This Comment recommends that Congress take action to bring consistency to the treatment of cultural property in two ways. First, ownership disputes should be settled based on the quality of provenance between competing claimants, a system similar to land title registration. Provenance is the history of a piece of cultural property that shows where it came from and where it has been. Second, to ensure provenance is a complete guide to title all cultural objects, both illegally exported and stolen cultural property should receive the same treatment. Part II of this Comment discusses the history of cultural property regulation. Next, Part III addresses the current state of the law protecting cultural objects within the United States and explains the inconsistencies created under the current statutory scheme. Finally, Part IV proposes a solution that will protect interested parties.
Christopher D. Cutting, Protecting Cultural Property Through Provenance, 32 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 943 (2009).