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Part V Regional Approaches, Ch.40 North American Cultural Heritage Law

Derek Fincham

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Cultural Heritage Law

Edited By: Francesco Francioni, Ana Filipa Vrdoljak

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 18 January 2021

This concluding chapter offers a comparative perspective on the key components of contemporary cultural heritage law in North America. The region’s collective tangible and intangible cultural heritage has an array of legal and policy tools to safeguard it for future generations, though coordination between the three nations involved would benefit from increased cohesiveness. The primary legal mechanisms to prevent illicit movement are restrictions on removing archaeological materials; declarations of ownership for some or all of this material; export restrictions; and the ultimate enforcement of these protections both domestically and abroad. All three countries in North America have made this body of law a priority. The chapter then looks at the law enforcement efforts, international outreach, and treatment of specific objects of cultural heritage in Mexico, Canada, and the USA. It also describes the relationship of these North American States with the World Heritage Convention and UNESCO’s Underwater Cultural Heritage Convention.

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