Golden Gate University Law Review


Monique Olivier


This Comment will begin by providing a background of the various types of art theft and the steps, including the UNESCO Convention, the US Cultural Property Implementation Act and the EC Directive and Regulation, that European countries and the United States have taken to curb the illicit trade in works of art. This Comment will then examine the recently enacted UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (hereinafter "UNIDROIT Convention") and discuss why art importing nations oppose it. This Comment will conclude that because the final draft of the UNIDROIT Convention contains many provisions that the museum community and commercial art world find unacceptable, the Convention risks losing art importing nations as signatories. Consequently, the UNIDROIT Convention may be just as ineffective as previous legislation in providing legal remedies to prevent the theft of, and facilitate the return of, stolen cultural property.