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2009

Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law

Cornell University Law School

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Protecting Against Plunder: The United States And The International Efforts Against Looting Of Antiquities, Asif Efrat Feb 2009

Protecting Against Plunder: The United States And The International Efforts Against Looting Of Antiquities, Asif Efrat

Cornell Law Faculty Working Papers

In 1970 UNESCO adopted a convention intended to stem the flow of looted antiquities from developing countries to collections in art-importing countries. The majority of art-importing countries, including Britain, Germany, and Japan, refused to join the Convention. Contrary to other art-importing countries, and reversing its own traditionally-liberal policy, the United States accepted the international regulation of antiquities and joined the UNESCO Convention. The article seeks to explain why the United States chose to establish controls on antiquities, to the benefit of foreign countries facing archaeological plunder and to the detriment of the US art market. I argue that the concern ...