On 26th January 2017 Riga Graduate School of Law was organizing "Cultural Heritage and Art Law: 1st seminar for practitioners". This was the first educational event in the region targeted at practising specialists in the field. The training course gathered speakers from state sector, law enforcement field, academic and practical environments from Sweden, Lithuania and Latvia.
The discussed issues brought together attorneys-at-law, IPR experts and European patent, trademark and design attorneys, delegates from Latvian National Commission for UNESCO, Ministry of Culture, diplomatic bodies. The audience unified representatives from Latvia, Estonia and Italy.
“Thank you for the initiative to take such a specific training course. As a Ministry of Culture we see that the notion of art market and looting of cultural objects is not only of interest to us, but also of the legal practitioners. There is kind of romanticized [impression] over these kind of things […], however in reality the thing is, that what we loose the most is not the object itself, but the knowledge associated with it. For example, if this is an archaeological object – where was it found, who found it, what was the context of the object, and this is the most valuable resource - this knowledge that we loose, what this object can say about out past and history” – Sandis Voldiņš, state secretary for the Ministry of Culture.
“One of the most beautiful definitions of what cultural heritage represents for us is given in Faro Convention of 2005 and it states: cultural heritage is a group of resources inherited from the past which people identify, independently of ownership, as a reflection and expression of their constantly evolving values, beliefs, knowledge and traditions. So, this value aspect is the one present more and more in a way how we talk about cultural heritage. And translation of this value through law that governs our mutual relations is of great importance. That is the reason why we should talk about it!” – Līga Ābele, former legal head of the State Inspection for Protection of Cultural Monuments.
"The course was very inspirational, hearing different views on how the heritage is perceived when we are talking about the heritage passed down from generation to generation, and how we are perceiving our modern creative expressions that might become heritage in years to come" - Ieva Švarca, Culture Programme Director in Latvian National Commission for UNESCO.
As was shown during the course, cultural heritage and art law field is underexplored in our region, but has high potential.
Riga Graduate School of Law will continue to organize training courses for practitioners semi-annually with the second seminar to take place on 28th September 2017. The approved agenda to be coming soon. Follow our news to be the first to know!