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Law and the Politics of the Past:

Legal Protection of Cultural Heritage

in Greece
Daphne Voudouri*
Abstract: This article examines the main lines of Greek legislation on
antiquities and on cultural heritage in general, in the course of its history, with
an emphasis on the innovations and continuity of the current Law 3028 of
2002. It attempts to place the Greek case in the context of the relevant
international experience and the broader debate about ownership of the past. It
throws light on the relationship between the legal framework of antiquities and
the formation and fostering of national identity in Greece, and on their close
connection with the state, while at the same time criticizing the view that
opposes a cultural internationalist approach to heritage to the cultural
nationalism of Greece and other source countries.
The material remains of ancient Greece played a crucial role in shaping national
consciousness and legitimizing the modern Greek state, established in 1830, in
conjunction with the high esteem in which they were already held in Europe, no-
tably in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and the growing demand
for them among foreign travelers. For the new state, ancient monuments were the
obvious, the sole ready-made national symbols which it could use, as has been
and is shown by the well-known words of the first president of the
Athens Archaeological Society and Secretary of State for Public Education, on the
Acropolis in 1838: It is to these stones . . . that we owe to a large extent our po-
litical renaissance.
Thus, during the building of the Greek nation-state, a pio-
neering and strict national legislation on antiquities was adopted. Its basic principles
still permeate their status today, a status that remains privileged, while legal pro-
tection has been progressively broadened to cover other cultural legacies.
This article examines the main lines of Greek legislation on antiquities and on
cultural heritage in general, in the course of its history, with an emphasis on the
*Panteion University Athens, Greece. Email: dvoudouri@yahoo.gr
International Journal of Cultural Property (2010) 17:547568. Printed in the USA.
Copyright 2010 International Cultural Property Society
innovations and continuity of the current Law 3028 of 2002.
It attempts to place
the Greek case in the context of the relevant international experience and the
broader debate about ownership of the past. It tries to shed light on the relation-
ship between the legal framework of antiquities and the formation and fostering
of national identity in Greece, and on their close connection with the state. But at
the same time, it argues that it would be oversimplifying the case to regard Greek
legislation as an instrument in the nationalistic use of antiquities by the state and
more generally to oppose a nationalist (bad) to an internationalist (good) ap-
proach to cultural heritage.
1.1. Protective Measures During the Greek War of
Concern for the protection of antiquities, as a fundamental element of national
consciousness, had been expressed even before the foundation of the Greek state,
during the War of Independence against Ottoman rule (18211830), by the vari-
ous revolutionary executive and legislative bodies. By way of illustration, a decree
was issued in 1825 by the minister of the interior of the revolutionary govern-
ment, regarding the collecting and safeguarding of antiquities in schools, and the
following year the Provisional Administration laid down measures to preserve the
monuments of Athens.
Most importantly, in 1827 a resolution of the National Assembly of Troezen
introduced a prohibition on the sale and export of antiquities.
This special con-
cern was also deeply felt by many of the freedom fighters, as shown by the often
cited words of General Makriyannis to soldiers who were preparing to sell two
ancient statues to Europeans: Even if they were to give you ten thousand thalers,
do not agree to these leaving our homeland. It was these that we have fought for.
At the National Assembly of Argos in 1829, the ban on export was confirmed,
though at the same time relaxed, in order to make it possible to cede fragments of
antiquities to academic establishments of foreign governments. This amendment
was adopted on the proposal of Governor Kapodistrias (18281831), following
pressure from the French, who had asked for finds from the excavations of the
Expdition Scientifique de More at Olympia.
The difficult diplomatic position of
the fledgling state was already apparent: On the one hand, it claimed exclusive
rights over antiquities; on the other hand, it sought to avoid displeasing the Great
Powers, on whom it was dependent.
In order to deter their exportation and to safeguard antiquities within Greece,
the National Museum was founded in 1829 in Aegina by Kapodistrias.
In a cir-
cular of the same period concerning the protection of antiquities and the enrich-
ment of the museum, the special symbolic value that antiquities held for modern
Greeks was graphically expressed:
These stir the spirit of the modern Hellenes to imitate and call to mind
the brilliance and glory of their ancestors. They bring great honour to
the nation. Honoured by wise Europe and sought after day by day by
travellers, they make manifest their value, and it is as if they were saying
to the Hellenes: You must not undervalue the relics of your ancestors!
They have assisted you and it is your duty to respect them, because they
are sacred and are your possessions and are part of your dignity and
1.2. Antiquities Legislation of the Nineteenth Century
In 1834, at the time of the Regency (18331835), and under the influence of Bavar-
ian neoclassicism, the first comprehensive national legislation on antiquities was
introduced, which was pioneering for its time.
The author of the law, Georg
Ludwig von Maurer, stressed the enormous political importance of ancient mon-
uments for the Greek kingdom, because he considered that Greek antiquity had
been and should continue to be the link between modern Greece and Europe.
According to article 61 of the law, all antiquities within Greece, as works of the
ancestors of the Hellenic people, shall be regarded as national property of all Hel-
lenes in general.In the spirit of earlier documents,
this resounding declaration ex-
pressed the idea of cultural heritage, even if the term had yet to be introduced.
The following articles recognized nevertheless a right of ownership of antiqui-
ties by individuals under certain conditions. Private ownership was recognized in
the case of antiquities which at the time were already held in private collections,
while in the case of those discovered on or beneath private land after the coming
into force of the law, a division of the finds between landowners and the state was
established. The full and absolute ownership of the state was recognized in the
case of antiquities found on publicly owned land or beneath it; at the bottom of
the sea; or in rivers or public streams, lakes, or marshes.
The law also introduced a set of measures for the protection of antiquities that
were inspired by legislation passed by the Papal State of Rome in 1820.
included, in particular, an obligation to declare a find and to notify a sale; a right
of preemption of the state in the purchase of antiquities; a prohibition on exca-
vation or export without a permit and sanctions for its violation; and sanctions
against destruction of, damage to, or theft of antiquities.
The law of 1834 also systematically regulated matters concerning the State Ar-
chaeological Service, which had been established in the preceding year,
as well
as the museums that the state planned to set up and should be open to the
Special mention should be made of the Convention of 1874 between Greece
and Germany on the excavations at Olympia. This convention is considered to be
the first international regulation of long-term scientific excavation of a major site,
serving as a model of many excavation agreements
and establishing a new form
of cultural diplomacy.
