ROME: Conference on the Unidroit Convention, 8 October 2020

Twenty-five years have passed since the adoption of the Unidroit Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, the only international convention that provides mechanisms for the return of illegally traded cultural objects, an anniversary we wish to celebrate with a conference to be held in Rome on 8 and 9 October next.

In the last twenty-five years, the threat to heritage has diversified but not ceased. The actors involved and the number of legal instruments at the national, regional and international levels have increased. The challenge remains: to strike a balance between protecting cultural heritage and maintaining a fair place for lawful trade and cultural exchanges to promote understanding among peoples and the dissemination of culture. Striking the right balance is not always easy because the interests involved are often opposed and staunchly defended. It is important, in this context to acknowledge that essential rules are already in place, and that focus is now required in ensuring that they are better known and applied.

The Conference will also discuss challenges and future steps which we could develop with our UCAP partners.

We would be very happy if you could accept our invitation to attend the conference, physically (very few seats because of the sanitary situation) or virtually (via Zoom). We have organised a preregistration procedure and will send the link to connect after receipt, if possible before the 22 September. The conference will also be recorded and will be put on our websites.

Also, as UCAP partners, we would invite you to contribute to the publication we will publish to celebrate the event, with the presentations and other articles relating to the 1995 Convention. I do hope you will join us in this endeavour and I will be happy to discuss the subject with you.

Please find the programme of the Conference here. The working languages will be English and French, with simultaneous interpretation provided in both languages.

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