The obligations to protect cultural property affirmed in the international conventions are different for immovable property (such as museums, historical palaces, monumental and archaeological centres) and for movable property (such as archaeological findings, property of an artistic-historical interest and other artworks), which – by their nature – can be displaced and transferred illicitly from one State territory to another.
As for immovable property, International Law’s main concern is to achieve cooperation among States in order to preserve and respect immovable property in the place where it stands (the so called” in situ protection”).
As for moveable property, the main concern is to prevent thefts, spoliations and illegal exportation which cause the impoverishment of the State of origin’s cultural heritage, accomplished by treaties which regulate the international circulation and commerce on such property.
The UNESCO promoted several conventions:
COUNCIL OF EUROPE / CONSIGLIO D’EUROPA
ORGANIZZAZIONE DEGLI STATI AMERICANI / ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
- San Salvador Convention on th Protection of Archaeological, Historical and Artistic Heritage of the American Nations (1976)
UNESCO RECOMMENDATIONS ON CULTURE
Recommendation concerning the Most Effective Means of Rendering Museums Accessible to Everyone of 14 December 1960
Recommendation concerning the Safeguarding of Beauty and Character of Landscapes and Sites of 11 December 1962
Recommendation concerning the Preservation of Cultural Property Endangered by Public or Private works of 19 November 1968
Recommendation concerning the Protection, at National Level, of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of 16 November 1972
Recommendation concerning the Safeguarding and Contemporary Role of Historic Areas of 26 November 1976
Recommendation on Participation by the People at Large in Cultural Life and their Contribution to It of 26 November 1976
Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore of 15 November 1989
Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist of 27 October 1980