It is also the earliest convention recognizing state prop-
erty in archaeological finds,
given its provision for ownership of Greece over the
finds, with the possibility of the ceding, at the discretion of the Greek govern-
ment, duplicates or replicas to Germany.
Nevertheless, this clause on the ceding
of duplicates provoked strong reactions in Greece and was not included in the
Greek-French agreement of 1887 on the excavations at Delphi
or in other sim-
ilar instruments.
The 1834 law, laying the foundations for Greek legislation on antiquities, was
replaced in 1899 by the stricter Law 2646.
Its main innovation was the estab-
lishment of an exclusive right of ownership of the state over all antiquities, mov-
able and immovable, found anywhere in Greece, even on private land. This rule
and other provisions of the 1899 law were incorporated, together with later leg-
islative provisionsconcerning, inter alia, possession of movable antiquities by
individuals, private collectors of and dealers in antiquitiesinto Codified Law 5351/
1932, which served as the basic text for the relevant Greek legislation until 2002.
Although in todays world the vesting of ownership of antiquities in the state is to
be found not only in the legislation of Greece but also of many other archaeolog-
ically rich countries, commonly referred to as source countries, it seems that in
1899 it had not yet been introduced into other national legislations, at least clearly
The replacement of the 1834 law was based on the consideration that while in
force there had been a general increase in illicit dealing in antiquities (arhaiokapilia),
which was castigated as a sacrilege and as a worm gnawing at our national hon-
our, in the terms of a circular on the implementation of the 1899 law, while those
who destroyed, or illegally sold or exported antiquities (arhaiokapiloi ) should be
regarded from now on as the greatest enemies of our homeland.
This circular
began as follows:
We Hellenes owe our independence to a large extent to the glorious name
and the immortal monuments of art which we have inherited from our
ancient ancestors. And just as we have a duty to make every effort at all
times to show ourselves worthy of the name which we bear, so in the
same way there is a sacred duty incumbent upon us all to regard as sa-
cred heirlooms and to safeguard the antiquities if we wish to prove to
the civilized world that it was justly that we became an independent State
and that justly are we called Hellenes.
Thus, through the appropriation of the ideological position of European supe-
riority that harked back to an idealized Greek antiquity,
the protection of the
ancestral works was employed to assert in the eyes of Europe (which was held
up as an incontestable model, but also as a constant observer) national indepen-
dence, the national name, and the inclusion of the Greek state in the European
modernity. At the same time, it is apparent that the archaeological heritage had a
double dimension: It was perceived not only as an advantage and source of pride
but also as a burden for the new Hellas, given that the safeguard and even the love
of antiquities was pointed out, in the same text, as a national duty.
Nevertheless, the state authorities did not overlook the economic importance
of antiquities, which will turn Greece into an object of pilgrimage for all the civ-
ilised peoples and will in this way prove not only objects of honour and venera-
tion, but also a source of wealth for our country, as foreseen in the above circular.
1.3. The Field of Protection and Its Extension During the
Twentieth Century
The law passed in 1834 under the Regency also provided for the inclusion of ob-
jects of art dating from the most ancient period of Christianity or the so-called
Middle Ages in its field of application.
Moreover, a decree of King Otto (1833
1862) of 1837 required the preservation of the medieval relics of Athens, which
were further defined as Byzantine, Venetian and Turkish, even if they are inter-
mingled with Greek or Roman antiquities. Their preservation was demanded be-
cause they increase the curiosities of the capital, a consideration that expressed a
romantic taste for the picturesque.
In practice, however, in spite of these provisions, protection during the nine-
teenth century was limited to the monuments of antiquity, with emphasis on those
of the classical age. Monuments of a later date were not only neglected but often
destroyed in the interests of purifying the material evidence of the ancient Greek
past and the restoration of their authentic form. The object of the largest oper-
ation of so-called clearing of the postclassical remains, which also illustrates the
mutual dependence of preservation and destruction, was the Athenian Acropolis.
In this strategy, a key figure in the early years was the neoclassicist architect Leo
von Klenze, who planned to remove all the remnants of barbarism in his resto-
ration of the Acropolis project officially inaugurated in 1834.
He was, however,
in favor of preserving certain picturesque medieval structures, such as the Frank-
ish tower in the Propylaia. In a more inclusive approach to barbarism, this tower
was demolished in 1875 by the Athens Archaeological Society, which played a lead-
ing role in the clearing operation and, more generally, a decisive role in discover-
ing and protecting antiquities during the nineteenth century.
In the same spirit, the museums set up by the end of the century were exclu-
sively archaeological, the provisions of the 1834 law on the establishment of pub-
lic museums with a different content (including collections of pictures and copper
engravings) having not been implemented.
State concern for the protection of Byzantine monuments, which also corre-
sponded to the more general reevaluation of the Middle Ages by romanticism,
manifested itself in practice only around the end of the nineteenth century. In
1899, the law included within the field of application of the antiquities legislation
objects of medieval Hellenism, a term that suggests the adoption of the tripar-
tite scheme of Konstantinos Paparrigopouloss History of the Hellenic Nation.
sequently, objects from the Byzantine period dating up to the Fall of Constantinople
in 1453 came within the definition of antiquities belonging to the state.
This legal provision reflected and reinforced the new version of national iden-
tity, which stressed a rehabilitated and Hellenized Byzantium as an intermediary
link in the unbroken continuity of Hellenism from antiquity down to the present,
with a view to dealing with new national needs and ambitions. This synthesis of
the Hellenic and the Christian (Orthodox) elements, which focused on the incor-
poration of the Byzantine period into the national narrative, facilitated the incor-
poration of the other historical periods and could be seen as a revolt against an
image of the national self that had been imposed by Europe.
In 1914, the first Byzantine museum was established, and 1918 saw the creation
of the first folklore museum, both set up as state museums.
The latters creation
can be seen within the same context as evidence of the continuity of Greek na-
tional life from antiquity to modern times, given that folklore studies at their in-
ception focused on the quest for monuments of Greek antiquity living on in the
Greek people of the present day.
The 1914 law setting up the Byzantine and Christian Museum also introduced
measures of protection for Byzantine, Christian, and medieval works of art and
of historical value dating up to 1830, the year marking the foundation of the
Greek state. In addition, in 1920 a provision was introduced for the protection
of churches and other artistic and historic monuments and buildings older than
The extension of the field of legal protection beyond antiquities corresponded
also with the need to integrate the new populations that were incorporated into
the Greek state following the Balkan Wars (19121913) and the Asia Minor Ca-
tastrophe (1922).
