UNIDROIT implications?

Peter Rauch peterr at VIOLET.BERKELEY.EDU
Tue Jul 11 09:44:21 CDT 1995

Doug Yanega's questions about the potential impact of UNIDROIT, _if_ it
applies to floral and faunal "cultural objects", are on the mark.
These concerns were reported in the June 95 Assoc Systematics Collections
Newsletter to have been raised by Elaine Hoagland last November with
US government officials.

However, I don't know what the current draft/final(?) says about
biological (scientific) specimens. Maybe it's all a tempest in a
museum cabinet.

According to one source:

>From P.Boylan at CITY.AC.UK Tue Jul 11 09:46:35 PDT 1995
>Sender: Museum discussion list <MUSEUM-L at UNMVMA.UNM.EDU>
>UNIDROIT `Final Act' includes as annex I (a):
>`Rare collections and specimens of fauna, flora, minerals and anatomy,
>and objects of palaeontological interest'.
>This is I think rather narrower than the definition in eg. the 1970
>UNESCO Convention, but throughout the interpretation of definitions lies
>primarily with the applicant State's internal priorities and definitions
>- though I suppose that the responding State's courts might restrict the
>definition if it was plainly absurd.  (Former UK Ministers have resisted
>controls on eg. minerals or palaeontological specimens on the
>totally spurious grounds that UK quarries would not be allowed to export a
>single kilo of eg. gravel or stone lest a fossil or mineral crystal was
>lurking in it!).
>Patrick Boylan
>On Tue, 11 Jul 1995, Peter Rauch wrote:
>> In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.950710115452.24998A-100000 at swindon>,
>> BOYLAN P  <P.Boylan at CITY.AC.UK> wrote:
>> >The UNIDROIT International Convention on the International Return od
>> >Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects was adopted ...
>> Patrick,
>> Were floral and faunal "curtural objects" included in the scope of
>> objects, or were they left out (there was earlier discussion in UNIDROIT
>> about whether these natural history objects [scientific biological
>> specimens] should be included)?
>> Peter

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