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Cultural Heritage can be described as the cultural legacy inherited from previous generations, a legacy which we often want to identify and preserve because it reinforces our cultural identity or sense of who we are as a people. Communities and nations are interested in celebrating and preserving their heritage, and governments have enacted laws to protect cultural resources. Throughout history the term Cultural Heritage has had many different meanings. Recent decades have seen the concept of heritage — much like that of culture — undergoing significant changes. Cultural Heritage distinguishes between Tangible Cultural Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage. Tangible Cultural Heritage can include archaeological sites, artifacts, buildings, historic sites, monuments, graves, and culturally significant landscapes such as sacred places. Intangible Cultural Heritage includes language, oral histories, beliefs, practices, rituals, ceremonies, customs, traditions, music, dance, crafts, and other arts. The modern concept of Cultural Heritage in our time is an open one, reflecting living culture every bit as much as that of the past. In order to properly maintain and guarantee the future existence of world heritage sites, Cultural Heritage law is absolutely vital to States, intergovernmental organizations and non-State actors. The most important international organization that deals with Cultural Heritage is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNESCO has been charged with assisting States to develop legal instruments to better protect Cultural Heritage and to also help in updating and reforming cultural policies.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research in the field of Cultural Heritage. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s subject heading (keyword) Cultural Heritage is instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.
- Forrest, C.J.S., International Law and the Protection of Cultural Heritage, Abingdon, Routledge, 2010.
- Hoffman, B.T. (ed), Art and Cultural Heritage : Law, Policy, and Practice, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
- Nafziger, J.A.R., R.K. Paterson and A.D. Renteln (eds.), Cultural Law: International, Comparative, and Indigenous, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2010.
- Kearney, A., ” Intangible Cultural Heritage: Global Awareness and Local Internet”, in L. Smith and N. Akagawa (eds.), Intangible Heritage, London, Routledge, 2009, pp. 209-225.
- Kouroupas, M.P., “Preservation of Cultural Heritage: a Tool of International Public Diplomacy”, in J.A.R. Nafziger (ed.), Cultural Heritage Issues: the Legacy of Conquest, Colonization and Commerce?, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2009, pp. 325-334.
- Renold, M.A., “Stolen Art: the Ubiquitous Question of Good Faith”, in Resolution of Cultural Property Disputes, The Hague, Kluwer Law International, 2004, pp. 251-263.
- Scovazzi, T., “La Convention pour la sauvegarde du patrimoine culturel immatériel”, in B. Vukas (ed.), International Law: New Actors, New Concepts, Continuing Dilemmas: Liber Amicorum Božidar Bakotić, Leiden, Brill, 2010, pp. 301-317.
- Srinivasan, M., S.R. Pandian and A. Enoch, “International Crimes: Cyber Crime, Crimes against Cultural Heritage, Environmental Crimes, and Money Laundering”, in S. Kethineni (ed.), Comparative and International Policing, Justice, and Transnational Crime, Durham, NC, Carolina Academic Press, 2010, pp. 385-408.
- Symeonides, S.C., “A Choice-of-Law Rule for Conflicts Involving Stolen Cultural Property”, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 38 (2005), No. 4, pp. 1177-1198.
- Vrdoljak, A.F., “Unravelling the Cradle of Civilization ‘Layer by Layer’: Iraq, its Peoples and Cultural Heritage”, in M. Langfield, W. Logan and M.N. Craith (eds.), Cultural Diversity, Heritage and Human Rights: Intersections in Theory and Practice, London, Routledge, 2010, pp. 62-82.
- Warren, J., “War and the Cultural Heritage of Iraq: a Sadly Mismanaged Affair”, in S. Barakat, Reconstructing Post-Saddam Iraq, Abingdon, Routledge, 2008, pp. 251-266.
