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International Cultural Heritage Law$
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Janet Blake

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723516

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723516.001.0001

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Cultural Heritage

Cultural Heritage

Illicit Excavation, Theft, and Trafficking

Chapter:
(p.23) 2 Cultural Heritage
Source:
International Cultural Heritage Law
Author(s):

Janet Blake

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723516.003.0002

Chapter 2 deals with the illegal movement of cultural objects from certain artefact-rich to art-market States. It introduces the scale of this problem and the related destruction to cultural heritage and the nature of the illicit trade in antiquities as a form of organized crime. The various existing forms of control (export and import controls, inventory systems, regulation of the internal market, museum self-regulation, and international policing, etc) are presented and the role of transit States in facilitating this illegal movement is addressed. The relevant international treaties, in particular the 1970 UNESCO Convention, the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo, 2000) are examined and analysed. Finally, the challenges and effectiveness of international litigation for the recovery of cultural objects are considered, with the help of some prominent international cases for restitution and return as illustrative examples.

Keywords:   illicit excavation, theft, illicit movement, trafficking, cultural objects, return and restitution, international treaties, litigation

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