UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (1995)
The UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects 1995 came into force on 1 July 1998. As of 6 February 2012, it has 32 States Parties.
In 1983 a meeting of experts at UNESCO in Paris had recommended that UNESCO consult with another organization specializing in the harmonization of what is called “private law” issues, i.e., issues arising from dealings between private citizens. UNESCO already had the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property 1970, but this was a “public law” Convention which dealt with matters between States. The experts in 1983 saw there were developing problems with matters such as time limitations (when a claim for return of an object would be barred because too much time had elapsed since the wrongdoing) and the status of the “bona fide” purchaser (a claim to an object could not succeed because the person who possessed it had bought it not...
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