultures of various origins, from Bantu and Asian to European. In the Mozambican cultural heritage lies the memory of the People, the artistic and historical legacy, as well as the achievements and contemporary values. Among the vast cultural and natural heritage, Mozambique Island deserves to be highlighted - World Heritage Site; Nyau (Gule Wamkulu) and Timbila - Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity; and the Quirimbas Archipelago - World Biosphere Reserve; Ibo Island - Tentative World Heritage List; Archaeological Stations of Chibuene and Manyikeni - Tentative List of World Heritage Sites; Rock paintings; dances that insert secular traditions such as Tufu, Mapiko, Chigubo, Zore, Utsi, Makwayela; plastic arts and crafts from secular traditions; traditional knowledge that is expressed in the construction of buildings and various activities, clothing, gastronomy, music and rituals.

The legal framework on cultural heritage conservation

Mozambique prioritizes the legal protection of the material and immaterial cultural heritage, since the memory of the People resides there; the historical, cultural and artistic legacy of the ancestors; as well as contemporary achievements and values.


  • UNESCO Convention for the Protection of World, Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972 ratified by Mozambique in 1982.
  • UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2003.


  • Law No. 10/88 of 22 December determines the legal protection of material and immaterial assets of the Mozambican Cultural Heritage.
  • Decree No. 54/2016 of 28 November, Approves the Regulation on the Classification and Management of the Built and Landscape Heritage of the Island of Mozambique.
  • Decree No. 55/2016 of 28 November, Regulation on the Management of Real Estate.
  • Municipal Posture Code approved by resolution 22/AMCIM/2010 with focus on the Preservation of Heritage at the municipal level.
  • Decree No. 27/2006 of 16 July, Approves the Specific Statute of the Island of Mozambique.
  • Resolution 11/2010, of 2 June, Approves the Museum Policy.
  • Resolution 12/2010, of 2 June, Approves the Monuments Policy.

The cultural and natural sites on the World Heritage List

The Mozambique Island is the only asset in Mozambique's cultural heritage inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1991, at the 15th session of the World Heritage Committee (Carthage, Tunisia) under criteria (iv) and (vi).

Criterion (iv): The city and fortifications on Mozambique Island are a notable example of an architecture in which local traditions, Portuguese influences and, to a lesser extent, Indian and Arab influences are all intertwined.

Criterion (vi): The Island of Mozambique is an important testimony to the establishment and development of Portuguese maritime routes between Western Europe and the Indian sub-continent, and from there across to Asia.

This legacy proves the convergence of routes of navigators and cultures (African, Arab, Chinese and European). The Island of Mozambique preserves, to this day, the traces of its history, which is manifested through the richness of its architecture and urbanism, comprising religious buildings, palaces, forts, cultural traditions and traditional construction techniques, as well as its underwater cultural heritage. The Cultural Heritage of the Island of Mozambique comprises two urban centers that complement each other: Stone and Cal City, with architecture of European, African and Asian influences; and the City of Macuti, with Asian and African influence (Swahili). The cultural values of Mozambique Island also extend to the protection zone (buffer zone). Given its exceptional particularities, Mozambique Island is a preferred point of cultural tourism as well as a center of studies and research for national and international researchers, so its preservation and conservation is a national and international imperative. Of the various immaterial cultural expressions, the Tufo, N’sope, Maulide, Naquira dances, traditional tales, religious rituals and local gastronomy stand out.

Adhesion to ICCROM

Mozambique is a Member State of ICCROM since 17/12/2003


Mandates in ICCROM Council since 1958:

No mandates in ICCROM Council

ICCROM Staff since 1959: - None -

Involvement of Mozambican Nationals

Activities in/with Mozambique since 2002

Activities details

Activities details

  • 2019 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2023 - 1 Mission(s)
  • 2024 - 1 Mission(s)

External links

* 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.