Legislation

Registrars and collections specialists must stay up-to-date on the requirements and benefits available under the law.  These links will take you to statements of current legislation on important issues.

The American Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) Statement on the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act helps frame new legislation to make international cultural exchange possible and safe, while addressing claims related to works seized during the Holocaust. 

The U.S. Department of State administers the Immunity from Judicial Seizure statute (22 U.S.C. 2459), which protects from seizure or other judicial process certain objects of cultural significance imported into the United States for temporary display or exhibition. 
*Note: As of January 2017 the time period for application has been increased from 6 weeks to 8 weeks. For more information: https://www.state.gov/s/l/3196.htm

The College Art Association (CAA) publication Copyright, Permissions and Fair Use among Visual Artists and the Academic and Museum Visual Arts Communities: An Issues Report summarizes 100 interviews of art historians, artists, museum curators, editors and publishers describing issues related to the use of third-party images in creative and scholarly work.

The Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act addresses claims by federally recognized tribes for the return of human remains and cultural objects unlawfully obtained from prehistoric, historic, former, and current Native American homelands. 

The International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) is a not-for-profit educational and research organization dedicated to integrity in the visual arts. IFAR offers impartial and authoritative information on authenticity, ownership, theft, and other artistic, legal, and ethical issues concerning art objects. IFAR serves as a bridge between the public, and the scholarly and commercial art communities. They publish the quarterly IFAR Journal; organize conferences, panels, and lectures; offer a unique Art Authentication Research Service; and serve as an information resource. 

IFAR also released a video from their November 24, 2015 seminar, What the Art World Needs to Know About the Ivory Ban and the Proposed Federal RuleJoin their distinguished specialists as they discuss the poaching crisis; how the existing laws and the Proposed Rule that are intended to address the crisis impact the art community, and how the various factions of the art community have responded to the proposed regulatory changes.

International Legislation Related to Museum Property/Disposal of Museum Property/Abandoned Property  Often at the urging, and sometimes even with the participation, of registrars and collection managers, several countries have passed legislation focused on issues of objects on deposit or held without clear title by museums.  This document is a living document.  If your country or state is not listed, please email us at info@arcsinfo.org to contribute to this vital resource.

CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering that licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species.  The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need. 

USFWS Moves to Ban Commercial Elephant Ivory Trade-Questions & Answers. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is currently undertaking a series of administrative actions to implement a nearly complete ban on commercial elephant ivory trade. These actions involve different timelines and processes, some of which will go into effect immediately and others which are open to public comment. The page linked to above is for guidance only. 


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