Cultural properties dating from after 1830, referred to as modern or recent ones,
became the object of legislative protection only in 1950, with Law 1469.
This law
provided for the protection of objects belonging to the following categories, under
condition of their classification by an administrative act:
Sites of particular natural beauty
Buildings or monuments considered as works of art deserving special protection
Paintings, sculptures, architectural works, and prominent works of handicraft
or notable popular art deserving special protection
Historic buildings and historical sites
As can be seen from the terminology used, this law expressed an aesthetic view
of the objects worthy of protection. It did not cover the whole range of materials
with a cultural interest, such as industrial remains or movable objects on the ground
of their historical value.
2.1. Broadening the Scope of the Protection
Law 3028 of 2002 On the protection of antiquities and cultural heritage in gen-
eral takes into account contemporary approaches and needs, the mandate of the
Greek Constitution for the protection of the culturaland naturalenvironment
in the context of sustainability,
and the relevant international legal instru-
It therefore offers a broad definition of the cultural objects to which it
applies, as witness to human existence and creativity. It adopts a territorial crite-
rion for their linkage with the countrys cultural heritage, thus including in its
field of application the remains of the differing civilizations that flourished, met,
or even fought against each other within the Greek territory. It extends further its
scope to include manifestations of the intangible heritage, for which it introduces
a special protective status.
Its main innovation is the establishment of a global and coherent legal regime
that applies to all kinds of elements of the countrys cultural heritage.
Ancient and other protected (tangible) cultural objects or monuments, to use
the terminology employed (mnimeia, term referring to memory),
are now treated
in the same spirit, thereby transcending a narrowly archaeocentric approach. Nev-
ertheless, their basic typology and the extent of their protection are still deter-
mined on the basis of chronological criteria which, moreover, employ the same
landmarks of Greek history, so rich in symbolism, of the years 1453 and 1830. In
this respect, the new law did not break away from the national framework estab-
lished in the nineteenth century.
The definition of antiquities has now been ex-
tended to cover cultural objects dating from prehistoric times to 1830,
but the
protection of those dating up to 1453 remains augmented. On the one hand, all
these objects are, without exception, automatically protected, being characterized
as ancient monuments, or antiquities, directly by the law. More specifically, in-
cluded directly within the protection of the law are all immovable cultural objects
that date from up to 1830, all movables that date from up to 1453, and movables
of the period 14541830 that are finds from excavations or other archaeological
research or have been detached from immovable monuments, or consist of reli-
gious icons or liturgical objects. The other cultural objects need to have been clas-
sified as monuments, because of their significance (of their particular significance,
in the case of objects lees than hundred years old), by a relevant administrative
On the other hand, the principle of state ownership of antiquities dating up
to 1453 is reiterated
and determines their status of protection.
The 2002 law also goes beyond the narrowly aesthetic approach that imbued
the status of modern monuments under the 1950 law, since their classification by
an administrative act may now take place on the grounds of their architectural;
urban; social; ethnological; folk; technical; industrial; or generally historical, artis-
tic or scientific significance. However, a parallel law on modern architectural her-
itage remains in force (article 4 of the General Construction Regulation, concerning
classified buildings and traditional ensembles
), so a certain confusion of com-
petences between the relevant administrative authorities persists.
The legal provisions just mentioned concern, of course, the objects that could be
characterized as monuments worthy of protection and can be seen in the context of
a more general tendency toward patrimonialization of virtually anything that is de-
veloping in Western societies in our age. However, which of these objects are se-
lected and effectively protected constitutesinevitablya choice with ideological
and political dimensions that deserves further examination. It is worth investigat-
ing, through the study of the archives of the competent public administration, for
instance, to what extent Ottoman remains or medieval relics other than Byzantine
monuments (Venetian, Frankish, etc.) are actively protected or what proportion of
the classified buildings in Greece are neoclassical.
A recent case illustrating the problems surrounding the choice between the
ancientnotably classicaland the modern heritage, and somehow reminis-
cent of the purification practices of the nineteenth century, concerns the project
of the demolition of two classified buildings on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street
across from the Acropolis. The primary justification for the demolition of
these buildings, dating from the first decades of the twentieth century, was to
improve the visual contact between the new Acropolis Museum and the
Sacred Rock. The reasons invoked were, however, judged to be insufficient by
the Council of State, who annulled in July 2009 the decision of the minister of
culture ordering the demolition, which was based on a provision of Law 3028
for the possibility to waive the protection of one monument in order to protect
another and had provoked many reactions.
In addition, in January 2010 the
new head of the Ministry of Culture decided to stop the demolition of two other
neoclassical buildings behind the Acropolis Museum, which had not been
Besides monuments, Law 3028 also protects archaeological and historical sites,
although a special regime for groups of buildings was not finally introduced.
can be seen in many of its provisions, the law highlights the relation of cultural
objects to their context, which enables them to effectively play their role as evi-
dence of the past.
It also puts an emphasis on the provenance of antiquities, in
the interests of restricting their illicit traffic.
The new law broadens not only the object but also the content of the protec-
tion, mainly by giving emphasis to the social function of heritage, the preserva-
tion of which is not understood as an end in itself.
The notion of protection
includes, among others, the inventory, documentation and study of the protected
elements, their accessibility to the public and scholars, their enhancement and in-
tegration into contemporary social life, and public awareness of them. The law
also refers to their integration into the planning processes, taking into account the
principle of integrated conservation, although one issue that remains is the extent
of the effective coordination between laws and public policies that may have an
impact on heritage.
2.2. The State-Centric Character of the Protection Persists
According to article 24, para. 1 of the Constitution, the protection of cultural
environment is an obligation of the state andas added in 2001a right of
everyone. Nevertheless, and despite the steps forward that have been made, the
involvement of individuals and communities in defining and managing heritage
is not a simple issue,
and heritage protection remains fundamentally state-centric.
The state has a key role in producing cultural heritage, by designating which
cultural objects are worthy of protection, not only through the normative action
but also through the classification process. Under Law 3028, classification takes
place by decision of the minister of culture, following an opinion of a council that
includes officials of the ministry and academics or other experts assigned almost
exclusively by the minister.
Even the protection of intangible heritage falls under
the remit of the Ministry of Culture.
The 2002 law undertakes to improve the relations between citizens and the ad-
ministration for its implementation, currently called the State Archaeological Ser-
vice, which is often perceived as a source of trouble and delay. To this end, it limits
the margin of the administrations discretionary power by defining more specifi-
cally the conditions for granting or refusing the different permits required.
lays down time limits for the administrations actions, procedures of notification,
and the right of interested persons to a hearing and provides, among other things,
for compensation and rewards. It also establishes tax and other financial incen-
tives, rather limited though, so that the protection remains based mostly on
The administration of heritage and in particular of antiquities remains central-
ized. The local Ephorates of Antiquities are services of the state, and more specif-
ically of the Ministry of Culture, while local authorities are only marginally involved.
