Cultural Property

Many museums collect cultural property, which is defined as the tangible items that are part of the cultural heritage of a group or society. The following resources were compiled from organizations throughout the nonprofit and museum sector. AAM reviewed and approved each one based on the organization’s authority and expertise and the resource’s usefulness related to the topic. Clicking the links below will take you off the AAM website.

Art Theft

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) assists law enforcement agencies in resolving art theft crimes, including theft of individual works of art, illegal export of objects protected by international laws, and pillaging of archeological sites. The site lists statutes for which the FBI has responsibility.

ICOM International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) supports a comprehensive program to fight the illicit traffic of cultural property. The Observatory is a long-term international cooperative platform network between law enforcement agencies, research institutions, and other external expert stakeholders; an information databank for the network and the public, and an innovative tool that will contribute to preventing and fighting the illegal trade in cultural property and related crimes at both national and international levels.

National NAGPRA

The National Park Service (NPS) assists in the implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The National NAGPRA program develops regulations and guidance for implementing NAGPRA; provides administrative and staff support for the Review Committee; assists Indian tribes, Native Alaskan villages and corporations, Native Hawaiian organizations, museums, and Federal agencies with the NAGPRA process; maintains the Native American Consultation Database; provides training; manages a grants program; and makes program documents and publications available.

Statement Concerning the Acquisition Of Cultural Properties Originating from Abroad, from Indigenous Cultures, and from Private Collections During the Nazi Era

The College Art Association (CAA) guidelines encourage anyone entrusted with the acquisition and/or custody of works of art and material culture to assure such acquisitions or possessions are in accordance with the highest international provenance standards.

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