Regulations on the export of Cultural property
In February 2007, the issue of exportation of cultural property resurfaced in media discussions with the announcement that “The Flight” - a painting by Nicolas Poussin was up for sale on the international market.
While the Louvre and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon appealed to various sponsors to keep the cultural artifact in French territory, the public learned the regulations involved on the movement of cultural goods over international boundaries.
Art objects, collectibles and antiques have a dual nature economic and cultural.
Cultural goods are simultaneously subjected to the proliferation of legal instruments to safeguard cultural diversity in the context of globalization of trade and tax regulations designed to tax all forms of the transaction.
Sales of cultural artifacts result in huge financial flows. Prices of works of art, collectibles and antiques are reaching dizzying amounts. Jackson Pollock’s "No. 5, 1948” was sold in 2006 for over $ 140 million.
The financial flows related to cultural property are established to a significant extent by exports.
The rise of newly industrialized countries, including China, enables them to participate in the market of cultural property. The increase in demand leads to soaring prices.
exports of cultural goods are a boon to the state but they are not reduced to simple transfers.
The value of cultural property is not measured only in monetary terms, they also carry an important symbolic value. These properties are part of a national heritage so in the interest of the public, the state tries to safeguard and preserve these artifacts in national territory. The right to culture is a constitutional right, present in the preamble to the constitution.
But there is a trend of French artifacts being exported. On retiring from his post in 2001, Pierre Rosenberg, (who was) the director of the Louvre Museum, said that the country was literally emptied of its treasures.
The protection of cultural heritage is explained in two parts, the first part one looks at the general framework for the protection of cultural heritage and the second part looks at the ways to preserve the heritage.
The general framework for the protection of cultural heritage:
The need to protect all cultural property has been a concern for some time now.
States are now working to promote cultural diversity in order to fight against some of the effects of free trade. There has been a rise in art related crimes but the prevention and punishment of these crimes cannot be conducted by a single state. Therefore, tools of cooperation have been established at the international and community levels.
After the the looting that took place in the Second World War, regulations were imposed on the international circulation of cultural property.
The Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict was signed at the Hague Convention in 1954.Since its inception in 1957, the EC has made provisions to safeguard the heritage of member states.
Therefore there are two levels of international protection.
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