The connection between state and cultural heritage is tighter in the case of an-
tiquities, and especially those dating up to 1453, which in principle belong to the
state and are extra commercium, as well as those discovered during excavations.
The closealthough no more exclusive
association of antiquities with the state
also shapes the legal status of museums. Archaeological museums in Greece, in-
cluding Byzantine museums, are state-owned, with very few exceptions.
over, they are in principle incorporated into the legal person of the state and, in
their large majority, form part of the local Ephorates of Antiquities.
In contrast,
the overwhelming majority of the museums of other kinds belong to local gov-
ernment bodies or other public entities or to private nonprofit organizations, while
those few that are state-run have in principle their own legal personality.
It is also worth pointing out that any, even tentative, moves on the part of the
legislator toward any slackening of the tight embrace of antiquities by the state
have met with and still meet with strong reactions, coming mainly though not
exclusively from the archaeologists of the State Archaeological Service. By way of
illustration, the attempts to implement the provisions of Codified Law 5351 of
1932, allowing the sale of antiquities deemed to be redundant to the states mu-
seums and smaller collections, faced intense resistance and have remained a dead
letter. And it could be noted that no such possibility for disposal by sale or gift is
provided for in the current law. Law 654 of 1977, which provided for the tempo-
rary export of antiquities for exhibitions in museums abroad, also attracted sharp
criticism. Its implementation drew many protests, including mass demonstra-
tions, particularly at an early phase, in which, on the other hand, the sending abroad
of antiquities was used chiefly to promote the so-called national issues, such as
the Aegean or Macedonia. Law 3028 of 2002 retains the prohibition of export of
monuments without a permit, while allowing, under certain conditions, the lend-
ing of up to five years (subject to renewal) and the exchange of antiquities be-
longing to and possessed by the state. It is, however, instructive that this provision
is the one that met with the most objections to the bill for the new law.
There has also been reaction to the setting up of the new Acropolis Museum as
a public law legal entity in 2008,
as in 2005 against a governmental project of
transforming a number of archaeological museums into separate legal entities. In
the same spirit, there was opposition in 1997 to the transformation of major ar-
chaeological museums into special services of the ministry, separated from the
local Ephorates, as well as to the establishment of a public enterprise in the form
of a joint stock company for the promotion of Greek cultural heritage, on argu-
ments opposing its commercialization.
The view is widely heldamong archae-
ologists at leastthat antiquities do not belong within the logic of the market and
they should not be dragged into the arena of trade, a view that is reminiscent of
the thinking about national symbols and the fetishization of their sanctity.
Needless to say that what matters is not only what is provided by the text of the
law but also if and how it is implemented, an issue related to established admin-
istrative practices and prevailing attitudes and mentalities.
3.1. How Unique Is the Greek Case?
The special position and legal treatment of antiquities in Greece, as compared to
other cultural legacies, are clear and go together with their close association with
the state, in a context of a wider and more inclusive approach to heritage and
other important recent legislative innovations. This special status, which can be
traced back to the nineteenth century, provides evidence that even today, in spite
of the enormous changes that have occurred in the meantime at many levels, an-
cient monuments remain a privileged symbolic foundation for national identity
and, in parallel with their growing role in other fields, especially in the tourism
industry, objects of ideological and political perception and use.
The causes, consequences, and perspectives of these functions that they serve
need further investigation, in the context of the reflection on the role of the nation-
state in the global era, on the appeal to antiquity in order to acquire value for the
national self, and on the complex issue of national identity in a multicultural society.
The connection of archaeology with nationalism and with the nation-state can-
not be regarded as an exclusively Greek phenomenon. Indeed, the near universal-
ity of a relationship between nationalism and the practice of archaeology has been
highlighted by many scholars.
As has also been pointed out, it would be sim-
plistic to consider the study of this link as a study of the abuse of archaeology by
Regarding the state-centric character of heritage protection, the observation made
for France could also be considered relevant for Greece, in that it results from
historical reasons related to the centralized tradition of the country and the per-
ception of monuments as elements of national identity.
It goes without saying,
though, in connection with this character, that the effects on heritage manage-
ment due to the serious structural problems of the Greek state, particularly evi-
dent in the current financial crisis, deserve further investigation.
Nevertheless, as has been stated for the nineteenth century, nowhere in Europe
showed a closer connection between politics and historical consciousness than
A particular source of tension is the fact that Greek antiquity has been
considered the fount of Western civilization. Consequently, modern Greece has
been described as the archetype of stress between local and global heritage and
the Elgin or Parthenon Marbles as exemplifying the problem of a legacy that is
both Greek and global.
Furthermore, and in conjunction with this, the key po-
sition of antiquities in the national consciousness and imagination and the early,
pioneering, state control over and legislation on archaeological remains should be
viewed as specific to Greece.
In any case, the special legal regime of archaeological objects compared with
other cultural objects is not only due to their value as national symbols. It is also
related to factors such as their age, their link with the ground where they have
been buried, and the importance of their context, which also justifies a special
territorial link to the country of modern discovery.
Strict export controls and declarations of state ownership of antiquities are also
to be encountered in the national legislation of many other source countries, as
already mentioned.
Moreover, in comparative terms, Greek legislation does not
appear excessively restrictive, since it permits under certain conditions the export,
exchange, and loan, even long-term, of movable antiquities as well as their pos-
session by private persons, under state control. State ownership of antiquities could
thus be understood as a collective right over objects lying still undiscovered and,
in any case, judged too important to be at the mercy of purely private and coinci-
dental interests. Furthermore, such national ownership laws strengthen the deter-
rents against clandestine excavation by enabling this to be punished as theft and
by facilitating the recovery of the looted objects, even in a foreign jurisdiction.
They appear therefore to be adapted to the specificities of undiscovered antiqui-
ties and protecting the contextual integrity of archaeological sites.
So, even in so-called market states, archaeologists and other heritage profes-
sionals often support national export controls and ownership laws and claims for
return or restitution of archaeological and other cultural objects to the country or
community of origin. They also react against sale, privatization, or other practices
perceived as excessive commodification of cultural patrimony.
