International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage
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International Trade in Indigenous Cultural Heritage

Legal and Policy Issues

Edited by Christoph Beat Graber, Karolina Kuprecht and Jessica Christine Lai

The book is unique in taking a multi-faceted approach to cultural heritage, incorporating discussion on tangible and intangible, moveable and immoveable elements of indigenous peoples’ culture. From the perspectives of several international legal fields, including trade law, intellectual property, cultural property, cultural heritage law and human rights, the book explores how indigenous peoples could be empowered to participate more actively in the trade of their cultural heritage without being compelled to renounce important traditional values. The national and local legal realities in four jurisdictions (New Zealand, Australia, United States and Canada) lay the scene for a wide-ranging analysis of various possibilities and proposals on how this might be achieved.
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Chapter 17: The trade and development of indigenous cultural heritage: completing the picture and a possible way forward

Christoph B. Graber, Karolina Kuprecht and Jessica C. Lai


The chapters collected in this volume are the fruit of a multi-year research project endeavouring to explore how trade and development of indigenous cultural heritage (ICH) could be stimulated by the means of international law. As noted in the Preface in this volume, these texts result from a three-day workshop that took place at the University of Lucerne in January 2011. After having been discussed during the three days, the authors worked over the chapters in continuous response to each other’s comments and encouragements. This chapter aspires to put the major points of agreement and disagreement among participants of the workshop and authors of the present volume into perspective and to identify some prospective directions for further research. An important achievement for the project is that a common understanding was reached on our initial assumption – that is, that national and international trade of indigenous cultural heritage (ICH) can be socioeconomically beneficial to indigenous peoples provided that it is indigenous peoples who have the choice of when and whether to commercialise or trade their ICH.

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