CCP/CPN 2020 Year End Report

The Committee for Cultural Policy Cultural Property News Cultural Property Law Highlights, Activities, and Accomplishments Amidst a Global Pandemic

Kariye Camii aka Chora Church, Istanbul, now converted to a mosque, Anastasis fresco, Paracclesion, July 2007, photo by Gryffindor.

What We Do

 We’d like to thank our generous supporters who in 2020 again made the Committee for Cultural Policy a premier resource for information, public education and analysis on cultural heritage issues.


  • Exhibitions and exchange that make art a conduit for international understanding.
  • Cultural policies that preserve artifacts and fund archaeological research and site protection.
  • Safe harbor in international museums for objects from countries in crisis.
  • Rights of religious and ethnic minorities against repressive, authoritarian governments.
  • Uncensored academic research and museum development in source countries.


  • Our free website and e-newsletter, Cultural Property News, brings news and articles on art, law, and heritage to a global audience of over 10,000 subscribers each year.


  • Our stories garner thousands of individual unique “reads”; they are a continuing resource for high school and college classrooms and other news media.

Your donation matters! Please help us by supporting the free content of Cultural Property News!

Download the full CCP:CPN 2020 Year End Report!

Mimbres bowl, American Southwest photo by Brian Zehowski, 2008, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolic, MN.

2020 Cultural Property News Highlights

Here are some of our outstanding 2020 Interviews and Articles:



Exposing Industry and Government Infringement on Cultural Heritage and Indigenous Rights:


Exposing Lies and Bad Faith by Anti-trade Activists:



Celestial figure from Cave 224, Kizil Cave Complex, Xinjiang province, China, National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Museums.

2020 Global Art & Heritage Law Series

In addition to publishing the online journal Cultural Property News, the Committee for Cultural Policy recently published the nine-country Global Art and Heritage Law Series in collaboration with TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundations global, pro bono legal service.

The Committee for Cultural Policy is proud to have been chosen by TrustLaw for this project and honored to work with its outstanding volunteer attorneys. The reports cover heritage laws and practice in nine countries. Each of the publications in the 2020 Global Art and Heritage Law Series, is available for free download at

  • Bulgaria: Christian Stefanov and Katya Hartl, White & Case LLP.
  • China: Yuanyou Yang, for an anonymous U.S. firm.
  • England and Wales: Olivia Franklin, Brett Masters, Alina Sartogo, and Rebecca Shorter, White & Case LLP.
  • India: Kate Fitz Gibbon, Fitz Gibbon Law LLC with contributions by an anonymous New Delhi law firm.
  • Italy and the EU: Cecilia Carrara, Marialuisa Garavelli, and Sara Colombera, Legance Avvocati Associati, Italy.
  • Nigeria: Omolola Coker; Adeleke Alao, Ibiwunmi Adeyeri, Oluwakemi Agbaje, and Olayemi Lawal, Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun, Nigeria
  • Peru: Federico de Cárdenas Romero, Christian Wong Vargas, Danna Hamideh Elhatel, Fabiana Alvarado Silva, Juan Diego Carrillo, and Samantha Cusicanqui Guille, Estudio Echecopar, a Member Firm of Baker & McKenzie International, Peru.
  • Turkey: Hazel Levent, Ece Akıncıbay, Ayris Açıkalın, and Zeynep Ülkü Kahveci, White & Case LLP.
  • USA: Kate Fitz Gibbon and Katherine Brennan, Fitz Gibbon Law LLC and Committee for Cultural Policy.

Art and Heritage Law Reports

Cultural Property News’ Art and Heritage Law Reports highlight important issues in law and policy. Published under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license, they can be read or downloaded for free on our CCP Publications page.

Ivory 2020, 39 pages, by Olivia Franklin.

Poaching of African elephants for raw ivory, amounting to nearly 100 each day, has prompted legislatures in the US, UK, and EU to tighten restrictions on the sale of elephant ivory in recent years. Despite arguments by the art trade that antique and ancient works of art should be exempted, and the trade in modern and raw ivory prohibited in order to protect elephant populations, many laws now ban trade in ivory altogether. The report summarizes and analyzes current and pending US, UK and EU Laws and regulations on trade in elephant ivory from Africa and Asia. The report provides an overview on the international framework and the restrictions on commercial use of ivory, from ancient to antique and modern, in order to provide guidance on what can and cannot be imported, exported, sold, donated or inherited.

Jewish Minorities In The Middle East Report

Jewish Minorities in the Middle East, 2018, 55 pages, by Katherine Brennan and Kate Fitz Gibbon.

The pervasive pattern of abuse of both human and property rights of religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East raises serious questions about the protection of minority interests within the nationalist framework of cultural policy today. This report examines the inability – or unwillingness – of state actors to protect cultural interests of religious and ethnic minorities. The devastation in the Middle East not only highlights the failure of the 1970 UNESCO Convention to ensure the protection of global cultural heritage after almost 50 years, despite its adoption by hundreds of nation states. It also makes a compelling argument for embracing broader concepts of global stewardship and international protection of heritage as a more workable approach to halting destruction in war and civil crisis, and to preserving mankind’s achievements for the future.

Bearing False Witness The Media ISIS and Antiquities report

Bearing False Witness: The Media, ISIS and Antiquities, 2017, 16 pages, by Katherine Brennan and Kate Fitz Gibbon.

The false narrative about a multi-billion dollar illegal global antiquities market shows how the media has failed to investigate and corroborate its sources. Speculation, not factual analysis, has set policy direction for US, UK, and European governments ever since the first images appeared of ISIS destroying heritage sites as part of its reign of terror. This report details how widespread, inaccurate information has distracted policy-makers from the substantive issues of terrorist-financing, and has given extremist advocates of nationalist interests a weapon to undermine the legitimacy of the global trade in art.

2020 Public Testimony before CPAC: Nigeria, Greece, Bolivia, Italy, Columbia, and Costa Rica

Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome, Italy, 30 April 2007, photo by Diliff, CC-SA 2.5 Generic license, Wikimedia Commons.

In 2020, the Committee for Cultural Policy delivered oral and written testimony on six requests for import restrictions on art and archaeological materials to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) at the U.S. State Department. The recent requests were for import restriction agreements on art from Nigeria, Greece, Bolivia, Italy, Columbia, and Costa Rica.

Virtually all requests for import restrictions and renewals that have been made in the last ten years have failed to meet the four statutory determinations required under the Cultural Property Implementation Act, yet CPAC has recommended and the President’s delegated decision-maker at the Department of State has approved every one.

Please see the following Cultural Property News articles for details!

Support the Committee for Cultural Policy and Cultural Property News!

Over 70% of our funds are used directly each year for writing, editing and publishing Cultural Property News website content, the CPN Newsletter, Global Art & Heritage Law Series and Art & Heritage Law reports. All of our content is delivered free to our global audience!

BUILDING NETWORKS IS KEY. Our communications success is based on direct outreach to tribal groups, religious communities, legal and academic specialists, trade representatives, legislators, museum directors and curators, environmentalists, and conservationists. It takes all of us working together!

YOUR HELP IS CRUCIAL. Your generous contribution this year to the Committee for Cultural Policy will enable us to continue to bring the facts to the public. You can make a monthly or one-time tax-deductible contribution to the Committee for Cultural Policy, a 501(c)(3) organization, via PayPal on our website,, or send your check to Committee for Cultural Policy, Box 4881, Santa Fe, NM 87502.

YOUR CONTRIBUTION IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE TO THE EXTENT ALLOWED BY LAW.  No goods or services are provided in exchange for your donation.


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