UNESCO (1970) and UNIDROIT (1995) Conventions
The growth in the international market in art works and other cultural objects following World War II prompted the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to begin the drafting in the 1960s of an international convention to control this trade. The 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (“the UNESCO Convention”) was adopted in late 1970; there are currently 123 States Parties.
Recognizing that there were impediments to acceptance of the 1970 UNESCO Convention particularly by European civil law nations, UNESCO asked the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) to draft a new convention to respond to these concerns, and in 1995, the Unidroit Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects was finalized. This convention focuses on the creation of private rights of action, through adoption of uniform...
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