2008 Cultural Heritage Legal Summary

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2009


In the past year acceptance of the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict received significant impetus with the vote of the U. S. Senate to ratify the main Convention and the drafting of legislation by the United Kingdom and New Zealand that would implement the Convention and both Protocols. Efforts by the United States to continue implementation of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property continued with import restrictions imposed under the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (1983). At the end of the year, the dispute between Peru and Yale took an ominous turn, while new amendments enacted by the U. S. Congress in January 2008 to facilitate the recovery of property belonging to state sponsors of terrorism in the United States by victims of terrorism continue to cause problems for several leading American cultural institutions.