02 July 2010

UNESCO database of national cultural heritage laws

My lawyer and cultural heritage preservation friends might find this interesting and useful (especially you Bruce, whose schick is international law!). From the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization website:


UNESCO Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws

In 2003, UNESCO devised an international solution to combat the illicit traffic of cultural property: the UNESCO Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws.

By compiling on the Internet the national laws of its Member States, UNESCO offers all stakeholders involved (Governments, customs officials, art dealers, organizations, lawyers, buyers and so forth) a complete and easily accessible source of information. In the event of a legal question about the origin of an object (which may have been stolen, pillaged, or illegally exported, imported or acquired), it is useful to have rapid access to the relevant national laws.

Explore the database here where you will find copies of all the UNESCO conventions dating back to the first 1954 convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (sadly still relevant today). All the documents are downloadable in PDF format and in multiple languages. 

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