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59 Ala. L. Rev. 1075 (2008)


The article tells three stories of great art and priceless antiquities: one about early Christian mosaics from Cyprus, another about five paintings by the Viennese master, Gustav Klimt, and the third about an ancient statute of a Sumerian king from Iraq. All three stories discuss the international law protecting cultural heritage in time of war and occupation. They all tell of individuals pursuing extraordinary profits from the sale of the objects despite the international law that, properly applied, should have protected them from damage and kept them all in places of public display.

The article also tells how in each case U.S. authorities were either unfamiliar with or resistant to applying the relevant international law. The article advocates greater knowledge of international law in the United States so that Americans and people everywhere can more fully realize the advantages of a strong rule of law in global affairs - not the least of which includes better protection of cultural treasures.


Reprinted with permission of Alabama Law Review.



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