Art and Heritage Disputes in International and Comparative Law
Article from: TDM 5 (2013), in Editorial
The special issue aims to identify, map and critically assess key themes and features of the numerous art and heritage disputes which have arisen in the past decades. The return of cultural artifacts to their legitimate owners, the recovery of underwater cultural heritage, the governance of sites of outstanding and universal value, the protection and promotion of artistic expressions, and the protection of cultural sites in times of war are just some of the issues which have given rise to art and heritage related disputes. Such disputes have involved a number of different actors and have arisen between states, between states and private individuals, as well as purely amongst individuals. As the regulation of cultural goods constitutes a good example of multilevel governance and legal pluralism, art and heritage related disputes have been brought before national fora, human rights courts, international economic law fora and even before the International Court of Justice. Such disputes have certainly made headlines and have attracted interest from various fields - from academics and policy-makers to museum curators and collectors, and from human rights activists and investment lawyers to artists and economists, to mention just a few. This article will map the key features of these disputes and assess the contribution that these cases offer to the development of international law in both its public and private dimensions.
The editors gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, the stylesheet editing of Sead Kadic, Departmental Assistant at Maastricht University, and language correction of twenty contributions by Conor Talbot, PhD candidate at the European University Institute. We thank Yleen Simonis, Chantal Kuijpers and Yolande Pletzers for their assistance in the organization of the international conference. The editors wish to thank the contributors to the Special Issue for their kind cooperation and their expertise. Finally, we wish to thank Maris, the publisher of Transnational Dispute Management, for their good advice and invaluable support during the preparation of this volume. A separate volume to be published early 2014 will focus on intangible heritage disputes.