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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the book. The global community, dependent as always on the cooperation of nation states, is gradually learning to address the serious threats to the cultural heritage of our disparate but shared civilizations. The legacy of conquest, colonialization, and commerce looms large in defining and explaining these threats. The emerging regime for protecting the global heritage performs five interrelated functions: protection, cooperation, rectification, criminal justice, and dispute resolution. Accordingly, the law seeks to protect the physical integrity and contextualization of cultural material; facilitate cooperation in its management, appropriate transfer, and safe return to legitimate claimants; rectify wrongful activity by means of civil remedies and otherwise; impose penal sanctions for illegal activity involving cultural material; and provide formal and informal mechanisms and rules for resolving related disputes.

Keywords: colonialization; commerce; conquest; cultural heritage

10.1163/ej.9789004160361.i-466.2
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