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General Laws

Section 27. The commission may request the chairman to examine certain sites and structures in the commonwealth and to make recommendations concerning their historical significance. Any such site or structure deemed by the commission to be of substantial historical significance to the commonwealth may, with the written consent of the person or persons claiming ownership, and such others having recorded interests as the commission shall deem necessary, be certified by the commission as an historic landmark and a list of such certified historic landmarks shall be maintained and published annually by the state secretary. In the case of landmarks owned by the commonwealth, such consent may be given by the governor. In the case of landmarks owned by a city such consent may be given by its manager or, if there is no manager, its mayor, with the approval of its city council, and in the case of landmarks owned by a town, by its selectmen. No such certification shall take effect until a notice of such certification has been recorded in the registry of deeds in the county where such certified landmark is situated. The commission may establish standards for the care and management of such certified landmarks, and may withdraw such certification for failure to maintain such standards provided that a notice of such withdrawal is recorded as aforesaid. No certified historic landmark shall be altered in such a manner as would seriously impair its historical values without permission of the commission, except that persons having recorded interests who have not given written consent to the certification and those claiming under them shall not be required to obtain such permission. Before granting such permission the commission shall hold a public hearing. The commission may grant such permission or may withhold permission for any period up to one year during which time the commission shall consult with civic groups, public agencies and interested citizens to ascertain what action, if any, ought to be taken to preserve such landmark, and shall make recommendations for its preservation to the commonwealth or its political subdivisions, to historical societies or to other interested civic organizations. The superior court shall have jurisdiction in equity to enforce the provisions of this section and, on petition of any party in interest, may alter, amend or revoke the order of the commission.

The commission may request the state archeologist to examine certain sites in the commonwealth and to make recommendations concerning their archeological significance. Any such site deemed by the commission to be of substantial archeological significance to the commonwealth may, with the written consent of the person or persons claiming ownership, and such others having recorded interests as the commission shall deem necessary, be certified by the commission as an archeological landmark. In the case of landmarks owned by the commonwealth, such consent may be given by the governor. In the case of landmarks owned by a city, such consent may be given by its manager or, if there is no manager, its mayor, with the approval of its city council, and in the case of landmarks owned by a town, by its selectmen. No such certification shall take effect until a notice of such certification has been recorded in the registry of deeds in the county where such certified landmark is situated. The commission may establish standards for the care and management of such certified landmarks, and may withdraw such certification for failure to maintain such standards provided that a notice of such withdrawal is recorded as aforesaid. No person, corporation or municipality shall conduct a field investigation, as defined in section twenty-six A, of any site so certified without first obtaining a permit from the state archeologist, according to the provisions of section twenty-seven C. The superior court shall have jurisdiction in equity to enforce the provisions of this section and, on petition of any party in interest, may alter, amend or revoke the order of the commission.

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