The international conference on Art and Heritage Disputes will be held at Maastricht University in the Netherlands on 24 and 25 March 2013. The conference is co-organized by Professor Hildegard Schneider and Dr. Valentina Vadi.




The conference aims to identify, map and critically assess the number of art and heritage disputes which have arisen in the past decades. The return of cultural artifacts to their legitimate owners, the recovery of underwater cultural heritage, the governance of sites of outstanding and universal value, the protection and promotion of artistic expressions, and the protection of cultural sites in time of war are just some of the issues which have given rise to art and heritage related disputes. Such disputes have involved a number of different actors arising among states, states and private individuals and individuals. As the regulation of cultural goods constitutes a good example of multilevel governance and legal pluralism, art and heritage related disputes have been brought before national fora, human rights courts and tribunals, international economic law fora and even before the International Court of Justice. Such disputes have certainly made headlines and attracted the varied interests of academics and policy-makers, museum curators and collectors, human rights activists and investment lawyers, thieves and guards, and artists and economists to mention a few. The conference will map these developments and assess the contribution that these cases are offering to the development of international law in both its public and private dimensions.


The conference proceedings will be published as a special issue of the online journal Transnational Dispute Management. The webpage of the conference, the conference programme and the registration form are available at: .

For further logistic information, please contact Mrs. Yleen Simonis at

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