Protection of Cultural Objects On Loan

The Australian Government’s Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan (PCOL) Scheme was established to administer the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013 (the Act).

The Act encourages international loans by providing legal protection for cultural objects on loan from overseas lenders for temporary public exhibition in Australia.

In order to be eligible for protection under the Act, the objects must be loaned by a lender ordinarily resident or incorporated in a country outside Australia or the government of another country, and the items must be imported into Australia for the primary purpose of temporary public display. The items will be protected from the date of import, until they are exported from the country.

Queensland Museum has been an approved borrowing institution under the Act since December 2016.

Further information about the scheme can be found at the Commonwealth Ministry for the Arts website.


Queensland Museum has several policies that 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.

These policies 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

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, Queensland 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 Act 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 Queensland Museum has on loan from overseas, the following information is required 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 Queensland 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 relevant Queensland Museum Policies and Procedures.
  • The collated information will be forwarded to the Queensland Museum's Senior Decision Maker (usually the Chief Executive Officer); and if it relates to an object borrowed from overseas that is subject to the Act, also to a representative from the Commonwealth Ministry for the Arts, so that the most appropriate course of action can be followed.
  • Within four 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 Queensland Museum policies and procedures.

Who do I contact to make a claim or enquiry?

If you want to make a claim or enquiry in relation to an item that Queensland Museum intends to borrow, or has borrowed from overseas, please contact us online, or write to us

By email

By post

Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan
Queensland Museum
PO Box 3300
South Brisbane BC Qld 4101

Please note that this information relates to enquiries and claims concerning the ownership or provenance of an item borrowed from overseas for temporary public exhibition. For all other comments and enquiries about items, please refer to collection loans.

Current International Exhibitions

Dinosaurs of Patagonia

The information below describes the objects borrowed by Western Australian Museum (2nd July - 23 October 2022) and Queensland Museum for the Dinosaurs of Patagonia exhibition from the Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio. Dinosaurs of Patagonia is on display at Queensland Museum, cnr. Melbourne and Grey Street, Brisbane, 4101, from 17 March until 2 October 2023.

Dinosaurs of Patagonia Fossil Loans PCOL

Upcoming International Exhibitions

Discovering Ancient Egypt

The information below describes the international loans to the Western Australian Museum (display period: 10 June 2023 to 8 October 2023), National Museum of Australia (display period: 14 December 2023 – 8 September 2024) and Queensland Museum for the exhibition, Discovering Ancient Egypt from the National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, the Netherlands. Discovering Ancient Egypt will be on display at Queensland Museum, cnr. Melbourne and Grey Street, Brisbane, 4101, from 25 October 2024 – 5 May 2025.

Discovering Ancient Egypt International Loans PCOL


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