According to the Dictionnaire comparé du droit du patrimoine culturel (M. