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Abstract

The current transnational flow of migrants from poor and insecure countries to the EU is unprecedented for its intensity and modalities. Therefore, migrant arrivals in Europe have prompted numerous studies on the legal frameworks governing their rights. With a view to contributing to this debate, this chapter focuses on third-country nationals who have immigrated into EU Member States. The objective is twofold: to demonstrate that the cultural heritage of these migrants, as well as the human rights associated with such heritage, is not properly recognized, promoted, and protected by the EU; and to suggest some (necessarily tentative) recommendations for reform. This chapter begins by exploring the meaning and the content of the rights related to cultural heritage in general, and of the international human right to participate in cultural life in particular, with a focus on its application to migrants. Next it assesses whether the EU recognizes, promotes, and respects the cultural heritage and the cultural rights of migrants through an examination of a selected number of EU policies and legal instruments. Finally, it provides a critical assessment of the impact of EU law and policy on the cultural heritage and the cultural rights of migrants, and offers a set of constructive recommendations.

In: Cultural Heritage in the European Union

Two years ago, German authorities conducting a routine tax investigation stumbled on the largest trove of missing artworks since the end of the Second World War. The collection of paintings and drawings was discovered in a Munich apartment owned by Cornelius Gurlitt, the late son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, one of the art dealers approved by the Nazis. It is likely that most of these artworks were plundered from German museums and Jewish collections in the period 1933-1945. The discovery triggered heated debates about the obligations of the German State and the property rights over this art collection. This article looks at the ongoing Gurlitt case from an international law perspective and discusses two different but interrelated issues. First, it traces the genealogy and extrapolates the influence of the international legal instruments that have been adopted to deal with the looting of works of art committed by the Nazis. Second, it examines the available means of dispute settlement that can lead to the “just and fair” solution of Holocaust-related cases in general and the Gurlitt case in particular. The objective of this analysis is to demonstrate that international law plays a key role in addressing and reversing the effects of the Nazi looting.

In: The Italian Yearbook of International Law Online
In: Heritage Destruction, Human Rights and International Law

Contemporary migration flows and the related humanitarian emergency have received overwhelming media coverage and political attention. It appears, however, that the sorrow provoked by the heart-breaking stories of migrants has been all too often quickly replaced by the rhetoric that describes this influx as the principal cause for the problems that Western States face today – unemployment, crime, drugs and violent extremism – and as a threat for national culture and identity. This article looks at the cultural rights of migrants and at the international instruments that regulate one or more aspects of the phenomenon of migration and the protection of cultural heritage. Its objective is to challenge existing prejudices against migrant communities and to answer the question whether migration and migrants are a burden or a blessing for the culture of receiving States.

In: International Human Rights Law Review