LICIT AND ILLICIT TRADE IN CULTURAL PROPERTY
Various international instruments sponsored and/or administered by UNESCO deal with the movement of cultural property. Some, such as the 1950 Florence Aqreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials and the 1966 Declaration of the Principles of International Cultural Co-operation are aimed at enhancing the licit movement of cultural property. Others are directed at prevention of illicit traffic: in particular, the 1964 Recommendation on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The point is that at any one moment countless legal transactions involving cultural property take place throughout the world. They are recognized by all relevant legal systems. They have an important place in the diffusion of culture and the formation of cultural inspiration for creative artists throughout the world. At the same time there are many transactions which are illegal under a particular national legal system and which are regarded as morally reprehensible. The problem is to distinguish the licit, and the illicit, trade; the acceptable and the unacceptable movement of cultural property.