General provisions on the organization of museum institutions of the Republic of Moldova are set out in the Law on Museums No 1596-XV of December 27, 2002, which was subject to insignificant changes over the years. According to the Law on Museums of the Republic of Moldova, “Museums are non-profit institutions with a status of legal entity, which are registered in the manner prescribed by law”.
The establishment of museums is made with the prior approval of the Ministry of Culture. According to the law, in the country there are many categories of museums, depending on the content and value of collections: national, departmental, regional, private, city and village museums, etc. In the Ministry of Culture there is the Register of Museums, which takes into account all the museums of the republic, regardless of the category and type.
National museums are created by government decree, and all the other museums are created by decisions of the bodies, to which they are subordinated, according to the preliminary conclusion of the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Culture, in accordance with the law, ensures the implementation of the commitments made by the Republic of Moldova through the signing of international conventions relating to operation and protection of museums. Financing of the museums, which are in public ownership, is provided from budgetary and extra-budgetary funds in accordance with applicable law.
The Law on Museums establishes the categories of objects that constitute the museum values, which is inalienable. Cultural values from the museum collections of the country are included in the State Register of Movable Cultural Values created in the framework of the Ministry of Culture. Temporary export of museum values to the organization of exhibitions outside the country is allowed only by order of the Minister of Culture, in accordance with applicable law.
In 2011 there was approved the Law regarding the protection of national cultural mobile heritage (no. 280 from 27.12.2011). Given the development of contemporary museology, the approval by Parliament of the Law on the protection of movable national cultural heritage, the Ministry of Culture initiated in 2013 a programme of change of laws, including the Law of museums. Thus, at the request of the Ministry of Culture, National Museum of History has proposed a series of amendments to the Law of museums.