The Fight Against the Illicit Trade in Asian Cultural Artefacts: Connecting Domestic Strategies, Regional Cooperation, and International Agreements

Stefan Gruber, ‘The Fight against the Illicit Trade in Asian Cultural Artefacts: Connecting Domestic Strategies, Regional Cooperation, and International Agreements’ (2013) 3(2) Asian Journal of International Law 341-363

Posted: 5 Jun 2014

See all articles by Stefan Gruber

Stefan Gruber

Wuhan University; The University of Sydney - Faculty of Law; Waseda University; Kyoto University - Hakubi Center for Advanced Research

Date Written: June 5, 2014

Abstract

Looting and illicit trafficking of cultural artefacts pose major threats to Asia’s cultural heritage. This not only causes a continuing loss of cultural objects but also the destruction of large numbers of archaeological and historical sites as objects are often looted from tombs or cut off from larger pieces in order to obtain transportable parts for sale on the international art market. In addition, items are stolen from collections and museums or are trafficked in violation of export bans. This article explores the relevant international conventions dealing with the prevention of the illicit export of cultural artefacts and their repatriation, examines how those legal instruments are implemented in Asia and extended in bilateral agreements between market and source countries, and how particularly regional co-operation between Asian nations, international solidarity and assistance, and relevant domestic approaches can assist in improving the situation.

Keywords: Illicit art trafficking, art crime, UNESCO, heritage protection, cultural artifacts, antiquities, Asia, China

Suggested Citation

Gruber, Stefan, The Fight Against the Illicit Trade in Asian Cultural Artefacts: Connecting Domestic Strategies, Regional Cooperation, and International Agreements (June 5, 2014). Stefan Gruber, ‘The Fight against the Illicit Trade in Asian Cultural Artefacts: Connecting Domestic Strategies, Regional Cooperation, and International Agreements’ (2013) 3(2) Asian Journal of International Law 341-363, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2446358

Stefan Gruber (Contact Author)

Wuhan University ( email )

School of Law
Luojia Hill, Wuchang
Wuhan, Hubei Province 430072
China

The University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Waseda University ( email )

1-104 Totsukamachi, Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo, 169-8050
Japan

Kyoto University - Hakubi Center for Advanced Research ( email )

Yoshidahonmachi
Sakyo Ward
Kyoto, 606-8501
Japan

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