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Luci E Ombre: The Bright and Dark Sides of International Heritage Law

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The article discusses the achievements of international legal regimes for the protection and safeguarding of cultural heritage, focusing on the regimes created under the auspices of UNESCO. It argues that, even though there are many achievements of these regimes, and that these should be celebrated, each major achievement (bright side) casts a shadow (a dark side), which comes to show the unintended consequences of international heritage law. The dark sides often stem from an over-reliance on the law as a vocabulary for articulating heritage matters, while overlooking the limitations of the law as a discipline and a tool in the constantly-changing realm of heritage. The article calls for a more self-aware international heritage law, one that is willing to consider both the lights and the shadows of these regimes.


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