Features - Legal Protection of Cultural Property: A Selective Resource Guide

By Louise Tsang, Published on April 24, 2007

Originally Published April 11, 2004, updated April 24th, 2007

Louise Tsang is a research librarian at Greenberg Traurig. Before moving to New York, Louise was a reference librarian at Georgetown University Law Library. Louise is also an EISIL content author. Other guides she has published on LLRX.com are here.

Table of Contents:
  1. Introduction
  2. Background Resources
    1. Other Resource Guides
    2. Background Websites
    3. Major Treatises
    4. Symposia
    5. Bibliographies
    6. Journals Dedicates to Cultural Property Law and Art Law
    7. Journal Indexes
    8. News Sources
  3. Legal Instruments
    1. International Legal Conventions
    2. European Legal Documents
    3. Regional Treaties
    4. Bilateral/Multilateral Treaties
    5. National Legal Documents
  4. Efforts to Protect Cultural Property
    1. International/Regional Conferences/Organizations/Agencies
  5. Responses to Nazi Looting
    1. Efforts During and Immediately After WWII
    2. Current Efforts
      1. International Agencies
      2. Regional Agencies
      3. National Agencies
  6. Cultural Property Stolen in Iraq
  7. Other Useful Resources

I. Introduction

The purpose of this guide is to direct the reader to important sources of information, both print and electronic, concerning the protection of cultural property in wartime, international trade in cultural property, and the laws applicable to the illicit traffic of art and antiquities. Section V of this guide highlights resources that are specific to the topic of restitution of Nazi-looted art. Section VI highlights resources on stolen cultural property in Iraq. This guide focuses on materials in English.

II. Background Resources

A. Other Resource Guides

B. Background Websites

C. Major Treatises

To find other books on the topic, check the catalog of your library for books with the following subject headings:

D. Symposia

E. Bibliographies

F. Journals Dedicated to Cultural Property Law and Art Law

G. Journal Indexes

H. News Sources

III. Legal Instruments

A. International Legal Instruments

Treaty Collections

B. European Legal Documents

Council of Europe Documents

European Union Documents

C. Regional Treaties

D. Bilateral/Multilateral Treaties

Many peace treaties between nations at war include provisions for restitution of cultural objects. A few examples:

E. National Legal Documents

United States

U.S. Federal Cultural Property Legislation and U.S. Federal Preservation Laws

Other Countries

IV. Efforts to Protect Cultural Property

A. International/Regional Conferences/Organizations/Agencies

Nuremberg War Crime Trials (Yale's Avalon Project)
Washington Conference, 1922

B. U.S. Organizations

Association of Art Museum Director

V. Responses to Nazi Looting

A. Efforts During and Immediate After WWII

B. Current Efforts

1. International Agencies

2. Regional Agencies

3. National Agencies

United States

United Kingdom


Other Countries

VI. Cultural Property Stolen in Iraq

Emergency Red List of Iraqi Antiquities at Risk (ICOM)

VII. Other Useful Resources