Cultural property is a unique form of property. It may be at once personal property and real property; it is non-fungible; it carries deep historical value; it educates; it is part tangible, part transient. Cultural property is property that has acquired a special social status inextricably linked to a certain group's identity. Its value to the group is unconnected to how outsiders might assess its economic worth. If, as Hegel posited, property is an extension of personhood, then cultural property, for some, is an extension of nationhood.
After Chabad: Enforcement in Cultural Property Disputes,
Yale J. Int'l L.
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