An Examination of the New UNIDROIT Convention on the Return of Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Goods

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Saturday, June 1, 1996
Konstantinos D. Magliveras
In a Diplomatic Conference held in Rome, Italy in June 1995 and attended by more than 70 countries, observer states and international organizations, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects was approved by 37 states. This has not been the first attempt of the international community to curb illicit traffic in cultural objects. However, the fact that the previous conventions have failed to deal with this problem effectively, necessitated the preparation of a new instrument, which, it is hoped, will be ratified and implemented by a large number of countries, so as to allow the establishment of an international regime that will facilitate the return of stolen or illegally exported antiquities or of other goods possessing some cultural value...(more)