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Geneva Summer Schools – International Cultural Heritage Law

The Université de Genève is organising a summer school on International Cultural Heritage Law, from June 22nd – July 3rd.

Check the Geneva Summer Schools website for full details [1] of the course programme.

Geneva Summer Schools [1]

International Cultural Heritage Law

June 22 – July 3, 2015


The summer school aims to develop the students’ awareness and general understanding of the main substantive themes of international cultural heritage law, namely:

  • the trade in cultural objects;
  • the restitution of stolen or looted artworks;
  • the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict;
  • the protection of the built heritage from natural and human-induced disasters;
  • the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage and of the diversity of cultural expressions;
  • the relationship between cultural heritage law and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO);
  • the settlement of cultural heritage disputes.

The lecturers will examine the legal instruments adopted by UNESCO, such as the ‘Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict’, the ‘Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property’ and the ‘Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage’. In order to offer an up-to-date glance at international cultural heritage law, the lecturers will also describe its complex relationship with other fields of law – namely general international law, human rights law, intellectual property law, and international investment law – and with the issue of dispute settlement. Moreover, the lecturers will provide an overview of the different ideological positions of the relevant stakeholders and of the risks and liabilities in the art trade. Finally, the summer school will bring out the challenges to cultural heritage that emanate from new threats. To name but a few: reduced protection of sites and monuments due to lack of public money and political support; natural catastrophes; increasing exploitation of cultural resources by organized criminal organizations; art forgeries; and damage to cultural sites caused by human activities.

The summer course includes lectures at the University of Geneva and at WIPO, as well as two field trips to two UNESCO World Heritage sites, namely Berne and Lavaux.


The course will be taught by brilliant young scholars, renowned professors from various prestigious universities, as well as professionals from governmental agencies and international organizations. The University of Geneva staff comprises the team of the Art-Law Centre and of the UNESCO Chair in the International Law of the Protection of Cultural Heritage.

Professor Marc-André Renold
Faculty of Law
University of Geneva

Dr. Alessandro Chechi
Faculty of Law
University of Geneva

Contact: gss@unige.ch


The course welcomes applications from upper-year undergraduates, master’s degree students and PhD candidates in law and all other faculties, including art history, archaeology and anthropology. Practitioners, non-specialists and art enthusiasts may also apply.


The International Cultural Heritage Law course may earn you 3 ECTS. Evaluation will be based on attendance, class participation and presentations on the last day of the course.

TUITION FEES and Deadline

Full Fee: 2000 CHF / Deadline: 15 May 2015