- “Documents : a Selection of Codes of Ethics : Archaeological Institute of America”, in : ” International Journal of Cultural Property, 7 (1998) 1, pp. 190-241
Periodicals, serial publications
- Aedon: rivista di arte e diritto on line
- Art, Antiquity and Law
- DePaul-LCA Journal of Art & Entertainment Law
- International Journal of Cultural Property
- Yearbook of Cultural Property Law
- Bruhn, P., Beutekunst: Bibliographie des internationalen Schrifttums über das Schicksal des im Zweiten Weltkrieg von der Roten Armee in Deutschland erbeuteten Kulturgutes, München, Otto Sagner, 2003.
- Fiedler, W. and S. Turner, Bibliography on the Law of the International Protection of Cultural Property, Berlin, De Gruyter, 2003.
- Statius Muller, M. and H. Thyssen, “Selected Bibliography”, in The Cultural Heritage of Mankind, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2008, pp. 883-1037.
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Petrovic, J, The Old Bridge of Mostar and Increasing Respect for Cultural Property in Armed Conflict, Leiden, Nijhoff, 2013.
Although it is precious to all humanity, including future generations, cultural property is targeted wilfully during armed conflict. In the litany of other war crimes the wilful destruction of cultural property is pushed from centre stage. The deliberate destruction of the Old Bridge of Mostar is emblematic of tragedies wrought on priceless cultural objects internationally. Drawing on the relevant rules of international humanitarian law and the jurisprudence of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, this book analyses the normative implications of the deliberate targeting and destruction of the Old Bridge and also examines enforcement efforts in order to identify issues relating to international legal protection of cultural property arising from this incident.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Graber, C.B., K. Kuprecht and J.C. Lai (eds.), International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage: Legal and Policy Issues, Cheltenham, Elgar, 2012.
This topical book brings to the fore new and standard-setting research into the connection between indigenous cultural heritage, international trade and economic development of indigenous peoples. The book is unique in taking a multi-faceted approach to cultural heritage, incorporating discussion on tangible and intangible, moveable and immoveable elements of indigenous peoples’ culture. From the perspectives of several international legal fields, including trade law, intellectual property, cultural property, cultural heritage law and human rights, the book explores how indigenous peoples could be empowered to participate more actively in the trade of their cultural heritage without being compelled to renounce important traditional values.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Panjwani, I., The Shi'a of Samarra: the Heritage and Politics of a Community in Iraq, London, Tauris, 2012.
On 22 February 2006, the main dome of the al-Askariyya shrine in Samarra was blown up. In the aftermath, sectarian strife between Shi’i and Sunni communities in Iraq and the wider region resonated around the world. The assault on Samarra, which was built in the period of the Abbasid caliphate in the ninth century CE, therefore came to represent for many a symbol of the destructive civil conflict which engulfed Iraq following the 2003 US-led invasion. “The Shi’a of Samarra” explores and analyses the cultural, architectural and political heritage of the Shi’a in both Samarra and the Middle East, thus highlighting how this city functions as a microcosm for the contentious issues and debates which remain at the forefront of efforts to rebuild the modern Iraqi state. Its examination of the socio-political context of the Shi’a/Sunni divide provides important insights for students and researchers working on the history and politics of Iraq and the Middle East, as well as those interested in the art and architecture of the Islamic world.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Daly, P., Routledge Handbook of Heritage in Asia, London, Routledge, 2012.
This Handbook is the first major volume to examine the conservation of Asia’s culture and nature in relation to the wider social, political and economic forces shaping the region today. Throughout Asia rapid economic and social change means the region’s heritage is at once under threat and undergoing a revival as never before. As societies look forward, competing forces ensure they re-visit the past and the inherited, with the conservation of nature and culture now driven by the broader agendas of identity politics, tradition, revival, rapid development, environmentalism and sustainability. In response to these new and important trends, the twenty three accessible chapters here go beyond sector specific analyses to examine heritage in inter-disciplinary and critically engaged terms, encompassing the natural and the cultural, the tangible and intangible. Emerging environmentalisms, urban planning, identity politics, conflict memorialization, tourism and biodiversity are among the topics covered here. This path-breaking volume will be of particular interest to students and scholars working in the fields of heritage, tourism, archaeology, Asian studies, geography, anthropology, development, sociology, and cultural and postcolonial studies.
