Open lecture, 7 December 2016, University of Fine Arts in Poznań (Poland)


logo-uapOn 7 December 2016, Andrzej Jakubowski, Principal Investigator of the Polish research team, held an open lecture at the University of Fine Arts in Poznań, Poland (UAP). The lecture addressed the theme of community participation in cultural governance and justice.

The UAP is the institutional leader of the international consortium of the Project HEURIGHT. The prime purpose of the event was to promote and disseminate the research conducted by the  Project’s members within the diverse, interdisciplinary academic community of Poznań.

Seminar ‘Culture Heritage, Justice and Human Rights’, 16 November 2016, University of Trieste

logo_units_nuovoOn 16 November 2016, the research team of the Project HEURIGHT held a special seminar for postgradual and doctoral students at the Department of Legal, Language, Interpreting and Translation Studies, University of Triest. The seminar discussed the topic of culture heritage from the angle of international justice and enforcement and enhancement of human rights, including cultural rights. An introductory talk was given by Andrzej Jakubowski.



Rijeka Lectures in Comparative Law, 14 November 2016, Faculty of Law of the University of Rijeka (Croatia)

rijekaOn 14 November, Francesca Fiorentini and Andrzej Jakubowski (Principal Investigators of the Project HEURIGHT) presented their ongoing research at the University of Rijeka within the programme Rijeka Lectures in Comparative Law. The programme is jointly organised by the Faculty of Law of the University of Rijeka and Croatian Comparative Law Association. The programme offers a scientific community forum and invites speakers from around the world to present their research results and discuss current developments in the field of comparative law.

In her talk, Francesca Fiorentini addressed the complexity of the notions of ‘national treasures’ and ‘cultural exception’ in the legal instrumentarium of the European Union. In particular, she referred to recent legal developments in the area of free movement of goods and highlighted the changing concept of ‘national treasures’ in light of the regime introduced by the Directive 2014/60/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State and amending Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012. In turn, the lecture by Andrzej Jakubowski dealt with the enforcement of cultural rights, in their individual and collective dimensions. It intended to reconstruct the normative and doctrinal foundations of access cultural justice as a human right, tested against international and domestic practices of cultural governance. In such a guise, it defined the concept of cultural justice, seen through the prism of the concept of procedural justice, as fairness and promotion of organizational and institutional changes built on the principles of participation, voice, and transparency. Both lectures also referred to the research currently being performed within the Project HEURIGHT. The event was chaired and moderated by Professor Budislav Vukas from the Faculty of Law of the University of Rijeka.

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Territorial Transfers and Cultural Heritage, Guest Lecture, 9 November 2016, Casa Tartini, Piran (Slovenia)

jakubowski-piran2016On 9 November 2016, Andrzej Jakubowski held a guest lecture entitled ‘Gli effetti giuridici dei trasferimenti territoriali sulla protezione del patrimonio culturale e sulla attuazione dei diritti culturali – l’esempio di Pirano e dei suoi beni culturali [Legal Effects of Territorial Transfers on the Protection of Cultural Heritage and Realisation of Cultural Rights – the Example of Piran and Its Cultural Treasures]’, at the Museum Casa Tartini in Piran, Slovenia. The event was organised by the Association Comunità degli Italiani di Pirano ‘Casa Tartini’, an Italian community in Slovenia.

The lecture dealt with the controversial question of territorial and cultural pertinence of almost 100 works of art from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries by the most prominent artists of the Republic of Venice such as: Benedetto and Vittorio Carpaccio, Cima da Conegliano, Alvise Vivarini, Jacopo Palma il Giovane, and Giambattista Tiepolo. Until 1940–1941, these treasures had been preserved in three coastline municipalities of Italian Istria: Koper (Capodistria), Piran (Pirano), and Izola (Isola), known now as the Slovenian Littoral or Primorska. In 1940, before the war with Yugoslavia, Italian authorities decided to evacuate the most valuable works of art from their eastern borders, including objects from the churches and museums of Istria. The removal, ordered for preservation reasons, was done in conformity with domestic Italian legislation and was approved by local and church administrations. In the beginning, the objects were gathered at a collection point in the province of Udine. In 1943, some were returned to the owners, for example, a priceless group of paintings from Saint Anne’s Church and Monastery in Koper. The majority of the works of art evacuated from the Slovenian Littoral were, however, sent to Rome where they remained sealed in wooden crates for the next 6- years. In 2005–2006, some of these objects were exhibited at the Revoltella Museum in Trieste. As a result of post-Second World War decisions, the Istrian peninsula became part of the territory of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). However, the allocation of Istria’s jewels has never been settled. After the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Slovenia—one of the SFRY successors states—asked for the return of the evacuated objects to the places where they had been commissioned and from which they had been taken. The issue has not been settled and some of the paintings are now displayed in the Museum Sartorio in Trieste (Italy).

