App. A. Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, Adopted by the General Conference, UNESCO, at Its Sixteenth Session, Paris, November 14, 1970
App. B. Title III of Public Law 97-446: Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act codified at 19 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq
App. C. Curation of Federally Owned and Administered Archaeological Collections
App. D. 22 U.S.C. §2459: Immunity from Seizure Statute
App. E. Public Law 94-158: Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act, as Amended codified at 20 U.S.C. § 971
16 U.S.C. secs. 461 to 470aaa-11 (includes the Archaeological Resources Protection Act) These sections of Title 16 ("Conservation") concern the preservation and protection of important historic sites, buildings, objects, and antiquities.
Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act, Pub. L. No. 97-446, secs. 301-15, 96 Stat. 2329, 2350-63 (1983) (codified at 19 U.S.C. secs. 2601-2613) This act implements the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and authorizes the President to enter into bilateral agreements with party nations to prevent the import of certain "archaeological or ethnological material."
National Stolen Property Act, 18 U.S.C. secs. 2314-15 This act prohibits, among other things, the knowing transportation or sale of stolen or fraudulently obtained merchandise (e.g., a work of art) worth $5,000 or more.
Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987, Pub. L. No. 100-298, 102 Stat. 432 (1988) (codified at 43 U.S.C. secs. 2101-2106) This act applies to abandoned shipwrecks in submerged state lands. It abrogates the law of finds and salvage; the United States takes title to these shipwrecks and then ownership is transferred to the state where the shipwreck is located.
18 U.S.C. sec. 668 Prohibits the theft of major works of art and cultural objects from museums in the United States.
19 U.S.C. secs. 2091-2095 Prohibits the importation of certain stone carvings and wall art that is the "product of a pre-Columbian Indian culture of Mexico, Central America, South America, or the Caribbean Islands."
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Pub. L. No. 101-601, 104 Stat. 3048 (1990) (codified at 25 U.S.C. secs. 3001-13, 18 U.S.C. sec. 1170) This act protects Native American burial sites by prohibiting unauthorized excavation and trafficking in certain items, such as human remains and funerary objects. It also establishes a system for the repatriation of items removed prior to the effective date of the act. 22 U.S.C. sec. 2459 Protects certain works of art and "other objects of cultural significance" imported into the United States for temporary exhibition at a museum or similar institution from seizure under judicial process.
Copyright Act of 1976, Pub. L. No. 94-553, 90 Stat. 2541 (codified as amended at 17 U.S.C. secs. 101-805) Works of art are protected by U.S. copyright law. Provisions of this act apply to the creation, ownership, reproduction, and dissemination of works of art.
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Peter J. Caruso II, a partner in Prince Lobel’s Intellectual Property and Media Practice Groups, has launched a new museum law blog. The Museum Law Blog is a resource for curators, directors, trustees, donors, archivists, and museum patrons to stay on top of current trends in Museum Law
Blog by Elizabeth Merritt, founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums, an initiative of the American Association of Museums. Association of Museum’s (AAM) Code of Ethics supports this view, asserting that As nonprofit institutions, museums comply with applicable local, state, and federal laws and international conventions, as well as with the specific legal standards governing trust responsibilities. This Code of Ethics for Museums takes that compliance as given. But legal standards are a minimum. Museums and those responsible for them must do more than avoid legal liability, they must take affirmative steps to maintain their integrity so as to warrant public confidence. They must act not only legally but also ethically.
U.S. Government GAO found that almost 20 years after NAGPRA was enacted, eight key federal agencies with significant historical collections--Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service; Agriculture's U.S. Forest Service; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and the Tennessee Valley Authority--have not fully complied with the requirements of the act.