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Issues of international art law tend to center on the restitution of lost works of art to their owners across borders. Wars today engender many disputes over rightful ownership; but historically, these conflicts were decided rather simply by the law of nations. Per one Judge Croke, “all property belonging to the enemy shall be liable to confiscation”. However, one of the earliest principles of just war in the modern era was the extension of special protections to works of culture. This principle, developed in the international conflict context, evolved through a lineage of international agreements into the basis for modern cultural property law – from the law of war, to the law of art.

This post was originally published on the Cardozo International & Comparative Law Review on April 3, 2023. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.