The lecture, while addressing this international controversy in light of treaty law in force, emphasized the significance of human rights considerations, particularly the role of community participation in solving cultural heritage disputes.

The event was moderated by Andrea Bartole, Vice-President of the  Association Comunità degli Italiani di Pirano ‘Casa Tartini’.

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An interview at Radio Capodistria is already available online.

A TV interview is available here: ‘Tuttoggi’ of 10 November 2016.

Images of some of the contested objects can be found here.

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The Fourth Meeting of the Consortium’s Members and Public Event, London, 27-28 October 2016


On 27 and 28 October 2016, the HEURIGHT Research Consortium held a meeting in London, at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. The meeting kicked off on the afternoon of Thursday 27th, with a discussion between Dr Damien Helly (European Centre for Development Policy Management) and the rest of the HEURIGHT Consortium to discuss our working papers regarding cultural heritage in the EU.

This internal discussion was followed by a public seminar entitled ‘Enforcing the Right to Cultural Heritage’; see the event programme.

During this two-hour seminar, members of HEURIGHT had the opportunity to present the current status of their research to an engaged audience of lawyers, cultural heritage professionals and academics working in the field. The first speaker, Dr Andrzej Jakubowski (Assistant Professor at the Institute of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Warsaw)), discussed cultural heritage from the perspective of human rights law, focusing on the practice of regional European human rights institutions. Dr Hanna Schreiber (Adjunct Professor at the Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw) then presented on intangible cultural heritage, in the context of the ten years’ anniversary of the entry into force of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Dr Damien Helly (Deputy Head of Programme Strengthening European External Action at the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)) then provided his thoughts on the role of cultural heritage within the EU’s external action. Dr Paola Monaco (post-doc fellow at the Law Faculty at the University of Trieste) explained the functioning of the UNESCO Culture for Development Indicators (CDIS). Richard Scott (Research Fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law) closed the formal presentations with a discussion regarding the potential impact of Brexit on cultural heritage in the UK. The event, which was chaired by Kristin Hausler (Dorset Senior Fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law), concluded with a lively debate with the audience on the topic.

A full report of this public event will be available shortly on this website.

The two-day meeting for the teams continued on Friday, with discussions covering the research conducted so far by the various teams, as well as the planning of the various activities for the end of 2016 and the year ahead. On third day (Saturday) Consortium members visited selected collections of the British Museum and National Gallery in London.

See more on the BIICL website.

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Second Congress of Regional Cultures, 18-21 October 2016, Nowy Sącz, Poland

Hanna Schreiber, member of the Polish Heuright team, took part in the Second Congress of Regional Cultures in Nowy Sącz (South of Poland, Małopolska Region), 18-21 October 2016. She participated in the panel discussion, where she presented contemporary challenges for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in Poland (National Intangible Cultural Heritage List and other programmes) as well as on the international forum. Discussions were accompanied by a range of cultural and artistic events, including the highlanders wedding, photography exhibition and concerts.

What do Contentious Objects Want? Political, Epistemic and Artistic Cultures of Return, 21-22 October 2016

mpi-kifOn 21-22 October 2016, Ewa Manikowska and Andrzej Jakubowski participated in the conference “What do Contentious Objects Want? Political, Epistemic and Artistic Cultures of Return,” organised by the Max Planck Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence. Ewa Manikowska presented a paper entitled Entangled identities. The recovery of eastern European photographic collections. Abstract: In 2003 the antropologist Gretchen Schaff recovered in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History a forgotten collection of an anthropological survey (photographs, hair samples, fingerprints etc) of the Polish highlanders pursued by the the Institut für Deutsche Ostarbeit (IDO), the Nazi scientific institute established in Cracow. Evacuated at the end of the war to Zandt and Miltach, the collection was accidentally sequestrated by the US army, in 1945. The restitution of this archive to the Jagiellonian University (seat the IDO archives) in 2009 resulted in a unique and unexpected ethnographic repatriation project. The photographs were shown to the surviving members of highlander community. In this way an ereased traumatic memory was returned and reconciled. In this paper I will consider the pre-1945 scientific photographic collections documenting the cultural landscape of Eastern Europe (of which the IDO archive is an example), a peripheral and contested a region inhabited over the  time by an intermixed mosaic of nations and peoples, marked by dramatic political uphevals and by the theatres of the two world wars. Produced in such an entangeled reality as authoritative, often competing visualisations of imperial, national or local identities, today dispersed among numerous institutions worldwide and hardly known, they have lost their original context and meanings. The recent rediscovery of the 1912–1914 survey of the Jewish Historic-Ethnographic Society or of the photo-archive of the Königsberg provincial conservation office has shown however their great and unexpected cultural potential. In the latter case, the digitalization of the archive was a succesfull mean of its re-enacting in a rich variety of cultural contexts in Poland, Germany, Lithuania and in the EU. Inspired by current trends in the research of colonial photography and by the possibilities of digital access this paper will consider restitution through re-contextualisation as a way of giving contemporary value and meaning both to the bygone cultural heritage and to such forgotten photographic collections.

