International Cultural Property Preservation

Our experience in international art and cultural heritage matters includes helping sovereign governments to obtain Memoranda of Understanding with the United States under the Cultural Property Implementation Act to obtain provide protection for native art and objects which may have been illegally exported. Our attorneys assess the potential implications of admiralty law in art and cultural heritage matters, as well as the broad array of international conventions governing shipwrecks and underwater cultural heritage. We can assist individuals, institutions and governments to craft policies on international collection practices, resolving ownership disputes and managing risk.

We serve as U.S. counsel for cultural heritage destinations abroad, helping to create and manage American 501(c)(3) foundations to support the sustainable development of these sites. We can also advise American businesses working abroad on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and interactions with sovereign governments.

We provide guidance on conventions relevant to international cultural heritage, including the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and 1954 Hague Convention and its First and Second Protocols.


CHP attorneys have represented a broad range of art, antiquity and museum clients, both domestically and internationally:

  • Museums and their boards
  • Auction houses
  • Collectors of art and antiquities
  • Victims of Nazi and other looting seeking to reclaim objects
  • Owners of objects who receive demands for restitution
  • Insurance companies dealing with claims to stolen art
  • Clients requiring guidance on the National Stolen Property Act and Foreign Sovereign Immunity
  • Indian tribes
  • Archaeologists
  • Historic preservation organizations dealing with the National Historic Preservation Act and Section 106 procedures
  • Countries appearing before the Cultural Property Advisory Committee


Government Affairs

Business Strategy

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