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Day ​​​1​1 blog - July 27, 2016

Illicit Art Trafficking

Blogger:  ​3L ​​Daniela Clark

Today, we learned about illicit art trafficking, an extremely complicated area of law. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) advocates for the returning of looted and illicitly trafficked art to the country of origin. They have written several treaties in the attempt to get countries to come together in agreement that stolen art should be returned to the rightful owners. These treaties provide broad guidelines for countries to follow, but countries are largely responsible for creating their own specific processes and laws regarding when and how illicitly trafficked art must be returned and whether there will be a defense for a good faith purchaser. Naturally, especially in today’s global economy, this creates issues regarding jurisdiction and selection and application of a country’s law, which may create conflicting results depending on the country of incident.

I particularly find this interesting because I intend to write my paper on art looted by the Nazis during World War II. Before this class, I was generally aware that the looting of art and other valuable objects occur during times of war. However, through this class and our visits to various historical and cultural sites here in Italy, I have since come to know that, particularly during World War II, the Nazi Party was systematically looting and trafficking art for Adolf Hitler, an art lover. I look forward to learning more.

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