Cultural Heritage

Coordinators: Raghavi Viswanath, Jessica Wiseman, Thomas Soden, Paul Csillag

Contact: [email protected]

The Cultural Heritage Working Group is a space dedicated to research and conversation on issues pertaining to the definition, significance, protection, and regulation of cultural heritage, and cultural rights more generally. The Working Group strongly encourages cross-fertilization of scholarship from multiple disciplines including law, history, politics, and other social sciences such as archaeology.

The Group invites guest speakers to present their research and offers a platform for the members of the group to engage with contemporary scholarship.

The group is interdisciplinary and welcomes all participants who are interested in heritage protection, the politics and ethics of antiquities trade, museum studies, memory studies, cultural diversity, and cultural identity.

The group is grateful for the support of Prof. Neha Jain and Prof. Alexander Etkind.



Academic Year 2020-2021

Academic Year 2011-12

  • 20/01/2012: Combined session with the Working Group on Environmental Law & Policy, 'The Role of Legal Principles in Cultural Heritage and Environmental Law'. Our speaker, Marina Lostal Becerril, Ph.D. Candidate at the EUI, will draw a comparative analysis of the decisive and positive role played by legal principles in international environmental law, and the opportunities that international cultural heritage law missed and is missing due to the lack of a principled foundation. Chair: Berenika Drazewska, Discussant: Jerneja Penca.
  • 16/11/2011: 'From the Seven Wonders of the Western World to a Catch-all Concept? A Historical Perspective on World Heritage, 1972–1994'. Our speaker, Dr. Aurelie Gfeller, from the Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (EUI), discussed her project that aims to shed light on the –if any- political intricacies underlying the evolution of the “outstanding universal value” concept of the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Chair: Berenika Drazewska, Discussant: Prof. Francesco Francioni.

Academic Year 2010-11

  • 30/03/2011: 'Criminalization of Attacks Against Cultural Heritage and its Impact on International Criminal Law'. Our guest speaker, Prof. Micaella Frulli, from the University of Florence, presented her article (later published in EJIL 22: 203-217) where she discussed the two different approaches taken to the criminalization of attacks cultural heritage: “the civilian-use rationale”, epitomized by international criminal law; and “cultural-value approach”, represented by law concerning cultural heritage. Chair: Marina Lostal-Becerril, Discussant: Prof. Francesco Francioni.
  • 04/03/2011: 'The Legal Regime of Wrecks of Warships and other State-owned Ships in International Law'. Our guest speaker, Prof. Natalino Ronzitti, from University of Luiss (Rome) presented and discussed his preliminary report for the Institut de Droit International on the complicated legal framework applicable to wrecks of warships and other state-owned. Chair: Marina Lostal-Becerril, Discussant: Prof. Francesco Francioni.
  • 23/11/2010: 'Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage'. Our guest speaker, Prof. Tullio Scovazzi from University of Milano-Bicocca, presented a paper discussing the sometimes conflicting legislation regarding the protection of underwater cultural heritage, and the different policies pursued in Italy and in America. Chair: Marlene Losier, Discussant: Prof. Francesco Francioni.
  • 20/10/2010: 'Climate Change and the World Heritage Convention'. Speakers: Prof. Ben Boer, Fernand Braudel Fellow at the EUI, and Professor Emeritus in Environmental Law, University of Sydney; Dr. Ottavio Quirico, Marie Curie Fellow at University of Paris II. Chair: Marina Lostal-Becerril, Discussant: Prof. Francesco Francioni.

Academic Year 2008-2009

  • 12/05/2009: Lucas Lixinski presented a paper called 'Contractual Approaches to the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage', and Marina Lostal Becerril presented a paper entitled 'The Chasm between the 1954 Hague Regime and the World Heritage Convention'.
  • 10/12/2008: Lucas Lixinsky, ‘Regional Initiatives for the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage: The Case of the EU’, Jeanne-Marie Panayotopoulos, ‘The General Interest as Seen by the Judge’, Alessandro Chechi, ‘The Settlement of Cultural Heritage Disputes through Common Rules of Adjudication’.
  • 08/10/2008: Guest lecture by Prof. James Salzman (Duke University, Durham, NC): ‘The Climate Change Beyond Kyoto: What Role for International Law?'