3.2. Cultural Nationalism Versus Cultural Internationalism?
A view that is often put forward, originally expressed by John Henry Merryman,
professor at the Stanford Law School, pits cultural internationalism against the
cultural nationalism
of Greece and other source countries, supported, in this
bipolar scheme, by UNESCO and archaeologists in the market countries, who
depend on host nations for their research. According to cultural international-
ism, generally invoked by art dealers, private collectors, and many major art
museum officials, cultural property belonging to any people is the cultural her-
itage of all mankind (in the words of the Preamble of the 1954 Hague Conven-
tion), and what matters most is preservation of, truth about, and access to it,
wherever it is situated, from whatever cultural or geographic source it derives. In
parallel, the liberalizationwithin certain limitsof the international trade in
cultural property is regarded as necessary. This viewpoint has also been invoked
in favor of the acquisition of unprovenanced antiquities recently surfaced by mu-
seums in market states, chiefly by the director of the Art Institute of Chicago,
James Cuno.
In his publications, Cuno criticizes what he calls nationalist re-
tentionist cultural property laws and the governments of the countries of mod-
ern discovery, claiming identity with ancient cultures, for manipulating antiquities
for political gains.
But is the idea of the cultural heritage of mankind meaningful or is it anempty
As has been observed, while cultural treasures may generate universal
inspiration and appreciation, they are not universally created nor can there be in-
ternational possession.
This notion seems thus ahistorical, if not self-
contradictory, since confining possession to some while excluding others is the
raison d tre of heritage.
Though the concepts of common cultural heritage
or world heritage, as used in UNESCO instruments, are not so precise, it is clear
that they refer not to ownership but to common responsibility of the international
community for the protection of essential cultural legacies, while respecting the
sovereignty of the state in whose territory they are situated, recognized as the main
responsible party.
Moreover, the cultural internationalist approach would seem somewhat hypo-
critical, insofar as it does not lead to a fair distribution of antiquities and cultural
objects in general (and, indeed, using this logic, why not include other material
resources as well?) throughout the world. But, instead, it leads to a one-way flow
from less developed or from former colonies to wealthier countries in the West, so
that it ends up looking far more like cultural imperialism.
At the same time, this
way of thinking is used to justify the retention even today of cultural objects de-
rived from different regions of the world by the so-called universal museums of
the great metropolitan centers in Western Europe and North America,
have acquired them in other eras by questionable means and with the aim of as-
serting the cultural superiority of their nations. As has been aptly suggested, these
retentionists often
defend their position by deconstructing the national identity of their
opponentsclaiming, for example, that modern Greeks are not true
descendants of ancient Greeks . . . [without] simultaneously willing to
call into question their own nationalistic claims to cultural superiority.
In other words, retentionists are quick to condemn the parochial nation-
alism of their opponents, but rarely question their own more imperial
nationalisms, which they mask in the name of internationalism.
From another aspect, this internationalist approach is criticized of being used
often as an excuse for reliance on market-based principles and as apologetic for
the wide-scale looting of archaeological sites.
In any case, trading in art and
antiquities remains the only major sector of international trade where secrecy pre-
vails as to the provenance of the acquisitions, a fact that encourages further loot-
ing and the destruction of archaeological sites and the loss of archaeological
This argument tends to prevail today with regard to museum policies,
which largely oppose the acquisition of unprovenanced items, even if in several
cases museums have been rather forced to think differently by source nations res-
titution campaigns and criminal investigations.
Moving away from binary dichotomies and polarized approaches that have dom-
inated the debate, and from unproductive controversies among governments and
institutions with competing interests, many voices are raised nowadays in favor of
more balanced views. These views support collaborative solutions for heritage pres-
ervation and accessibility, such as mutually beneficial partnerships to reduce the
incentive for pillage and illicit traffic and to develop joint research projects and
international exchange through traveling exhibitions and long-term loans.
1. Skopetea, The Model Kingdom, 197.
2. Speech of Iakovos Rizos Neroulos, in Synopsis ton Praktikon tis Arhaiologikis Etairias 1838, 26.
3. On the protection of antiquities and cultural heritage in general, Ephimeris tis Kyverniseos
(Government Gazette, hereinafter FEK) A
153. An official translation of this law into English
though not followed faithfully in this articlemay be viewed at http://www.unesco.org/culture/
natlaws/media/pdf/greece/gre_law_3028_engtof.pdf (accessed 10 April 2010).
4. The first promptings for the preservation of the proofs of our ancestral glory and the found-
ing of a museum, named Hellenic Museum, are attributed to the leading representative of the
Greek Enlightenment, Adamantios Korais, in a document dated from 1807 (reproduced in Kokkou,
The Care for Antiquities, 2831).
5. Decree of Grigorios Dikaios (Papaflessas) of 10 February 1825, Ephimeris ton Athinon 38, 24
June 1825 and Decree of 22 February 1826, Geniki Ephimeris tis Ellados 41, 27 February 1826. The
latter was based on the consideration that all the relics of antiquity are the nations and need to be
conserved and the former was based on the following arguments: . . .so that, with the passage of
time, every school will acquire its own Museum, something which is most necessary for history,
for the discovery of the ancient names of cities and places, for a knowledge of the skill of our
ancestors, and for the esteem for such things which the wise nations of Europe, who censure us
because we give them away or sell them at a low price to their travellers visiting Greece, rightly
6. Article XVIII of the Resolution of the Third National Assembly On the organization of the
Administration of the Greek State of 1 May 1827 (reproduced in Protopsaltis, Historical Documents
on Antiquities, 30) stated that it shall be the duty of the Governor to take care that Antiquities shall
not be sold or conveyed outside the State.
7. Vlachoyannis, Memoirs of General Makriyannis, 2: 63.
8. Resolution X of the Fourth National Assembly of 2 August 1829 (see Protopsaltis, Historical
Documents on Antiquities, 94, and more generally on this issue, 7375, 9193, 15962).
9. Resolution of Kapodistrias 49 of 21 October 1829, Geniki Ephimeris tis Ellados 77, 16 Novem-
ber 1829. See also his circular 953 of 23 June 1830, Geniki Ephimeris tis Ellados 50, 28 June 1930.
10. Circular of the Provisional Commissioner of Elis, Panayotis Anagnostopoulos, 73 of 7 Octo-
ber 1829 (Protopsaltis, Historical Documents on Antiquities, 107109).
