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Italian Yearbook of International Law (2016)
  • Francesca Fiorentini, Prof.
  • Andrzej Jakubowski, Institute of Law, Polish Academy of Sciences
This article deals with the contested status of two groups of cultural objects – a collection of priceless artworks, and fifteen church bells – originating from Istria, precisely from the present-day territory of the Slovenian and Croatian Littorals, and preserved in Italy since the turbulent, tragic times of the Second World War. It argues that the ownership title to such objects does not lie at the centre of the cur- rent controversy between Slovenia (and potentially Croatia) and Italy. Instead, it seems that the fundamental issue in this regard refers to the recognition and reali- zation of cultural community rights to such heritage, affected by political, territo- rial and ethnic transformations. This article discusses various international legal regimes that might be applicable in this case of Istria’s contested cultural heritage, with special focus on the enhancement of cultural human rights and international cultural cooperation. It also touches upon the concept of procedural justice, built on the principles of participation, voice and transparency, which are perceived as crucial in negotiating and managing cultural heritage matters and controversies. 
  • Cultural rights,
  • cultural heritage,
  • State succession,
  • armed conflicts,
  • restitution,
  • internatioal cooperation,
  • procedural justice,
  • participation
Publication Date
Winter 2016
Citation Information
Francesca Fiorentini and Andrzej Jakubowski. "Fiorentini_Jakubowski_IYIL_vol26.pdf" Italian Yearbook of International Law Vol. XXVI (2016) p. 211 - 241
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