This note argues that the U.S. should pass its own self-policing legislation that will make it less enticing for thieves to try to sell stolen antiquities to the U.S. market. Our world heritage is under threat from undeterred looting, which results in antiquities vanishing from museum storerooms and archeological sites before ending up in the storerooms of investors. Currently, source nations that attempt to have stolen antiquities returned are deterred by the high legal costs involved. As the biggest market for stolen cultural property, states within the U.S. should amend current replevin laws so that the possessors of stolen cultural property will be liable for the attorney fees incurred by the source nation/institution during a recovery action for such antiquities, should the source nation prevail in its action.
How New York Investors Financed the Looting of Syria, Ukraine, and Iraq: The Need to Increase Civil Liabilities for "Current Possessors" of Stolen Antiquities in the 21st Century,
6 Global Bus. L. Rev.
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/gblr/vol6/iss1/4