Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects

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Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects

 

Chapter IV – General Provisions

Article 8

(1) A claim under Chapter II and a request under Chapter III may
be brought before the courts or other competent authorities of the
Contracting State where the cultural object is located, in addition to
the courts or other competent authorities otherwise having jurisdiction
under the rules in force in Contracting States.

(2) The parties may agree to submit the dispute to any court or
other competent authority or to arbitration.

(3) Resort may be had to the provisional, including protective,
measures available under the law of the Contracting State where the
object is located even when the claim for restitution or request for
return of the object is brought before the courts or other competent
authorities of another Contracting State.

Article 9

(1) Nothing in this Convention shall prevent a Contracting State
from applying any rules more favourable to the restitution or the return
of stolen or illegally exported cultural objects than provided for by
this Convention.

(2) This article shall not be interpreted as creating an
obligation to recognise or enforce a decision of a court or other
competent authority of another Contracting State that departs from the
provisions of this Convention.

Article 10

(1) The provisions of Chapter II shall apply only in respect of a
cultural object that is stolen after this Convention enters into force in
respect of the State where the claim is brought, provided that:

(a) the object was stolen from the territory of a
Contracting State after the entry into force of this
Convention for that State; or

(b) the object is located in a Contracting State after the
entry into force of the Convention for that State.

(2) The provisions of Chapter III shall apply only in respect of
a cultural object that is illegally exported after this Convention enters
into force for the requesting State as well as the State where the
request is brought.

(3) This Convention does not in any way legitimise any illegal
transaction of whatever nature which has taken place before the entry
into force of this Convention or which is excluded under paragraphs (1)
or (2) of this article, nor limit any right of a State or other person to
make a claim under remedies available outside the framework of this
Convention for the restitution or return of a cultural object stolen or
illegally exported before the entry into force of this Convention.

 

Chapter V – Final Provisions

Article 11

(1) This Convention is open for signature at the concluding
meeting of the Diplomatic Conference for the adoption of the draft
Unidroit Convention on the International Return of Stolen or Illegally
Exported Cultural Objects and will remain open for signature by all
States at Rome until 30 June 1996.

(2) This Convention is subject to ratification, acceptance or
approval by States which have signed it.

(3) This Convention is open for accession by all States which are
not signatory States as from the date it is open for signature.

(4) Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession is subject to
the deposit of a formal instrument to that effect with the depositary.

Article 12

(1) This Convention shall enter into force on the first day of
the sixth month following the date of deposit of the fifth instrument of
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

(2) For each State that ratifies, accepts, approves or accedes to
this Convention after the deposit of the fifth instrument of
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, this Convention shall
enter into force in respect of that State on the first day of the sixth
month following the date of deposit of its instrument of ratification,
acceptance, approval or accession.

Article 13

(1) This Convention does not affect any international instrument
by which any Contracting State is legally bound and which contains
provisions on matters governed by this Convention, unless a contrary
declaration is made by the States bound by such instrument.

(2) Any Contracting State may enter into agreements with one or
more Contracting States, with a view to improving the application of this
Convention in their mutual relations. The States which have concluded
such an agreement shall transmit a copy to the depositary.

(3) In their relations with each other, Contracting States which
are Members of organisations of economic integration or regional bodies
may declare that they will apply the internal rules of these
organisations or bodies and will not therefore apply as between these
States the provisions of this Convention the scope of application of
which coincides with that of those rules.

Article 14

(1) If a Contracting State has two or more territorial units,
whether or not possessing different systems of law applicable in relation
to the matters dealt with in this Convention, it may, at the time of
signature or of the deposit of its instrument of ratification,
acceptance, approval or accession, declare that this Convention is to
extend to all its territorial units or only to one or more of them, and
may substitute for its declaration another declaration at any time.

(2) These declarations are to be notified to the depositary and
are to state expressly the territorial units to which the Convention
extends.

(3) If, by virtue of a declaration under this article, this
Convention extends to one or more but not all of the territorial units of
a Contracting State, the reference to:

(a) the territory of a Contracting State in Article 1 shall
be construed as referring to the territory of a
territorial unit of that State;
(b) a court or other competent authority of the Contracting
State or of the State addressed shall be construed as
referring to the court or other competent authority of
a territorial unit of that State;
(c) the Contracting State where the cultural object is
located in Article 8 (1) shall be construed as
referring to the territorial unit of that State where
the object is located;
(d) the law of the Contracting State where the object is
located in Article 8 (3) shall be construed as
referring to the law of the territorial unit of that
State where the object is located; and
(e) a Contracting State in Article 9 shall be construed as
referring to a territorial unit of that State.

