93142 - Cultural Policy and Comparative Heritage Legislation (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Archaeology and Cultures of the Ancient World (cod. 8855)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will grasp the overall picture of regulatory sources relating to identification, protection and enhancement of the cultural heritage in comparison with the different European and international systems. They will be familiar with the legal, institutional, managerial and economic instruments needed to promote effective cultural policies. They will be able to identify the legal issues underlying protection of the cultural heritage and be able to compare the different national and supranational regulations that govern this sector displaying sufficient legal knowledge to understand it. They will also know how to design and implement effective cultural policies meeting the objectives set by institutions to promote individual sectors of the cultural heritage.

Course contents

The analysis of the heritage protection mechanisms is the main subject of the proposed seminar. A thorough analysis of the normative and institutional frameworks and of the concepts coined by legislation at local, national and global level will be introduced.

The course includes two major parts. The first theoretical part aims firstly at introducing students to the topic and concepts used throughout the seminar (lecture 1,2). The theoretical part focuses on the main actors involved at the global level, such as UNESCO and ICOMOS and European organizations, to identification and enhancement of cultural heritage protection (lecture 3,4). This aims at providing the basis to understanding the second part of the seminar, that focuses on the presentation of various cases studies. These will problematise the implications of the normative frameworks, such as the protection of cultural heritage as a human right in times of conflict and peace; international trade and restitution of cultural properties; and global norms concerning movable heritage, such as museum’s collections, exhibitions (lecture 5,6,7). The issue of digitalisation and normative frameworks for dealing with virtual heritage are the themes to be addressed towards the end of the second block (lecture 8).

The first seminar session (lecture 1), is also dedicated to discussing the written paper assignment and the selection of presentation topics.

Lecture 1: Introduction. From Local to National and Global. Challenges to Concepts: ‘patrimoine’, ‘cultural heritage’, ‘kulturelles Erbe’ in national/international legislation

Lecture 2: Cultural Property and Cultural Goods: Public and Private Institutions

Lecture 3: International Cultural Heritage Law in a Globalised World from Tangible to Intangible Heritage: Global Actors and Knowledge Transfer (UNESCO, ICOMOS)

Lecture 4: Cultural Heritage in European Policies (Council of Europe and European Union)

Lecture 5: Preservation of Cultural Heritage as a Human Right in Times of Conflict and Peace

Lecture 6: International Trade and the Restitution of Cultural Properties

Lecture 7: Global Norms and Movable Heritage: museum’s collections, exhibitions

Lecture 8: Digitalisation and Virtual Heritage Protection


One or Two papers (for each lecture) shall be selected for reading and discussion

Lecture 1

  • Blake Janet, International Cultural Heritage Law, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2015.
  • Chechi Alessandro, The Settlement of International Cultural Heritage Disputes, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014.
  • Cammelli M., Il Codice dei beni culturali e del paesaggio, Bologna, il Mulino, 2008.
  • Casini Lorenzo, ‘“Italian Hours”: The Globalization of Cultural Property Law,’ 9 International Journal of Constitutional Law, 2011.
  • Eriksen Anne, From Antiquities to Heritage. Transformation of Cultural Memory, Berghan Books, 2014.

Lecture 2


  • Italian Code of the Cultural and Landscape Heritage Articles 1-130

Journal Articles, Books, Chapters:

  • Bauer Alexander A., ‘New Ways of Thinking about Cultural Property: A Critical Appraisal of the Antiquities Trade Debates,’ Fordham International Law Journal 31, (2008): 690.
  • Chechi Alessandro, ‘When Private International Law meets Cultural Heritage Law,’ Yearbook of Private International Law, 2018.
  • Merryman J.H., ‘Art System and New Cultural Policy,’ Stanford Public Law Working Paper, n. 1489612, October 2009.
  • Merryman J.H., ‘Two Ways of Thinking about Cultural Property,’ The American Journal of International Law, Vol.80.No.4,1986: 831-853.
  • Special Issue: ‘Thinking about Cultural Property: The Legal and Public Policy Legacies of John Henry Merryman’, Cambridge University Press, vol.21, no.3. 2014.

