UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for promoting the return of cultural property to meet in Paris
The Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in case of Illicit Appropriation will meet for its 16th session from 21 to 23 September at UNESCO (Room XI). During the three-day meeting, the Committee will work on the elaboration of model rules aimed at helping States define their ownership of cultural property, particularly undiscovered archaeological objects.
The Committee will also consider the ongoing negotiations between Greece and the United Kingdom concerning the Parthenon Marbles, between Turkey and Germany on the Sphinx of Boğusköy, and discuss the recent return of the Makonde Mask by a private Swiss museum to the United Republic of Tanzania.
In addition, the Committee will discuss the Consolidated Draft Rules of Procedure on Mediation and Conciliation. It will also continue the study it launched in 2009 on alternative means of conflict resolution concerning cultural property, and discuss the creation of a database of successful restitution cases. The future database is intended to demonstrate the diverse types of restitution claims and arrangements possible, as well as the wide range of cultural objects and States involved.
The Secretariat has invited key representatives of the art market (Christie’s, Sotheby’s, SNA, CINOA, SYMEV) to present their role in ensuring ethical and legal practices. UNESCO’s partner institutions* will also report on their cooperation with UNESCO as well as on their most recent activities in the field of protection of cultural heritage.
Established in 1978, the Committee is responsible for seeking ways and means of facilitating bilateral negotiations for the restitution or return of cultural property to its countries of origin, and promoting such restitution. The Committee comprises 22 Member States, including countries with large quantities of cultural property as well as those that are home to an active art market.
UNESCO has just released the reference documentary (17’) “Combating illicit trafficking in cultural objects: UNESCO and its partners at work”.
Journalists are invited to cover the proceedings.
*International Council of Museums, INTERPOL, World Customs Organization, UNIDROIT, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Carabinieri (Italy) and l'Office Central de lutte contre le trafic des Biens Culturels (OCBC – France)