Academic Year 2007-2008

  • 26/05/2008: Colloquium on Landscapes and Beyond: Bringing Nature and Culture Together. Colloquium on Cultural Heritage and Environmental Law in conjunction with the Working Group on Environmental Law and Policy, co-organised by Prof. Francesco Francioni and Valentina Vadi.
  • 05/03/2008: Interdisciplinary session on 'Cultural Landscapes' with presentations by Amy Strecker and Emanuela Orlando from the Law Department and Matthew Mcgeever from the Department of History and Civilization. 
  • 26/02/2008: Joint session with the WG on International Criminal Law Guest speaker: Roger O'Keefe, Deputy Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, Lecturer in Law, University of Cambridge and author of ‘The Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict’ (CUP, 2006). Prof. O'Keefe will give a present on the protection of cultural property in armed conflict: issues of criminal responsibility. 
  • 13/02/2008: ‘An Analysis of the Feasibility/Desirability of Using Currently Existing Human Rights Instruments and Mechanisms for Protecting Intangible Cultural Heritage’ Lucas will explore the ways in which human rights claims are advanced for the protection of cultural identity and heritage generally, and debate the individual v. group rights dichotomy in the context of protecting intangible cultural heritage. He will draw on the jurisprudence of several regional and universal human rights institutional arrangements, as well as scholarship from the fields of anthropology and law. 
  • 23/01/2008: Alessandro Chechi: ‘The role of law and judges in the proper resolution of international cultural heritage disputes’. The discussion will focus on the implications of two recent disputes concerning the restitution of cultural property decided by the European Court of Human Rights and an Italian administrative tribunal. Andrzej Jakubowski: ‘The International Law of State Succession to Cultural Property’.
  • 12/12/2007:'Cultural Heritage and Investment Law: A Stormy Relationship’ Jeanne-Marie Panayotopoulos: ‘The ‘International Community’ - a mediator between the universal and the fragmented considerations of the protection of cultural heritage’.
  • 05/12/2007: Joint-session with INFOSOC organised by Valentina Vadi. Guest speaker: Mr. Mario Gerosa, journalist and senior editor of Architectural Digest Italy, author of ‘Second Life’ (Meltemi, 2007) and ‘Mondi virtuali’ (Castelvecchi, 2006). Mr. Gerosa is a member of OMNSH (Observatoire des mondes numeriques en sciences humaines) and has lectured in universities in Milan, Rome, Bari and Naples. He will present on ‘The Protection of Virtual Architectural Heritage’.  
  • 21/11/2007: Prof. Ana Vrdoljak, ‘Unravelling the Cradle of Civilisation Layer by Layer: Iraq and the Baghdad Museum’, Robert Peters, ‘Beyond Restitution: Alternative Approaches to the Restitution of Cultural Property’

Academic Year 2006-2007

  • 12/05/2007: Valentina Vadi presented a paper entitled 'Cultural Heritage and International Investment Law: A Stormy Relationship'.
  • 02/05/2007: Joint-session with INFOSOC, presentations by Amy Strecker: ‘Traditional Knowledge and Biopiracy’; Rosalba Gomez Gutierrez: ‘Acceso a la justicia y resoluciòn de conflictos mediante autoridades tradicionales en comunidad Maya-tseltal’ and Charles Henry Massa: ‘Forum-seeking for Patent Litigation’.
  • 30/03/2007: Guest lecture on the implementation of international cultural heritage instruments in different legal systems (in particular Italy, UK, Switzerland, France, and US), by Prof. Riccardo Pavoni, University of Siena.
  • 08/03/2007: Session in the framework of the 9th seminar of Profs. Francioni and Vrdoljak (Human Rights, Cultural Diversity and Heritage in International Law), on the issue of trade in cultural objects and restitution: seminar session; guest lecture on the restitution of stolen or unlawfully exported antiquities with an example of the recent negotiations and penal proceedings in the J. Paul Getty Museum Case, by Avv. Maurizio Fiorilli, State Advocate of the Italian Republic, Rome.
  • 12/02/2007: Session on the organisation and technical issues of the WG’s activities
  • 14/12/2006: Guest lecture on The Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage by Prof. Lenzerini, Researcher of International Law, University of Siena, Consultant to UNESCO 
  • 16/11/2006: Discussion on the legal notion of Culture Heritage in International Law, the shift from ‘cultural property’ to ‘cultural heritage’, the evolution of a concept; Alessandro Chechi on Dispute Resolution and Holocaust-Related Art Claims: New Principles and Techniques (reporting on the conference held in London in October organized by the Institute of Art & Law)
  • 09/10/2006: Introductory Session 2nd Meeting.



Page last updated on 12 April 2021

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