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Using UNIDROIT To Avoid Cultural Heritage Disputes: Limitation Periods

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Chapter Summary

In the year 2000, the minister for the arts in the United Kingdom established an Advisory Panel on Illicit Trade ("the Panel"). UNIDROIT has the capacity to play a significant role in the avoidance and resolution of cultural heritage disputes. It came into force on July 1, 1998. With respect to illegally exported cultural objects, the UNDROIT Convention only applies if the object was illegally exported after both the claimant state and the state where the claim is made became party to the convention. The basic rule governing limitation periods states that "a claim for restitution shall be brought within a period of three years from the time when the claimant knew the location of the cultural object and the identity of the possessor&t;. The limitation rules in the UNIDROIT Convention can contribute to the avoidance and resolution of cultural heritage disputes by eliminating competing rules.

Keywords: cultural heritage disputes; illegally exported cultural objects; UNIDROIT convention



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