Relatively few cultural property disputes are litigated; most are resolved privately and confidentially. The objective of this resource is to collect and offer information – metadata, and eventually primary and secondary sources – relating to disputes involving tangible artifacts, antiquities (broadly defined) in particular, claimed to be national cultural property. The resource will cover cases from the past two centuries, worldwide, and track current cases.

The About tab leads to information about the motivations for, and objectives of, this project, and categories of readers who may find it informative. It also provides information on the backgrounds of the project’s participants.

The Database tab leads to information about the types of cultural property that this resource will cover, as well as access to the searchable case archive. It will eventually also link to an Analysis segment that will offer various graphical representations of trends and statistics derived from quantitative information based on metadata for the cases.


In September 2022 the BLAIS Foundation funded a two-year development initiative for this project at the Claremont Colleges. We anticipate this generous award will enable us to: more than double the number of project case metadata records; offer primary source documentation on prominent disputes not readily available elsewhere; and allow the project to become sufficiently robust to become increasingly useful to a diverse cohort of scholars and practitioners involved in cultural heritage disputes.

This project originated under the sponsorship of Yale University’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, which provided resources for development of the project’s database structure and for collecting and editing its initial traunch of case records.