(4) If a Contracting State makes no declaration under paragraph 1
of this article, this Convention is to extend to all territorial units of
that State.

Article 15

(1) Declarations made under this Convention at the time of
signature are subject to confirmation upon ratification, acceptance or
approval.

(2) Declarations and confirmations of declarations are to be in
writing and to be formally notified to the depositary.

(3) A declaration shall take effect simultaneously with the entry
into force of this Convention in respect of the State concerned. However,
a declaration of which the depositary receives formal notification after
such entry into force shall take effect on the first day of the sixth
month following the date of its deposit with the depositary.

(4) Any State which makes a declaration under this Convention may
withdraw it at any time by a formal notification in writing addressed to
the depositary. Such withdrawal shall take effect on the first day of the
sixth month following the date of the deposit of the notification.

Article 16

(1) Each Contracting State shall at the time of signature,
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, declare that claims for
the restitution, or requests for the return, of cultural objects brought
by a State under Article 8 may be submitted to it under one or more of
the following procedures:

(a) directly to the courts or other competent authorities
of the declaring State;
(b) through an authority or authorities designated by that
State to receive such claims or requests and to forward
them to the courts or other competent authorities of
that State;
(c) through diplomatic or consular channels.

(2) Each Contracting State may also designate the courts or other
authorities competent to order the restitution or return of cultural
objects under the provisions of Chapters II and III.

(3) Declarations made under paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article
may be modified at any time by a new declaration.

(4) The provisions of paragraphs 1 to 3 of this article do not
affect bilateral or multilateral agreements on judicial assistance in
respect of civil and commercial matters that may exist between
Contracting States.

Article 17

Each Contracting State shall, no later than six months following the
date of deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval
or accession, provide the depositary with written information in one of
the official languages of the Convention concerning the legislation
regulating the export of its cultural objects. This information shall be
updated from time to time as appropriate.

Article 18

No reservations are permitted except those expressly authorised in
this Convention.

Article 19

(1) This Convention may be denounced by any State Party, at any
time after the date on which it enters into force for that State, by the
deposit of an instrument to that effect with the depositary.

(2) A denunciation shall take effect on the first day of the
sixth month following the deposit of the instrument of denunciation with
the depositary. Where a longer period for the denunciation to take effect
is specified in the instrument of denunciation it shall take effect upon
the expiration of such longer period after its deposit with the
depositary.

(3) Notwithstanding such a denunciation, this Convention shall
nevertheless apply to a claim for restitution or a request for return of
a cultural object submitted prior to the date on which the denunciation
takes effect.

Article 20

The President of the International Institute for the Unification of
Private Law (Unidroit) may at regular intervals, or at any time at the
request of five Contracting States, convene a special committee in order
to review the practical operation of this Convention.

Article 21

(1) This Convention shall be deposited with the Government of the
Italian Republic.

(2) The Government of the Italian Republic shall:

(a) inform all States which have signed or acceded to this
Convention and the President of the International
Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Unidroit)
of:

(i) each new signature or deposit of an instrument of
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession,
together with the date thereof;
(ii) each declaration made in accordance with this
Convention;
(iii) the withdrawal of any declaration;
(iv) the date of entry into force of this Convention;
(v) the agreements referred to in Article 13;
(vi) the deposit of an instrument of denunciation of
this Convention together with the date of its
deposit and the date on which it takes effect;

(b) transmit certified true copies of this Convention to
all signatory States, to all States acceding to the
Convention and to the President of the International
Institute for the Unification for Private Law
(Unidroit);

(c) perform such other functions customary for
depositaries.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly
authorised, have signed this Convention.

DONE at Rome, this twenty-fourth day of June, one thousand nine
hundred and ninety-five, in a single original, in the English and French
languages, both texts being equally authentic.

 

 

Conclusion

Notes

See Also

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

Cultural Protection conventions, International Conventions from 1991, International law: Culture protection.

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