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Day ​​​10 blogs - July 2​6, 2016

Cultural Heritage

Blogger:  1L ​Sarah Pierce

Today, we had two classes with Guest Lecturer, Professor Alessandro Chechi of the University of Geneva, Faculty of Law, Art-Law Centre. ​We discussed several different cases concerning the theft of important cultural heritage pieces. For hundreds of years, countries around the world have suffered the loss of beautiful pieces of art that they believe are the building blocks of the countries’ culture. In many instances, these works are taken during wartime by the invading forces or they are looted to be sold to private collectors. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) Conventions were eventually held to find a way to stop the illicit trade of cultural works. However, despite these attempts to create a solution, each country has their own set of laws, and many of these laws are in conflict with one another. Because of these conflicts, looters and smugglers have found several loopholes in the laws where they can get away with illicit trading.

After classes and dinner, we went as a group to the local gelateria for the first time. I think it’s safe to say I will never be content with American ice cream again.

Blogger:  2L Michele Moss

Over the past week and a half, I have begun to finally settle into a pretty solid routine that includes waking up early to go run towards the beautiful, Tuscan hills. Usually after the morning run, other students and I stop by a local café and drink a cappuccino while listening to Italian music. On this day, we had class from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with Professor Calboli and learned about the protection of intangible cultural history.

I found it interesting that there were so many different cultural activities around the world that have already been protected. However, I began to wonder where the convention draws the line on what they find sufficiently adequate to be protected. Additionally, I found it significant that the United States has chosen not to participate in that specific type of protection because of our relationship with Israel.

Later in the afternoon, we had our first class meeting with ​guest lecturer, Professor Alessandro Chechi of the University of Geneva, Faculty of Law, Art-Law Centre, who taught us about art law and how it relates to international law. It was during these two classes today that I realized what I wanted to write my research paper on because there was one topic in particular that really stuck out to me. This topic was in regard to the difference between an international and national approach to the ownership of cultural significant property.

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