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Cultural heritage law: Culture Heritage Law

Subjects: Law

Using this guide

Navigate through this guide by clicking on the pertinent  tab in the range you can see above this box (below the main title of this guide).

There may also be other Law Bod Libguides which could help you further in this and related studies.
See examples below

Cultural heritage law

The term “cultural heritage” was introduced by UNESCO legislation in 1973. Cultural heritage or cultural property law (the terms are used interchangeably) regulates and protects culturally significant sites, objects, etc. UNESCO defines the term cultural heritage in several different ways :

  • Cultural heritage
    • Tangible cultural heritage: 
      • movable cultural heritage (paintings, sculptures, coins, manuscripts)
      • immovable cultural heritage (monuments, archaeological sites, and so on)
      • underwater cultural heritage (shipwrecks, underwater ruins and cities)
    • Intangible cultural heritage: oral traditions, performing arts, rituals
  • Natural heritage: natural sites with cultural aspects such as cultural landscapes, physical, biological or geological formations
  • Heritage in the event of armed conflict

(Full explanation from UNESCO can be found on this page.)

  • Multi-culturalism, & protection of diversity a related topic

Electronic resources

There is also a very detailed explanation of the different issues related to cultural heritage law in a public international law context in the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International law (MPEPIL), by Francesco Francioni. (See link below)

Printed resources

Just show staff the full call numbers, and they will be happy to point you in the right directions!

Examples of shelf marks/call numbers indicating different areas within the Law Library Collection

Internat 570 for commentary from the international human rights perspective

Internat 590 international commerical law

Internat 630 may help with underwater cultural heritage questions

Private Int conflict of laws

General, KB - comparative studies across 2 or more jurisdictions

K - for the jurisdictions UK, Australia (A8), Canada (C1), Ireland (I5), New Zealand (N4), and United States (U4).

O. - Official Papers collection

Useful SOLO subject search terms to start finding commentary include

Cultural property

Cultural property -- Protection (International law)

World Heritage areas

Intangible property

Indigenous peoples -- Civil rights

Indigenous peoples -- Legal status, laws, etc;