Byrne on the role of preservation in urban development

Prof. Peter Byrne has posted Historic Preservation and its Cultured Despisers: Reflections on the Contemporary Role of Preservation Law in Urban Development on SSRN. The piece has a thoughtful discussion of historic preservation. He argues convincingly that the “cultural heritage conveyed by a community’s historic buildings is a public good, the value of which is not fully internalized in property rights . . . [r]egulation may be done well or poorly, but regulation must exist.” He puts Edward Glaeser’s breathless appreciation for Houston’s development policies in context, well worth a read.

Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

Footnotes

Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

Ellis on the Cambridge Theft

A jade vase and recumbent buffalo and horse
Some of the objects taken from the Fitzwilliam on April 13

Dick Ellis can always be relied on to provide a sensible commentary on a recent theft. Speaking to the Cambridge-news he argues it is unlikely that the thieves stole the objects to order. The 18 stolen objects were taken from the Fitzwilliam museum, and as always the trick is not the stealing, it is selling or profiting off the theft. Ellis notes to the BBC:

Almost certainly, in my opinion, the museum was targeted in the same way as we saw thieves target rhino horns when their price went through the roof. They have an appreciation that in the last couple of years the Chinese art market has now outstripped the United States and European art markets to become the premier art market in the world.The thought is that if you steal some quality items – and you will find quality items in museum collections – you can sell them on to a Chinese market that has an insatiable appetite for this sort of thing.

Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

Conference: "Cross-border movement of cultural goods" May 19, 2012 in Athens

The Hellenic Society for Law and Archaeology and the Institut fur Kunst und recht are putting together a conference at the Acropolis Museum in Athens in a few week on May 19th 2012. The conference aims:

  • to examine the need of reforming the existing legal framework on international, European and national level and to offer proposals to take a closer look at: 
  • the legal trends and the challenges they create for member states
  • the strengths and deficiencies of the two major international conventions as well as the regulations of European and national law  
  • to discuss the legal reforms currently underway in European Law 
  • to present and examine case studies from Greece, Switzerland, Germany, Austria 
  • to network and exchange ideas with leading professionals
It looks to be a promising event, and what a setting for a law and archaeology conference. I note with interest that there appears to be efforts to revisit the 1995 UNIDROIT and the 1970 UNESCO Conventions soon.

Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

Conference: The Social Construction of Illegality

banner_norms-margins_narrowThe Royal Museum for Central Africa (Tervuren), the  Free University Brussels and the University of Leuven are organizing an international conference in October titled “Norms in the Margins and Margins of the Norm: the Social Construction of Illegality” October 25-27 in Belgium.

The international conference Norms in the Margins and Margins of the Norm. The social Construction of Illegality aims at fostering a cross-disciplinary debate on everyday practice seen as systems of practical norms in realms more commonly considered from a legal or moral standpoint. Political scientists, jurists, historians, sociologists and social anthropologists will exchange their views on interactions between normative systems produced by official actors such as States or international organizations and those systems of norms informing the actions of actors thriving in the margins of official categories. Official categories emerge as highly political creations, while powerlessness in the margin reveals itself as relative. Market oriented economy intertwines with underground networks and these interconnections produce implicit norms that are also produced in the loopholes of law in various spheres of societies. These themes will be analysed through case studies bearing on traffics in art, drugs, organs, etc as well as on corruption, the cultural production of rules, etc.

Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

Support for the Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act

Rick St. Hilaire has a detailed discussion supporting S.2212:

The proposed bill clarifies the spirit of a federal law in force for over 35 years, but weakened in the last few years. Congress in 1965 passed IFSA (formally known as the Immunity from Seizure Under Judicial Process of Cultural Objects Imported for Temporary Exhibition or Display).  Lawmakers passed it because they wanted to promote the importation of art.  They wanted to let foreign art lenders know with certainty that their cultural works would not become entangled in litigation once on American soil.  




Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

Footnotes

Krak des Chevaliers, a crusader castle in Syria is at risk

Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com