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Enforcing International Cultural Heritage Law$
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Francesco Francioni and James Gordley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199680245

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199680245.001.0001

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Enforcement by Domestic Courts

Enforcement by Domestic Courts

Criminal Law and Forfeiture in the Recovery of Cultural Objects

(p.150) 8 Enforcement by Domestic Courts
Enforcing International Cultural Heritage Law

Patty Gerstenblith

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes how three types of illegal conduct are dealt with in civil and criminal cases: the looting of cultural objects from sites in which they are buried or concealed; the theft of such objects from their owners; and the smuggling of such objects across international boundaries in violation of export laws. It discusses the extent to which domestic courts can provide protection, given the complexities of international and domestic law. It argues that civil suits for the recovery of cultural objects are playing a declining role due to the difficulties of bringing such actions. Criminal suits have been ineffective because of the insufficient effort of law enforcement due in part to a lack of resources, and in part to the relatively low priority that governments have assigned to cultural objects.

Keywords:   looting, cultural property, cultural objects, theft, smuggling, export laws, international law, civil suits, criminal suits

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