Due to their uniqueness cultural assets require a particular protection which must t only be implemented through financial and actual resources but also through the legal process. This work presents the possibility of legal protection of cultural assets using the UNIDROIT Convention on stolen or unlawfully executed cultural assets of 24.06.1995. The passing of this Convention was a milestone on the route to solving the problems of illegal trade in cultural assets. The work is divided into three main areas. First of all there is an overview of the legal framework of cultural asset protection from international treaties and European legal acts. This is followed by an individual analysis of the regulations of the UNIDROIT Convention and then by a comparison of the convention and national legal regulations in selected European countries and a voluntary code of practice in which there is a detailed section on cultural asset protection in Germany. Therefore this work shows that an effective cultural asset protection requires the cooperation of states and cultural institutions which must be supported through international regulations and national legislation. The ratification of the UNIDROIT Convention has also proven to be extremely desirable especially as the review possibilities of the Convention text relating to the establishment of an international register of stolen cultural assets and a general obligatory registration for thefts of significant cultural assets have been discussed.
Bettina Thorn ist Rechtsreferendarin in Lubeck.
Walter de Gruyter & Co
Date of Publication
Law: General & Reference
Schriften zum Kulturgueterschutz / Cultural Property Studies