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Art & Cultural Heritage Law Research Guide: Introduction

Art & Cultural Heritage Law

Art and Cultural Heritage Law are broad topics that focus on the legal aspects of art and cultural heritage.  Cultural heritage law is concerned with both movable and immovable property of artistic, cultural, religious and historic interest.  This extends from archaeology and the protection of ancient monuments to national heritage and public and private collections to the art trade and contemporary art. 'Art law' is an interdisciplinary field involving tax (individual estates and charities), commercial transactions, intellectual property in all aspects and private and public international law.  The field of art and cultural heritage law addresses the creation, ownership, and transactions involving works of art, immovable historic structures, and cultural objects. It includes the areas of contracts, trust and estate law, intellectual property rights, historic preservation, public and private international law, and litigation. 

Reference Materials

There is a lot of scholarship in the field of art and cultural heritage law.  The following list provides reference sources that offer a helpful overview of cultural property topics and can help you gain a basic understanding of concepts and issues as questions arise.

Writing a Paper?

Narrow your topic on which you can write a 15-page paper. Select a topic that addresses a global justice question that is of interest to you and also is original and topical.

To find ideas for your topic, go to the following sources with an international perspective:

Other helpful sources are:

Once you've chosen a paper topic you'll need to review the legal literatute for a pre-emption check to be sure that another legal scholar has not already covered your topic.

Use these sources in a pre-emption check:

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