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.
WE DELIVER GLOBALLY.
- 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.
WE GET READ.
- 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!
2020 Cultural Property News Highlights
Here are some of our outstanding 2020 Interviews and Articles:
- Robert G. Ousterhout: The Preservation and Reconversion of Kariye Camii
- Elias Gerasoulis: A geo-political perspective on the Turkish MoU
- St John Simpson: Afghanistan repatriation, Daesh, and the ILLICID report
- Hartwig Fischer: Collections entail responsibilities. Notes on a global institution.
- UNESCO Marks Convention’s 50th Anniversary with Doctored Photos and Disinformation
- Check out our earlier expose on UNESCO’s role in Azerbaijan in light of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict:
- UNESCO Exposed! World Heritage Committee Meeting in Baku Will Be Hosted By Cultural Destroyers
Exposing Industry and Government Infringement on Cultural Heritage and Indigenous Rights:
- Tohono O’odham Nation: U.S. Blasts a Monument to Build a Wall
- Rio Tinto: How Australian Law Tolerates Heritage Destruction
- Brent Huffman: Mes Aynak Update: Historic Buddhist Site Eludes Destruction, for Now
- Coalition Opposes Cultural Property Requests by Repressive Governments: Joint letter to State Department questions fairness and integrity of MoU process
- Turkish Court Decides Hagia Sophia’s Conversion to Mosque: Erdoğan’s politically-motivated campaign aims a blow at religious minorities
- Hagia Sophia Is No Longer a Museum: Will US Deny Turkey’s Request for Blockade?
Exposing Lies and Bad Faith by Anti-trade Activists:
- RAND Corp Report Demolishes Assumptions on Antiquities and Terror: Major study overturns current thinking on illicit looting and sales of antiquities
- RAND Corporation Report Debunks Facebook & Dark Web Ties to Illegal Antiquities: Meanwhile, Facebook Changes Policy to Exclude Historical Artifacts
- Senate Committee Approves Bill that will Block Native Art Exports: Safeguard Tribal Objects of Patrimony Act will harm tribes, tourism, and arts community
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 www.culturalpropertylaw.org.
- 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, 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, 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
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 Cultural Expansion, Not Art Blockade: Nigeria’s request for Import Restrictions on Ancient and Ethnographic Art and Artifacts
- State Department to Hear Requests for Import Restrictions on Nigerian, Greek, and Bolivian Art: Nigeria Seeks Import Restrictions on Ancient and Ethnographic Cultural Objects: Greece and Bolivia Ask for 5-year Extensions on Existing Agreements
- Italy Wants 20 Year Art Blockade Expanded to 2025: CCP Testifies Against Import Ban on Ancient Art Legally Sold in Italy
- Ancient and Ethnographic Art from Colombia Faces Another 5-Year Ban
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!
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