The Ethical Trade in Cultural Property: Ethics and Law in the Antiquity Auction Industry
24 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2009 Last revised: 19 Feb 2010
Date Written: September 1, 2007
This article considers from an ethical perspective the role that auction houses play as facilitators of the illicit antiquity trade. It reviews the laws that regulate the antiquity auction industry and explains why they fail to prevent the trade in illegally excavated and exported cultural property. The article argues that auction houses should develop policies focused on ethics instead of regulatory compliance, explains why this would better further cultural preservation interests and protect creator cultures, and looks at potential business benefits of an ethical model.
Keywords: cultural property law, archaeology law, auction houses
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