Risking Criminal Liability in Cultural Property Transactions

22 Pages Posted: 20 May 2020

Date Written: 2020


This Comment explores when buyers of cultural property cross the line from taking business risks to engaging in criminal conduct. The Comment applies the National Stolen Property Act (NSPA) and the conscious avoidance doctrine to potential red flags in hypothetical cultural property transactions. When buyers are presented with red flags about a piece’s provenance and choose not to investigate, they cannot rely on deliberate ignorance as a defense to a charge that they knowingly transacted in or possessed stolen cultural property.

Keywords: Cultural Property, Criminal Law, National Stolen Property Act, NSPA, Conscious Avoidance, Red Flag

Suggested Citation

Orenstein, Karin, Risking Criminal Liability in Cultural Property Transactions (2020). North Carolina Journal of International Law, Vol. 45, 527, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3583457

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