Cultural property law

Cultural property law is the body of law that protects and regulates the disposition of culturally significant material,[1] including historic real property, ancient and historic artifacts, artwork, and intangible cultural property.[2] Cultural property can be any property, tangible or intangible, having special significance to a defined group of people, whether or not the group is vested with a traditional property interest.[3] Cultural property laws may be international (such as international conventions or bilateral agreements) or domestic (such as federal laws or state laws).


Major issues

Cultural property during armed conflict

Two major treaties have dealt with the issue of cultural heritage protection during armed conflict:

Repatriation and looting

Repatriation issues may also apply domestically, for instance, in the United States, the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)[5]

Real property and built environment

See also


  1. Ann Marie Sullivan, Cultural Heritage & New Media: A Future for the Past, 15 J. MARSHALL REV. INTELL. PROP. L. 604 (2016)
  3. Saunders, Pammela Q., "A Sea Chance Off the Coast of Maine: Common Pool Resources as Cultural Property, vol. 60, Emory L.J. (June 2011),
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1997-05-25. Retrieved 2009-11-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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