Public and private in the international protection of global cultural goods
Title: Public and private in the international protection of global cultural goods
Author: FRANCIONI, Francesco
Citation: European Journal of International Law, 2012, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 719-730
ISSN: 1464-3596; 0938-5428
The idea of cultural heritage as an ‘international public good’ can be traced back to the Preamble to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, according to which ‘damage to cultural property belonging to any people whatsoever means damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind, since each people makes its contribution to the culture of the world’. But how can this idea of cultural heritage as a global public good be reconciled with the infinite variety of cultural expressions and with the role of art as a medium essentially devoted to giving form to the plurality and diversity of tastes, beliefs, and inclinations of the different societies in which it is produced? In this article I will examine the issue of pluralism and legal interaction within three perspectives: (1) the plurality of different meanings of cultural property and cultural heritage; (2) the plurality and interaction between different legal regimes of protection – international and domestic, private and public, peacetime and wartime; and (3) the plurality and interaction between different mechanisms of enforcement at the international and domestic levels.
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