Cemeteries are considered by most cultures to be sacred spaces. These spaces contain the physical remains of human beings - generally the ancestors of a community - and are held to be inviolate in nature by many. Admittedly, this inviolate nature of cemeteries may be a belief of fairly recent antiquity in the Western world and human remains do not always win out in the “march of progress” when their final resting places are in the way of the expansion plans of the living. It is precisely this “march of progress” that now threatens these sacred and historically important sites and the protection of these sites is the subject of this paper. The relevance of this paper to Louisiana is particularly acute, as much of the State’s tourism draw stems from the allure of its historic cemeteries. There is a substantial amount of law in Louisiana that, when properly used and understood, can assist in historic cemetery protection, preservation, and restoration. With that said, there are still substantial gaps in the law that must be filled in order to ensure the protection of these sacred cultural assets. With the increase in threats to such sites, a serious consideration of means for filling these gaps by lawmakers and regulators is necessary and the implementation of such new laws is now essential before such resources are lost forever.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ryan_seidemann/4/