Research Institutes

Non-exhaustive list of research centres completely or partially involved in the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property.

The Art-Law Centre, closely linked to the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva, regularly organizes symposia, conferences and seminars and publishes research in the field of art law.

The Association for Research into Crimes against Art (ARCA) is a research and outreach organization which works to promote the study and research of art and cultural heritage crime. The Association seeks to identify emerging and under-examined trends related to the study of art crime and to develop strategies to advocate for the responsible stewardship of our collective artistic and archaeological heritage.

The Centre of Studies on the International Legal Cooperation (CECOJI) is a research unit associating the University of Poitiers and the National Centre for Scientific Research. CECOJI is made of several teams that undertake research in diverse disciplinary fields of law, including cultural property law.

The Cultural Heritage Law program of DePaul University College of Law of Chicago, which is linked with Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law (CAMCHL), organizes courses on Art and Law and offers students opportunities to explore externship and internship placements in this rapidly growing area of law.

The European University Institute (EUI) of Florence has a Working Group specialized in cultural heritage. The Working Group on Cultural Heritage aims to provide a forum for the exploration of issues related to cultural heritage, cultural property and the law.

ILLICID was launched by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and will broadly cooperate with other ministries and federal entities with a mandate on the protection of cultural heritage. Under the auspices of Prof. Dr. Markus Hilgert, Director of the Ancient Near East Museum at the Pergamonmuseum, the project will run until 2018.

The Institute of Art and Law is a small British independent research and educational organization which analyses the interface between the world of art and antiquities and that of law.

Conscious of the need to reinforce research and education on the fight against the illicit trafficking in higher education the Secretariat has actively promoted the creation of the UNITWIN network on the “Protection of Cultural Property Against Illicit Trafficking in the MENA region (ProCult)”.

The International Research Group (GDRI) on « Patrimoine culturel et droit de l’art » (Cultural Heritage and Art Law) of the University Jean Monnet Paris-Sud 11, involves issues of illicit trafficking of cultural property, notably through a research programme in comparative law, which associates many international partners.


The Law Faculty Jean Moulin Lyon III has an Institut de Droit de l'Art et de la Culture.

Trafficking Culture aims to produce an evidence-based picture of the contemporary global trade in looted cultural objects. This research programme is based at the University of Glasgow and is funded by the European Research Council. Trafficking Culture produces original data and commentary on the illicit traffic in cultural objects, teaches courses and supervises students on the topic, engages with the media, maintains an active website and social networking links, and takes part in international discussions on law, policy and practice.

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