Franke, T., Die Nationalität von Kunstwerken, Berlin, De Gruyter, 2012.
Die Abhandlung gibt zunächst einen Überblick über die Regelungen und sonstigen Anwendungsfälle, die auf den Rechtsbegriff der Nationalität von Kunstwerken rekurrieren. In der Folge werden sowohl aus der rechtswissenschaftlichen als auch der kunsthistorischen Diskussion diejenigen Kriterien gewonnen, die zur Bestimmung der Nationalität herangezogen werden können. Den Schluss bildet die Erörterung der Anwendung dieser Kriterien.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Bories, C., Le patrimoine culturel en droit international: les compétences des états à l'égard des éléments du patrimoine culturel, Paris, Pedone, 2011.
Etude des relations qu’entretiennent les Etats et le patrimoine culturel au sens du droit international. Les enjeux qui s’y rattachent sont nombreux, tant en matière d’efficacité de la protection que de mise en valeur des identités humaines et de respect des droits de l’homme, ou de l’attribution d’un élément du patrimoine culturel à un peuple, un territoire ou un Etat particulier.View this title in our link resolver Plinklet
Crimes against Cultural Property in Mali
In an earlier Peace Palace Library blog (Cultucide in Timbuktu: Shari’a and war crimes) Ingrid Kost wrote that the Islamist Group Ansar (Ed)dine (“Defenders of the Faith”) destroyed some of the age-old mausolea of Sufi Saints in Timbuktu, Mali. One of the major causes of destruction of cultural property (the illicit trading, stealing and looting of cultural property is not covered in this blog) over the ages has been armed conflict. Crimes against cultural property should therefore be addressed properly.Read more
Cultural Property: Art Crimes, Disputes and the Passage of Time
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Dutch Restitutions Committee, an International Symposium titled ‘Fair and Just Solutions? Alternatives to Litigation in Nazi-looted Art Disputes, Status Quo And New Developments’ was held in the Academy Building of the Peace Palace on November 27, 2012.Read more
Cultucide in Timbuktu: Shari’a and War Crimes
Last weekend the Islamist Group Ansar Eddine (“Defenders of the Faith”) destroyed some of the age-old mausolea of Sufi Saints in Timbuktu. Despite the fact that recently on June 28 2012, these mausolea were placed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger.Read more
Doves, Swords, Scales and …
Doves, scales, olive branches, swords and many ladies justice in paintings, sculptures, tiles and panels adorn the halls of the Peace Palace. These symbols of peace emphasize the essence of the foundation of the building and the institutions it houses. A very fine example is the painting by Albert Besnard (1849-1934): La Paix et la Justice, 1914.Read more
Maritime Cultural Property and Treasure Hunting
Archaeological sites in international waters are numerous and still largely untouched. With the development of sophisticated technology for the search and recovery of shipwrecks on the ocean floor, however, issues of ownership, preservation, and cultural property rights have achieved increasing prominance. In particular, after the discovery of RMS Titanic in 1985 the debate among marine archaeologists, cultural rights proponents and commercial salvage companies about treasure hunting in international waters has intensified.Read more
The famous ring of three Amsterdam canals, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht must be included in the Unecso World Heritage List, according to a decision of the City Council and the Mayor & College of Aldermen.Read more
Already this year UNESCO has proclaimed Amsterdam ‘World Book Capital’. From 23 April 2008 until 22 April 2009.
Consult for an extensive collection of materials on cultural heritage the Bibliography on the Cultural Heritage of Mankind!
- Centre universitaire du droit de l’art
- Cultural Protection Treaties and Other International Agreements
- Features – Legal Protection of Cultural Property: A Selective Resource Guide, by Louise Tsang
- Heritage Law – The home of Heritage Law Europe
- ICCROM International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
- Institute of Art and Law
- International Council of Museums
- Lootedart.com – Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property 1933-1945
- UNECSO Cultural Property: Its Illicit Trafficking and Restitution
- UNESCO Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws
More Research guides on Public International Law (Special Topics)
- Air Law
- International Environmental Law
- International Labour Law
- International Watercourses
- Law of the Sea
- Space Law