11. Law of 10/22 May 1834 On scientific and technological collections, on the discovery and
conservation of antiquities and the use thereof, FEK 22. Historical data (e.g., OKeefe and Prott,
Law and the Cultural Heritage, 1:3171) show that comprehensive national laws on antiquities date
in principle from after 1834. Even in Italy, the first major national protective legislation was enacted
in 1902, long after unification, although the earliest legislation for the protection of ancient mon-
uments seems to have been the Papal Bull of Pius II of 1462.
12. Maurer, Das Griechische Volk, 544.
13. See, for example, the 1826 Decree of the Provisional Administration and the 1829 Circular of
the Provisional Commissioner of Elis, mentioned above (notes 5 and 10).
14. Maurer, Das Griechische Volk, 551. More specifically, the edict promulgated by Cardinal Pacca
in April 1820.
15. A few months after the arrival of King Otto in Greece, in the decree setting up the Secretariat
of State for Church Affairs and Public Education, were included among its competences the prep-
aration for excavation and discovery of the lost masterpieces of the arts, care for the preservation of
those already existing, and vigilance to see that these are not exported from the State (art. 2 of the
Royal Decree of 3/15 April 1833, FEK 14). Soon after were nominated the first Ephors of Antiquities.
16. OKeefe and Prott, Law and the Cultural Heritage, 1:72.
17. Marchand, Down from Olympus, 84.
18. Siehr, The Beautiful One Has ComeTo Return, 130.
19. Article 6 of the Greek-German convention signed in Athens on 13/25 April 1874 and ratified
by Law 541/1875, FEK 59. The convention also provided for the financing of the excavations by the
German government, recognized its exclusive right to make casts and moulds for a five-year period,
while the right of publication of the finds was divided between the two governments.
20. This convention was concluded in Athens on 23 January/4 February 1887 and ratified by Law
1974/1891, FEK A
126. Both agreements were reached after prolonged and hard negotiations and
provoked reactions on both sides.
21. Law 2646/1899 On antiquities, FEK A
22. Law 5351 On antiquities, codified by the Presidential Decree of 9/24 August 1932, FEK A
275. This codification was a compilation of provisions that did not always have logical cohesion and
raised a number of problems of interpretation which the case law attempted to solve. It should also
be mentioned that Greek Constitution provides for a special legal regime for the property and ces-
sion of archaeological treasures and sites (article 18, para. 1 of the current Constitution of 1975),
since 1911 (article 17, para. 2 of the Constitution of 1911).
23. For instance, in the Ottoman Empire a decree of 1906 declared for the first time that all
antiquities found in or on public or private lands were state property; previously, under a decree
of 1884, one-half of any antiquities fortuitously discovered on private land were given to the land-
owner (Ozel and Karadayi, Laws Regarding the Protection, 25). For Italy, see note 11. As early as
1883, in Egypt a decree declared all antiquities property of the state, but a decree of 1891 provided
for the division of archaeological finds between the excavator and the state (Urice, The Beautiful
One Has ComeTo Stay, 14142, 17879). A Mexican law of 1887 also declared all archaeological
monuments to be state property, but it seems that this declaration was not sufficiently clear, as was
accepted by the U.S. courts in the McClain decisions, who held that Mexican law did not clearly
vest ownership in the Mexican government until 1972 (545 F.2d at 9971004 and 593 F.2d 658 at
24. Circular 11538 of the Minister of Church Affairs and Public Education, A. Eftaxias, of 30
August 1899, Instructions concerning the implementation of Law 2646 on antiquities, reproduced
in Geniki Ephoria Arhaiotiton, Collection of Archaeological Laws, 346350. In a similar spirit, in a
circular of 1865, it was pointed out that those who dig without a permit and sell the antiquities they
find to foreigners not only deprive the national Museum of the precious heirlooms of our ancestors
but bring disgrace upon the nation among those to whom they sell them, as trading in the relics of
its forebearsthose very relics which both aroused in it the sense of its own nationality and brought
about the acquisition of its freedom (Circular 874 of the Minister A. H. Londos of 4 February 1865,
Geniki Ephoria Arhaiotiton, Collection of Archaeological Laws, 5051).
25. See especially Lowenthal, Classical Antiquities; Morris, Archaeologies of Greece.
26. See note 10.
27. Article 111. It should be noted that Maurer, the author of the law, had studied medieval
German history, while it is also interesting that the rescue of the Byzantine Kapnikarea Church
of Athens in 1834 was due to the intervention of the keen classicist Ludwig of Bavaria, father of
28. Royal Decree of 1/19 December 1837, Geniki Ephoria Arhaiotiton, Collection of Archaeolog-
ical Laws, 34. Similar considerations, in pleasing contrast with ancient monuments, explain
the proposal for the preservation of certain churches in the first town plan for Athens, that of
Kleanthis and Schaubert (Kokkou, The Care for Antiquities, 112). Interest in these monuments
which, though limited, was explicit, may be also be linked with a parallel turn in the interests of
Otto toward the Byzantine Empire, whose system of government better matched his own monar-
chy (see Dimaras, Hellenic Romanticism, 338; Hamilakis and Yalouri, Antiquities as Symbolic Cap-
ital, 121).
29. At the inaugurating ceremony on the Acropolis in August 1834, in an attempt to tie sym-
bolically the rebuilding of the Parthenon with Ottos reign, Klenze announced the following: All
the remnants of barbarism will disappear . . . not only here but in the whole of Greece, and the
remnants of the glorious past will be surrounded with new shine. . . as a solid basis for the present
and the future. See Mallouhou-Tufano, The Restoration of Ancient Monuments, 19, who also shows
(at 282) that the purifying interventions of the years 18351885 were similar to those that had
taken place in other European countries that period, especially in Rome during the first three
decades of the nineteenth century. See also, among others, Hamilakis, The Nation and Its Ruins,
5764, 8593.
30. The Society was founded in 1837 and had a sui generis relationship with the state, given that
it was entrusted with powers and granted privileges and means peculiar to the state. On its history
see Petrakos, The Athens Archaeological Society.
31. Nevertheless, around the end of the century two museums belonging to private associations,
the Historical and Ethnological Society, constituted in 1882, and the Christian Archaeological Soci-
ety, founded in 1884, were set up in Athens. The National Gallery was established in 1900.
32. Article 1 of Law 2646/1899. Paparrigopoulos is considered the national historian of Greece.
His monumental work, History of the Hellenic Nation, appeared between 1860 and 1876.
33. As has been accepted by the consistent case law of the Court of Cassation (Areios Pagos) in
interpreting the provisions of articles 1 and 2 of Codified Law 5351/1932, which are derived from
Law 2646/1899 (Judgments 407/1972 [Plenum], 673/1973, 305/1990, 1031/1991,1205/1992, 558/
1998, 895/2006 etc.).