Lecture 3


    • World Heritage Convention 1972

    Journal Articles, Books, Chapters:

    • Anglin R., ‘The World Heritage List: Bridging the Cultural Property Nationalism-Internationalism Divide,’ 20 Yale Journal of Law & Humanities, 2009.
    • Bekus Nelly, ‘Transnational Circulation of Cultural Form: Multiple Agencies of heritage making’, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 2019.
    • De Cesari Chiara, ‘World Heritage and the Nation-State: A View from Palestine,’ Transnational Memory. Circulation, Articulation, Scales, edited by De Cesari Chiara, Rigney Ann, Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, (2016): 247-271.
    • Geering Corinne, ‘Protecting the Heritage of Humanity in the Cold War: UNESCO, the Soviet Union and Sites of Universal Value, 1945-1970s’, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 2019

    Lecture 4


    • European Cultural Convention (1954)
    • European Charter of the Architectural Heritage (1975)
    • Granada Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe (1985)
    • Valletta Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (1992)
    • European Landscape Convention, Florence (2000)
    • Faro Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (2005)

    Journal Articles, Books, Chapters:

    • Delanty Gerard, ‘Entangled Memories and the European Cultural Heritage: Current Trends and Directions for Research,’ European Legacy, vol.22, no. 2, (2016): 129-145.
    • Mackenzie-Gray Scott Richard, ‘The European Union’s Approach to Trade Restrictions on Cultural Property: A Trendsetter for the Protection of Cultural Property in Other Regions?,’ Santander Art and Culture Law Review, 2016 (2)

    Lecture 5


    • Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (Hague 1954)
    • UNESCO Declaration concerning the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage (2003) https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000133874

    Journal Articles:

    • Abtahi Hirad, ‘The Protection of Cultural Property in Times of Armed Conflict: The Practice of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia,’ Harvard Human Rights Journal, no.14, (2001): 1–32.
    • Amineddoleh L.A., ‘Cultural Heritage Vandalism and Looting: The Role of Terrorist Organizations, Public Institutions and Private Collectors’, Santander Art and Culture Law Review, 2015, Vol. 2.
    • Clark Janine Natalya, ‘The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Armed Conflict. The “Human Element” and the Jurisprudence of the ICTY.’ International Criminal Law Review, vol.18, no.1, (2018): 36-66.
    • Francioni Francesco, ‘The Human Dimension of International Cultural Heritage Law: An Introduction,’ European Journal of International Law, vol. 22, no.1, (2011): 9-16.
    Lecture 6


    • 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property
    • the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects
    • Council Regulation (EC) No 116/2009 on the export of cultural goods

    Journal Articles, Books, Chapters:

    • Stamatoudi Irini A. Cultural Property Law and Restitution. A Commentary to International Conventions and European Union Law. IHC Series in Heritage Management, Edward Elgar Cheltenham, UK. 2011.
    • Hodder Ian, ‘Cultural Heritage Rights: From Ownership and Descent to Justice and Well-Being,’ Anthropological Quarterly, vol. 83, no.4, (2010): 861-882.

    Lecture 7


    • ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums
    • General Principles on the administration of loans and exchange of cultural goods between institutions (so called “Bizot Principles”)

    Journal Articles, Books, Chapters:

    • Soderland Hilary A., Lilley Ian A., ‘The Fusion of Law and Ethics in Cultural Heritage Management: The 21st Century Confronts Archaeology,’ Journal of Field Archaeology, 40:5, (2015): 508-522.
    • Geismar Haidy, Museum Object Lessons for the Digital Age, London: UCL Press, 2018:


    Lecture 8

    • Burri Mira, ‘Global Cultural Law and Policy in the Age of Ubiquitous Internet’, International Journal of Cultural Property, 21, (2014): 349-364.


    Teaching methods

    This seminar consists of the following methodological elements:

    • Sessions in the classroom (online) including lectures, students' presentations, group discussions and group work
    • Working with documents, readings
    • Workshops with a focus on group work, self-organisational learning and presentation
    • Book review

    Assessment methods

    1. Reading Assignment (30%): each class one or two papers (max.30 pages each) will be discussed. A reader with all materials will be made available in advance.
    2. Participation (20%): active participation in the discussion, work in groups and providing in-class feedback on other students’ presentations.
    3. Assignment (50%): 20 minutes oral presentation in class together with a short book review can be selected. Topics and books selctions to be discussed individually. Submission date for the written paper the last class, to be sent by e-mail to: lauraramona.demeter@unibo.it [mailto:lauraramona.demeter@unibo.it]
    4. Ethical conduct-- please be aware of the plagiarism policy: The presentation of another person’s words, ideas, research, images or data as though they were your own, whether intentionally or unintentionally, without indicating the source of provenance constitutes an act of plagiarism. This will be sanctioned in accordance with the institution policies.

    Office hours

    See the website of Laura Ramona Demeter