Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Ecuador - National Institute of Cultural Heritage of Ecuador

The National Institute of Cultural Heritage (INPC), established in 1978, has one main office and five regional offices, and works in a decentralized way throughout the national territory to fulfil its mission of technical control and research of our cultural heritage.

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The institute draws up the files for the Declaration of Cultural Heritage and follows-up the plans to safeguard the assets. One of the files was the two-country proposal (Ecuador and Colombia), “Marimba Music, traditional songs and dances of the South Pacific Region of Colombia and the Province of Esmeraldas in Ecuador” which was approved by the Inter-governmental Committee of the States Party to the 2003 Convention on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage, on its tenth session, in Windhoek, Namibia, from November 30th to December 4th, 2015. It is now part of the Representative List of the Cultural Heritage of Humanity and it replaces the items inscribed by Ecuador and Colombia in 2010.

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Other data of interest




Founding Date



It is a UNESCO focal point. As provided for in the Organic Law on Culture, it is dedicated to the research and technical control of Ecuador’s cultural heritage.


Edificio 1: Av. Colón Oe1-93 y Av. 10 de agosto Quito - Ecuador  Edificio 2: Jerónimo Carrión y Pasaje León Vivar (esquina)

Telephone Numbers

: Edificio 1: Teléfono: (593) 2227 927 / 2549 257 / 2227 969 / 2543 527 Edificio 2: Centro de Investigación de la Memoria y el Patrimonio Cultural / Teléfonos: 2227297/ 2238433

Fax number

2543 527

Person in charge

Dr. Joaquín Moscoso Novillo - Executive Director

Objectives of the institution

Increase research and generate knowledge on the cultural heritage and historic memory.


  • To plan and implement research projects.
  • To subscribe agreements with the academic sector and national and international public and private entities.
  • To develop new lines of research of our heritage.
  • To publish new scientific publications according to international research standards.

Increase preservation and safeguard the cultural heritage of Ecuador


  • Strengthening the prevention of anthropic and natural hazards that may negatively affect the cultural heritage of Ecuador.
  • Controlling the compliance with standards for the preservation and safeguard of cultural heritage. .
  • Updating standards for the preservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage.
  • Establishing standards to fight the illegal traffic of our cultural heritage.
  • Strengthening actions and control of illegal traffic of cultural assets.
  • Increasing the registry and inventory of the cultural assets of the state.
  • Developing plans to safeguard and preserve cultural heritage.
  • Identifying emerging cultural heritage and those whose significance has changed with the participation of the communities.

Increase transfer of knowledge of cultural heritage to our citizenship.


  • Developing the information system on cultural assets and heritage.
  • Strengthening the publications by our institution.
  • Implementing a promotion and capacity-building plan on cultural heritage.
  • Implementing new information and communication technologies.

Designing communication programmes to disseminate emerging cultural heritage and those assets whose relevance has changed or increased

Periodicals published by the institution


Other publications by the institution

Information system on Ecuadorian Cultural Heritage (SIPCE):

Data on approximately 170.000 cultural assets is in permanent process of improvement, recognition and updating.

Information from the inventory index cards on the cultural assets of Ecuador is introduced into the SIPCE and may be used for consults, to prepare statistics, thematic maps and documents in PDF. Access to information is public, however, to have access to technical fields a request must be sent to INPC to be assigned user name and password.

This information platform, developed in keeping with the standards and government policies, according to Decree 1014, establishes the use of free software in its computer systems and equipments as a public policy.

The registry of intangible heritage that have been made up to date regarding the cultural expressions of the afro Ecuadorian people has been introduced in this system.