34. Liakos, For the Restoration of Completeness and Unity, 180181. Cf. Hamilakis, The Nation
and Its Ruins, who calls this new synthesis (different from the imported Western Hellenism) Indig-
enous Hellenism.
35. Law 401/1914 On the foundation of a Byzantine and Christian Museum, FEK A
347, as
amended by Law 2674/1921, FEK A
146; Law 1407/1918 On the foundation of a museum of Greek
handicrafts, FEK A
101, which deals with todays Museum of Greek Folk Art.
36. An expression introduced by the Hellenic Literary Association of Constantinople, which held
a competition on the subject (Kyriakidou-Nestoros, Theory of Greek Folklore Studies, 66). See also,
among others, Herzfeld, Ours Once More.
37. Article 15 of Law 2447/1920, FEK A
169, included in Codified Law 5351/1932 (art. 52).
38. See also Liakos, For the Restoration of Completeness and Unity, 195.
39. Law 1469/1950 On the protection of a special category of buildings and works of art later
than 1830, FEK A
40. Article 24, paragraphs 1 and 6, of the Constitution of 1975, as amended in 2001. As the Coun-
cil of State has held in applying these provisions, cultural environment consists of monuments and
other elements, of every kind, which are derived from human activity and make up the countrys
historical, artistic, technological and cultural heritage in general and its protection includes the
preservation of these elements in perpetuity (e.g., Judgments of the Plenum 3146/1986, 1097/1987,
2300/1997, 3478/2000).
41. For a further analysis of the new law, see Voudouri, The New Law 3028/2002; and, more
generally, the contributions included in Trova, Cultural Heritage and the Law.
42. Article 2, subpara. (a), on the definition of cultural objects, article 1, para. 2, on the countrys
cultural heritage (that is the laws field of application), articles 2, subpara. (e), and 5, on intangible
43. According to article 2, subpara. (b), by monuments are meant cultural objects which con-
stitute material evidence and belong to the countrys cultural heritage, whose special protection is
called for. Monuments are divided into ancient and modern (or recent, in the official translation)
(i.e., those later than 1830), and also into immovable and movable.
44. See also Hamilakis, The Nation and Its Ruins, 55, who points out the reference of Law 3028 to
the tripartite scheme in the definition of ancient monuments.
45. Article 2, subpara. (b), aa
. Antiquities also include caves and paleontological remains, for
which there is evidence that they are related to human existence.
46. Articles 6 and 20.
47. Article 7, para. 1, and article 21, para. 1.
48. Article 4 of Law 1577/1985, FEK A
210, as amended by law 2831/2000, FEK A
49. Council of State 2338/2009. The annulled ministerial decision had been taken on Au-
gust 2007, following a positive opinion of a specific collective body, composed by the mem-
bers of the Central Archaeological Council and of the Central Council for Modern
Monuments, which was voted on a very narrow majority. On the reactions see http://
areopagitou17.blogspot.com/ (accessed 10 April 2010). From another point of view, it is interest-
ing to note that the metaclassical phases of the Acropolis are nearly absent from the new Museums
50. The action for annulment of the ministerial decisions concerning the nonclassification and
the permit of demolition of these buildings was rejected by the Council of State (Judgments 2339,
2340/2009), who had, however, in the meantime, ordered the suspension of their execution (E.A.
1341/2008 and 130/2009). See also http://www.monumenta.org/article.php?IssueID2&lang
en&CategoryID1&ArticleID464 (accessed 10 April 2010).
51. Article 2, subparagraphs (c) and (d), and articles 1216. A special protection for groups of
buildings (or architectural ensembles) is, however, provided for by the Council of Europes Grenada
Convention of 1995, which is ratified by Greece and is often invoked by the Council of State, as in
the above judgment.
52. For example, it includes in the notion of immovable monument its surroundings, decorative
elements, or even movables related to its use (articles 2, subpara. (b), cc
and 6, para. 2), provides for
protection zones around monuments (articles 13 and 17), prohibits the removal of all or part of an
immovable monument (art. 42), provides for a special treatment of movables detached from im-
movables (art. 20, para. 1, b
), and favors the conservation in situ of the archaeological finds when
feasible (art. 36, para. 8). The principle of preserving in situ the elements of cultural heritage, de-
pending on their nature, is also laid down by the Council of State as deriving from article 24 of the
Constitution (Judgments of the Plenum 2300/1997, 3478/2000).
53. See Voudouri, The New Law 3028/2002, 3638, on its measures against illicit traffic of
cultural objects, which include provisions for preventing and prohibiting the traffic in Greece
in cultural objects acquired or exported from other countries in violation of their legislation.
On this subject see also Law 3658/2008 Measures for the Protection of Cultural Objects, FEK A
54. Notably article 3. See also article 4 on the National Inventory of Monuments, article 45 on
museums and article 46 on access to and use of monuments and sites. On the accessibility of mon-
uments see articles 9, para. 3, 11, para. 3, 29, 30, para. 3, and 31, paras. 7 and 9, as well.
55. Cf. Holtorf, What Does Not Move.
56. Articles 4950.
57. For instance, in the cases of the permits for possession of movable antiquities (art. 23), export
of ancient or modern monuments (art. 34), dealing in them (art. 32), or the ministerial decisions on
carrying out excavations (art. 36), recognizing collectors (art. 31), or museums (art. 45), or allowing
loans and exchanges (art. 25).
58. For example, articles 6, para. 5, and 20, para. 3, on hearing procedures; articles 19 and 9,
paras. 45, on compensations; articles 8, paras. 36, and 24, paras. 36, on rewards; and articles
4748, on financial incentives. See also articles 28, para. 6, and 31, para. 11, on the right of preemp-
tion of the state, museums, and collectors (in that order).
59. See articles 7 and 21. By way of exception from the principle of state ownership, article 33,
para. 3, provides, under certain conditions, for the maintenance of the right of ownership of private
persons over antiquities, as an incentive forlicitimportation, and particularly for their repatria-
tion to Greece, with parallel provision that phenomena of illicit traffic should not be favored. In
addition, according to the transitional provisions of the law, the existing rights of ownership of the
Church of Greece and, more generally, of religious legal persons on religious antiquities are main-
tained (article 73, para. 1).
60. It is interesting also to note that Law 3028 of 2002 does not reiterate the provision of the
previous legislation that immediately followed the rule of state ownership of antiquities, stating Ac-
cordingly, the right and care for their discovery and preservation in public museums belongs to the
State (article 1 of Law 2646 of 1899, included in article 1 of Codified Law 5351 of 1932).
