The attempt to detect a European cultural patrimony and to shape a European cultural identity is in part exercised by the control of the export of cultural properties. Such control happens both between Member States and between Member States and third countries. Over time The European Parliament has approved (e.g. in the TFUE and in the EU Regulation n° 116/2009), a series of norms meant to regulate the international circulation of cultural heritage. What inputs over others have exerted a stronger influence on the communitarian legislator and the EU’s determination of the final outcome of European control over the export of cultural properties? Is it possible to detect some categories of cultural property export at the supranational level that were already present in the national Member States’ legislations?
The EU has brought about unprecedented freedom of movement for Europeans. Such freedom of movement for people has also facilitated the movement of cultural property across borders. This in turn has presented unique problems including the abuse, by individuals and organizations, of open-borders to (clandestinely) move materials from one jurisdiction to another. This paper will examine the impact of European borders in the illicit trade of cultural property in light of the (expected) United Kingdom withdrawal from the EU. In particular, this paper will spotlight the complex border between Ireland and the United Kingdom on the island of Ireland itself. Has this arbitrary border, which has been a continuous security headache for both States, allowed individuals and organizations to avoid restrictions in one jurisdiction by easily moving materials to another? How could the British withdrawal from the EU impact the movement of cultural property in Ireland and in the EU more broadly?
The role of UN Institutions within the process of implementation of a multi-level safeguard for the protection of cultural heritage seems to be extremely difficult. International law offers protection of cultural heritage and cultural objects, both in terms of places of worships and minorities whose identity is threatened. A prime example of such protection can be found in Jerusalem, a gigli contested territory where long standing political changes have deeply affected the cultural heritage legal framework. The sea of international norms on the protection of heritage sites and minorities during armed conflict and occupation (IHL and IHRL) is a well rooted branch of international law, but hardly integrated at a national level in extra-ordinary situations. This paper explores new perspectives from the joint liaison of international, regional and national rules on the protection of world heritage sites and in areas of contested sovereignty.