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Abstract

This Note identifies problems in cultural-property law that the recent wave of removals of Confederate memorials has illustrated. Because cultural-property law’s internal logic tends inexorably towards supporting preservation, it has no conceptual framework for recognizing when a culture might be justified in destroying its own cultural property. I argue that destruction of cultural property can, in some cases, serve values that the preservationist impulse of cultural-property law has overlooked. I propose a new regime for cultural-property law that permits destruction in cases where the monument in question was established in celebration of a violation of the customary international law of human rights.

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