What is Cultural Property Law?

Posted on November 16, 2010


Mayan jade mask at the British Museum.

You’d think in two years of maintaining this blog, I would have addressed this question before.  But, no.   So I now have this very exciting opportunity to tell readers and webernauts about what I think is the most fascinating area of the law…

What is cultural property law?

Cultural property law is the body of law that regulates and pertains to cultural property such as ancient artifacts, historical relics, and fine art.  This body of law includes criminal and civil legislation, domestic and foreign law, and international treaties and conventions.  Cultural property laws may be aimed at regulating the trade in cultural materials or they may protect them only incidentally.

Tada!  If anyone would like to help me tweak this definition, please do get in touch or comment.