Trafficking cultural objects and human rights

Authored by: Simon Mackenzie , Donna Yates

The Routledge International Handbook of Criminology and Human Rights

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138931176
eBook ISBN: 9781315679891
Adobe ISBN: 9781317395553

10.4324/9781315679891.ch21

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Abstract

Since the end of World War 2, international cultural heritage protection law and its domestic legal components have proceeded in their development in tandem with the development of international human rights laws and norms. A core tension in human rights thinking is evident also in debates about the right to cultural property: the potential for conflict between the right to cultural self-determination by one group and attempts to develop and promulgate human rights standards with universalizing ambitions. This is reflected in cultural property ownership debates, where cultural heritage 2 may be considered by some people as the common heritage of humankind and thus to some extent owned by us all, while others would see it as more properly owned by members of a more restricted group, or perhaps communally as tangible items of a certain culture.

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