Cultural Institutions versus Cultural Policies? Accommodating National Cultural Priorities within the International Treaty Framework protecting to Cultural Property 

The increasing illicit trade in cultural property is a global problem in need of a global response. Accession to the international treaty system designed to tackle this trade and protect heritage more broadly has, however, been slow among many States, some of whom nevertheless regard cultural heritage as an important defining characteristic of their nationhood and identity. Spotlighting Ireland, this paper examines the role of international organisations and national cultural institutions in protecting cultural heritage within the context of the individual cultural priorities of nation states, examining how Ireland and its national cultural institutions attempt to protect its own heritage nationally in a globalised climate and how the specific legal protections it affords to cultural heritage are used, more broadly.