2006 Cultural Heritage Legal Summary

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2007


During the past year; there has been continued incremental progress in the ratification and implementation of international conventions, particularly the 1970 UNESCO Convention. Countries of origin, particularly Italy and Greece, have become even more active in seeking the restitution of looted antiquities, as with the ongoing trial of former Getty curator Marion True and agreements with several U. S. museums for the return of numerous artifacts. The litigation concerning Iranian artifacts in various U. S. institutions has become even more complex, however, and the outcome is still uncertain. Finally, United States case law, particularly in the western part of the country, is pointing out some of the weaknesses in federal laws designed to protect archaeological sites and artifacts on federal land.