61. The Benaki Museum, which was established by Law 4599 of 1930 (FEK A
138), by virtue of
a donation to the state and is not purely archaeological, and the N. P. Goulandris Foundation
Museum of Cycladic Art, which was set up by Law 1610 of 1986 (FEK A
89) and derived from a
private collection, are private-law legal persons, and more specifically foundations. On the status of
museums in Greece, see Voudouri, State and Museums.
62. There are only two recent exceptions of state archaeological museums functioning as public
law legal entities: the Kanellopoulos Museum (a museum created in 1976 to house antiquities do-
nated to the state), according to Law 3600/2007 (FEK A
177), and thenewAcropolis Museum,
established by Law 3711/2008 (FEK A
224). The other museums are incorporated into the local
Ephorates of Antiquities, except eight major museums functioning as special services of the Minis-
try of Culture, distinct from the Ephorates (Presidential Decree 191 of 2003, Statute of the Ministry
of Culture, FEK A
146, articles 5158).
63. On Greek legislationprevious and currentconcerning the disposal, import, export and
loan of antiquities, see Voudouri, Greek Legislation Concerning the International Movement. On
the previous regime, see also Petrakos, Essay on the Archaeological Legislation, 3035, 7992.
64. By Law 3711/2008, as noted above. See, in particular, the reactions of the Association of Greek
Archaeologists at http://www.sea.org.gr/press/pages/viewpress.aspx?PressID18 (accessed 10 April
2010). In my opinion, certain provisions of this law, concerning, in particular, the separation of the
administration of the museum from the administration of the site of Acropolis (even in spite of the
policy of connecting closely the Museum to the Sacred Rock and to the claim for the return of
the Parthenon Marbles), as well as the designation of the Museums Administration, pose, indeed, a
number of problems.
65. See Voudouri, State and Museums, 354356, 296316. The above company, whose action
seems actually rather problematic, was established by art. 6, para. 2 of Law 2557/1997, FEK A
and renamed the Organisation for the Promotion of Greek Culture SA by art. 73, para. 16 of Law
66. To use an expression of Konstantinos Tsoukalas (The Power as People and Nation, 411).
67. In particular, Kohl and Fawcett, Nationalism, Politics and the Practice of Archaeology; Diaz-
Andreu and Champion, Nationalism and Archaeology in Europe; and Meskell, Archaeology under Fire.
68. Hamilakis, The Nation and Its Ruins, 14, who considers that it is the study of the develop-
ment of a device of modernity (archaeology as autonomous discipline) to serve the needs of the
most powerful ideology of that modernity (nationalism).
69. Frier, La loi de 1913, 260.
70. Mazower, Archaeology, Nationalism and the Land, 33.
71. Lowenthal, The Heritage Crusade, 244.
72. See also Siehr, The Beautiful One Has ComeTo Return, 129.
73. See note 23. See also thesomewhat outdateddata contained in OKeefe and Prott, Law
and the Cultural Heritage, 1: 3471, 188195.
74. National laws vesting ownership of antiquities in the state have been recognized by foreign
courts, as recently in the United States, U.S. v. Schulz, 333 F.3d 393 (2nd Cir. 2003), and in the United
Kingdom, Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran v. The Barakat Galleries Ltd, [2007] E.W.C.A.
Civ 1374, [2008] I All E.R.1177. See further Gerstenblith, Schulz and Barakat.
75. As in France, where the government has been accused of exploiting the patrimony for trade
and diplomacy, on the occasion of the recent bilateral agreement concerning the opening of a branch
of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi (see, e.g., Le Monde Diplomatique, February 2007; USA Today, 9 August
2007). Another interesting example is the reaction to an Italian privatization law of 2002, even in the
form of a petitionagainst the privatization of Italian excavations, museums and monuments, signed
by the directors of 37 of the worlds major museums (see Bauer, New Ways of Thinking, 72223).
76. Notably Merryman, Two Ways of Thinking (his basic study) and Talking About the Elgin
Marbles (containing most of his articles on this theme).
77. Particularly Cuno, Who Owns Antiquity? and Whose Culture?
78. To use David Rudenstines words, in his Cultural Property, 75.
79. Greenfield, The Return of Cultural Treasures, 312.
80. Lowenthal, The Heritage Crusade, 230.
81. See, in particular, Prott, The International Movement of Cultural Objects, 228; Koumantos,
Rflexions pralables sur la protection, 163; and Lyons, Objects and Identities.
82. See the Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums of December 2002
(reproduced and commented in Lewis, The Universal Museum ), signed by 19 directors of the
worlds leading museums, in which, citing the example of the sculpture of classical Greece to illus-
trate the role of universal museums in highlighting its significance for mankind as a whole, they
oppose the repatriation of objects which have belonged to museum collections for many years,
considered as part of the museums that have cared for them, and by extension part of the heritage
of the nations which house them.
83. Handler, Who Owns the Past? 71.
84. Gerstenblith, The Public Interest in the Restitution, 200.
85. Cf. Bator, An Essay on the International Trade in Art, 360. On the international trade in
antiquities, see also, among recent publications, Brodie et al., Archaeology, Cultural Heritage and the
Antiquities Trade; Bauer, New Ways of Thinking.
86. See, among many, Hallman Museums and Cultural Property. See also, more recently, in the
United States the AAMDs and AAMs new guidelines, Association of Art Museum Directors, New
Report of on the Acquisition of Archaeological Materials and Ancient Art, June 2008, (available at http://
www.aamd.org/newsroom/documents/2008ReportAndRelease.pdf, accessed 10 April 2010) and Amer-
ican Association of Museums, Standards Regarding Archaeological Material and Ancient Art, July 2008
(available at http://www.aam-us.org/museumresources/ethics/upload/Standards%20Regarding%20
Archaeological%20Material%20and%20Ancient%20Art.pdf, accessed 10 April 2010). This evolu-
tion is related to recent developments, such as the following: the conviction in New York of Frederick
Schulz, former president of the National Association of Dealers in Ancient, Oriental and Primitive
Art, for dealing in antiquities removed from Egypt in violation of its 1983 national ownership law
(U.S. v. Schulz, see note 73), the criminal trials in Rome of former J. Paul Getty Museum antiquities
curator Marion True and U.S. art dealer Robert Hecht, and the return of looted antiquities from
several major U.S. museums to Italy, as of certain items from the Getty to Greece.
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