Glossary beginning with R

The Glossary provides basic legal and technical definitions for the most common terms related to the fight against illicit traffic in cultural goods.



Ratification is an act by which a State signifies an agreement to be legally bound by the terms of a particular treaty. To ratify a treaty, the State first signs it and then fulfils its own national legislative requirements once the appropriate national organ of the country – Parliament, Senate, the Crown, Head of State or Government, or a combination of these – follows domestic constitutional procedures and makes a formal decision to be a party to the treaty. The instrument of ratification, a formal sealed letter referring to the decision and signed by the State’s responsible authority, is then prepared and deposited with the United Nations Secretary-General in New York. 

Source: United Nations


In the framework of an inter-governmental organization, a recommendation usually identifies an act adopted by the organization itself and addressed to its members, whose content is not legally binding but is expected to be followed out of its authoritative value.

Source: International Criminal Police Organization

Red List

A Red List classifies the endangered categories of archaeological objects or works of art in the most vulnerable areas of the world, in order to prevent them being sold or illegally exported. The Red Lists aim to help art and heritage professionals and law enforcement officials identify cultural objects that are protected by national and international legislations. In order to facilitate identification, the Red List illustrates the categories or types of cultural items that are most likely to be illegally traded. Museums, auction houses, art dealers and collectors are encouraged not to acquire objects similar to those presented in the Red Lists without having carefully and thoroughly researched their origin and all relevant legal documentation.

Source: International Council of Museums

Repatriation (of an object)

Transfer of an object to its country of origin.

Source: Encyclopedia


A replica is a copy or reproduction of a work of art, on a different scale than the original and/or which was made by the original artist.

Source: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language


A United Nations resolution (UN resolution) is a formal text adopted by a United Nations (UN) body. Although any UN body can issue resolutions, in practice most resolutions are issued by the Security Council or the General Assembly.

Source: United Nations Treaty Collection


Return or restoration of some specific thing to its rightful owner or status. Compensation for loss; esp., full or partial compensation paid by a criminal to a victim, not awarded in a civil trial for tort, but ordered as part of a criminal sentence or as a condition of probation. In the context of the fight against the illicit traffic in cultural property, this term means the action of returning of a cultural object, by its possessor, to the State from which the cultural object has been stolen.

Source: Glossary, UNESCO Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws


In the context of the fight against the illicit traffic in cultural property, it reflects the action of returning a cultural object illegally exported from the territory of the requesting State.

Source: Glossary, UNESCO Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws

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