Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2009


The purpose of this note is to argue that cultural property should be immune from plaintiffs’ rights to recovery and that it is legally and morally unjust for such property to be used to satisfy a legal judgment against a sovereign. In order to support this argument, this note will examine U.S. federal legislation, including the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), as well as international conventions of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which specifically call for international cooperation to protect cultural property. In addition, this note will demonstrate that since bills have been introduced in the U.S. Congress as alternatives to lawsuits under the terrorist state exception of the FSIA, a blanket immunity of cultural property does not leave plaintiffs without remedy. Finally, this note will argue that changes in U.S. legislation are necessary in order to prevent future lawsuits calling for cultural property to satisfy legal judgments.


Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review, Vol. 31, Issue 2 (Spring 2009), pp. 257-290