To mark 25 years since the adoption of the Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Heritage, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) held a conference on 8 and 9 October 2020 to take stock of its operation and promote international cooperation.
With more than 40 leading private and public international lawyers, diplomats, and officials from UNESCO, INTERPOL, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, European Commission and Council of Europe contributing and over 300 participants, in Rome or virtually around the world. It was clear that the UNIDROIT Convention remains an important tool in tackling the illicit trade in art and artifacts.
UNESCO Chair Ana Filipa Vrdoljak spoke of the dramatically changing nature of the market over the last quarter century because of the internet and opportunities and challenges associated with e-commerce, m-commerce and blockchain. These trends have accelerated exponentially with restrictions flowing from the pandemic.
The UNESCO Chair is a collaborator on the UNIDROIT Convention Academic Project (UCAP). As part of this collaboration, a commentary on the 1970 UNESCO and 1995 UNIDROIT Convention is being prepared by Vrdoljak, Andrzej Jakubowski (Opole) and Alessandro Chechi (Geneva) to be published by Oxford University Press.