International Law and Private International Law

Forum 3: International Law, Cultural Heritage and the Arts

The topic of international law, cultural heritage and the arts has typically been concerned with artistic objects and cultural property. Yet, in a broader sense, the law of cultural heritage may also be conceived of as a public good and in the sense of natural heritage and cultural landscape. Equally, the term may be applied to all forms of tangible and intangible aspects of culture that involve the customs and practices of traditional and indigenous cultures. This panel is deliberately broad in its scope as it seeks to link substantive and enforcement elements of private and public international law with a wide range of interests and themes in cultural heritage and the arts.

The focus of this panel may include: the restitution of cultural assets arising from theft or illicit excavations, including stolen works of art and looted antiquities; the illicit traffic and trade of cultural property from land and/or underwater sites; litigation and arbitration of disputes over ownership of works of art and antiquities, including issues of state immunity; the preservation of historic and world heritage sites; the protection of cultural property in armed conflict and its restitution following looting during armed conflict; museum law; and underwater archaeology and cultural heritage more generally. It could also focus on the protection of the built and natural heritage (including cultural landscapes).

esil2014 |