The impact of the UNESCO and UNIDROIT Conventions and the EU directives on the international art market: an analysis fifty years after the introduction of the obligation to return stolen or illegally exported cultural goods

Geo Magri


The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between international conventions and European Union law on the restitution of cultural goods, highlighting how the adoption of rules on this matter has produced a real change of mentality in the international community, which is now much more careful in monitoring the lawful movement of cultural goods. The effects of such a change of mentality are evident: museums today are much more careful in verifying the origin of the objects they buy and are more inclined to return the items that are part of their collections, but that have been illegally exported from their country of origin; moreover, the ICOM has adopted a code of ethics to ensure the transparency of acquisitions. Merchants and collectors have also begun to promote a serious reflection on their role as guarantors in the conservation of cultural heritage.


cultural heritage, cultural property, good faith, restitution, return, UNESCO, UNIDROIT

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ISSN 2236-997X (impresso) - ISSN 2237-1036 (on-line)

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Logomarca da Lepidus Tecnologia