Thursday, February 20, 2014

Action to Combating Trafficking in Cultural Property- a documentary on UNESCO's and its partners' activities

United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)



UNESCO maintains a variety of publications, conventions, articles, and resources for combating illicit trafficking of cultural property. 


  • Historical Background
  • Statutes and Rules of Procedure
  • Conferences and Exhibitions
  • Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws
  • Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Property Publications (PDF)
    • Culture & Development- Stop the Illicit Traffic of Cultural Property. December 2013.
    • The Fight Against the Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Objects and the 1970 Conventions: Past and Future; Information Kit, Version II. December 2013.
    • Securing Heritage of Religious Interest, Cultural Heritage Protection Handbook, Volume 6. 2012.
    • Cultural Heritage Conventions and Other Instruments; A Compendium with Commentaries. 2011.
    • Witnesses to History- Documents and writings on the return of cultural objects. 2009.
    • Museum International- Return of Cultural Objects: The Athens Conference. 2009.
    • Commentary on the 1970 UNESCO Convention, 2nd ed. 2007.
    • ICPRCP Expert Meeting and Extraordinary Session in Celebration of its 30th Anniversary: Its Past and Future. 2008.
    • Legal and Practical Measures Against Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Property. 2006.
  • Protecting Our Heritage and Fostering Creativity
  • National Reports, 1978-2011.
    • Africa
    • Arab States
    • Europe & North America
    • Latin America & the Caribbean
  • Videos
    • "These productions are accessible free of charge and can be downloaded easily for information and training purposes. More explanations and documentation can be obtained upon request to the UNESCO Secretariat: Ms. Maria Miñana. "
  • Databases
    • International Organizations
      • UNESCO Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws
      • INTERPOL Database about stolen works of art
    • National
      • France: TREIMA Database of the Office Central de lutte contre le trafic des Biens Culturels (OCBC)
      • Germany: Lost Art Internet Database
      • Italy: Carabinieri National Stolen Cultural Property Database
      • Jordan: Antiquities sites database
      • Romania: Database
      • Spain: Database of the Guardia Civil
      • United States of America: National Stolen Art File
  • 1995 UNIDROIT Convention
    • Text
    • Actual Requirements of:
      • "If a cultural object has been stolen, it must be returned- restitution is an absolute duty unless the limitation period has expired. The only question arises is whether compensation must be paid."
  • 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property
    • Actual Requirements of:
      • "Preventive measures:Inventories, export certificates, monitoring trade, imposition of penal or administrative sanctions, educational campaigns, etc."
      • "Restitution provisions: Per Article 7 (b) (ii) of the Convention, States Parties undertake, at the request of the State Party "of origin", to take appropriate steps to recover and return any such cultural property imported after the entry into force of this Convention in both States concerned, provided, however, that the requesting State shall pay just compensation to an innocent purchaser or to a person who has valid title to that property. More indirectly and subject to domestic legislation, Article 13 of the Convention also provides provisions on restitution and cooperation."
      • "International cooperation framework:The idea of strengthening cooperation among and between States Parties is present throughout the Convention. In cases where cultural patrimony is in jeopardy from pillage, Article 9 provides a possibility for more specific undertakings such as a call for import and export controls."

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