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Alberto Deregibus - The International Code of Ethics for Dealers in Cultural Property
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Alberto Deregibus - The International Code of Ethics for Dealers in Cultural Property

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Fight against illicit traffic of cultural property in South-East Europe. …

Fight against illicit traffic of cultural property in South-East Europe.
Gaziantep, Turkey, 19-21 November 2012.
Link: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/venice/about-this-office/single-view/news/building_capacities_for_the_fight_against_the_illicit_trafficking_of_cultural_property_
in_south_east_europe/

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  • 1. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTION Fight against illicit traffic of cultural property in South-East Europe Gazientep, Turkey, 19 – 21 November 2012 The International Code of Ethics for Dealers in Cultural PropertyAlberto Deregibus a.deregibus@unesco.org
  • 2. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTION Many transactions all over the world Dialog between culture
  • 3. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONTrade in cultural goods has played a vital role inthe development of intercultural dialogue andinfluence between countries.to trade and to collect artefacts from differentcultures permitted to create museums and privatecollections around the world.
  • 4. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONOften, to meet today’s demand for cultural goods,archaeological sites are raided or thefts are committed. Much of the spoils are sold into the legal market
  • 5. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONToday, many collectors are conscious of the damagedone to cultures How is it possible to know whether an object was legally obtained?to buy only from a dealer who practices ethicalprinciples devised by professionals in the care ofcultural property;dealers who are careful enough to check theprovenance of the works he deals in.
  • 6. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONIn the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention provides that astolen cultural object must be returned.The buyer will receive compensation where it isotherwise entitled to retain the object if it has usedthe required diligence in acquiring the object.
  • 7. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONUNESCO decided to assist in the process of identifying whichdealers have acceptable standards by establishing aninternational code of conduct for dealers.It does not replace the law. This Code of Ethics complements it.
  • 8. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONThe Code of Ethics was- approved for adoption in 1999 by the UNESCOIntergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Returnof Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or itsRestitution in case of Illicit Appropriation.- endorsed by the 30th General Conference of UNESCOin November 1999.- published with the support of Italian CarabinieriDepartment for the Protection of Cultural heritage.contributions and comments were invited from dealersand dealer associations.
  • 9. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONDealers who adopt it will be recognizable, and thepublic will be entitled to expect that those dealershave been diligent in ascertaining the origin of theobjects concerned and will be able to give assurancesof their good provenance. Such dealers will be underthe particular scrutiny of the other dealers and of themedia to ensure that these high standards are kept.
  • 10. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONDealers who adopt the Code undertake not to trade inobjects which might be stolen, clandestinely excavated orillegally exported and to co-operate in their return.The Code is designed for those dealers who wish to makeclear that they use their best efforts to avoid any associationwith illicit trade by checking carefully their sources of supply.The Code is of use to dealers in any country who value theirreputation for integrity and wish to spell it out for theircustomers to see.It should encourage collectors to follow the ethics of theICOM Code.
  • 11. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONThe Code builds on the principles developed in theUNESCO 1970 Convention and subsequently in the1995 UNIDROIT Convention.It also relies on the experience of various nationalDealers Codes including those of France, theNetherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.Some differences between these Codes have beenharmonized in the UNESCO text.
  • 12. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONText of International Code of Ethics for Dealers in Cultural Property ARTICLE 1. “Professional traders in cultural property will not import, export or transfer the ownership of this property when they have reasonable cause to believe it has been stolen, illegally alienated, clandestinely excavated or illegally exported.”
  • 13. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONTraders have to investigate the provenance of thematerial they handle.It is not sufficient to trade in material withoutquestions and consider that the clause only comesinto effect when somehow evidence of the illegality isacquired.Traders must-examine the background of the objects they areoffered and question the person concerned-pay attention to any circumstances likely to arousesuspicions.
  • 14. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONARTICLE 3.“A trader who has reasonable cause to believe that anobject has been the product of a clandestineexcavation, or has been acquired illegally ordishonestly from an official excavation site ormonument will not assist in any further transactionwith that object, except with the agreement of thecountry where the site or monument exists. A traderwho is in possession of the object, where that countryseeks its return within a reasonable period of time,will take all legally permissible steps to co-operate inthe return of that object to the country of origin.”
  • 15. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONARTICLE 5.“Traders in cultural property will not exhibit,describe, attribute, appraise or retain any item ofcultural property with the intention of promotingor failing to prevent its illicit transfer or export.….”
  • 16. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONARTICLE 6. Traders in cultural property will notdismember or sell separately parts of onecomplete item of cultural property.ARTICLE 7. Traders in cultural property undertaketo the best of their ability to keep together itemsof cultural heritage that were originally meant tobe kept together.
  • 17. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONARTICLE 8 “Violations of this Code of Ethics willbe rigorously investigated by (a body to benominated by participating dealers). A personaggrieved by the failure of a trader to adhere tothe principles of this Code of Ethics may lay acomplaint before that body, which shallinvestigate that complaint. Results of thecomplaint and the principles applied will bemade public.”
  • 18. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONThe advantages of the Code:for collectors, dealers and public.Collectors show their preference for the legal over the illegaltrade by working only with ethical dealers.Dealers distance themselves from dishonest people who claim tobe dealers but in fact make no inquiry into provenance or whoeven themselves knowingly initiate illegal acquisitions.Adoption of the Code by dealers indicates to the general publicthat there is an ethical body of dealers who are not to beconfused with those exposed by the media as instigating andcommissioning thefts, clandestine excavations and illegalexports of cultural property.
  • 19. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONInternational treaties and the International Codeof Ethics for Dealers in Cultural Property are twoimportant elements of the current majorinternational effort to prevent the damagecaused by the illegal trade.
  • 20. CULTURAL HERITAGE PROTECTION TREATIES SECTIONAlberto Deregibus a.deregibus@unesco.org