In turn, Andrzej Jakubowski gave a talk on Failed states, de facto regimes and the return of cultural objects: the role of safe havens. Abstract: In 2008, the ILA Cultural Heritage Law Committee adopted the resolution entitled ‘Guidelines for the Establishment and Conduct of Safe Havens’. According to the ILA definition, ‘safe havens are facilities created in order to care for cultural material that has been endangered by armed conflict, natural disasters, illegal excavation, or other insecu­rity and has therefore been removed for safekeeping and preservation from the ter­ritory of the source state to the territory of another state…’. Such ‘facilities’ are bound to ‘return cultural material items as soon as the established owner or other established source of the material so requests, provided that the safe haven is satisfied with the conditions for safekeeping and preserving the material by the requesting state or entity.’ The institution of ‘safe havens’, successfully employed inter alia during the conflicts in Lebanon (1975-90) and Afghanistan (1996-2001), has today gained more importance and world-wide recognition in light of current ‘insecurities’ for cultural heritage. These ‘insecurities’ mostly refer to hybrid, complex armed conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine, involving enormous threats to cultural heritage. In particular, there is credible evidence that trafficking in looted ‘blood’ artefacts plays a significant role in the funding of Daesh (ISIS). In response to this worsening situation, the establishment of ‘safe havens’ for cultural material – coming from such ‘insecure’ territories via diverse channels – is treated today as moral obligation and commitment aimed to rescue, safeguard and return cultural objects to human communities who have created and/or enjoyed such heritage. Considering the actions envisaged by various international organizations and initiatives already taken by some of museum institutions, this paper discusses the role of cultural heritage safe havens as crucial tools in securing and rebuilding international peace and post-conflict reconciliation through the return of cultural heritage objects. Importantly, while recalling select current examples of such facilities the paper will also attempt to explore and assess legal, political, epistemic and human rights discourses surrounding this expanding international practice.

More about the event is to be found here.

Full programme.

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Forthcoming event: Enforcing the Right to Cultural Heritage, 27th October 2016, London

biiclOn 27 October 2016 the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) will host a seminar ‘Enforcing the Right to Cultural Heritage’. This special seminar will discuss the enforcement of the right to cultural heritage from various legal angles. Access to cultural heritage will first be analysed from a human rights perspective, through a discussion of the practice of the European regional human rights institutions. More widely, the role of cultural heritage in foreign relations, including the role it may play in peace-building and reconciliation, and its place in international trade law will also be considered. Finally, the concept of cultural heritage itself will also be presented, including in particular its intangible aspect with a critical assessment of the impact of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The way culture can be measured through the UNESCO indicators will also be discussed, as well as the potential impact of Brexit on cultural heritage in the UK.

This event will be an opportunity for BIICL and the other teams participating in HEURIGHT to present their initial findings.

Venue: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5JP.

For more information and registration see the website of the BIICL.

Event Flyer.

I Expert-Level Forum China and East-Central Europe on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 12-14 October 2016, Kraków

mck_logo_dwujezyczne_forumOn 12-14 October 2016, the 1rst China – Central and Eastern European Countries Expert-Level Forum on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage was held in Kraków, at the International Cultural Centre.

This was the first international meeting of this kind dedicated to intangible cultural heritage (ICH) as part of supra-regional co-operation format ’16+1′. The event gathered specialists from 17 countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and China. All those states are parties to the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. During the conference, experts shared and exchange: their knowledge and experience in adopting and adjusting legal regulations on the protecion of the ICH; research and documentation practices concerning ICH in their countries; best practices in terms of the intergenerational transmission. They also discussed on how to connect the principles for the safeguarding of the ICH in practice with the concept of sustainable development, adopted in September 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly as Agenda 2030’s guiding princile which defines the goals of the international community for the next 15 years.

Hanna Schreiber, a member of the Polish team of the Project, was appointed a programme and thematic coordinator of the Forum.

More details and programme can be consoluted here.forum7

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I Expert-Level Forum China and East-Central Europe on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, 12-14 October 2016, Kraków, International Cultural Centre

forumHanna Schreiber, member of Polish team, was appointed a programme and thematic coordinator of the I Expert-Level Forum China and East-Central Europe on the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage. The event aims at sharing experiences, developing competence, and establishing a model of co-operation between the countries from the East-Central Europe and China in terms of the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage.This will be the first international meeting of this kind dedicated to intangible cultural heritage as part of supra-regional co-operation format ’16+1′. The event will gather specialists from 17 countries. The format was proposed in 2012 by China. It covers Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. All those countries are parties to the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ratified by Poland in 2011).

We kindly invite to register for this event via website: 1st China – Central and Eastern European Countries Expert-Level Forum on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage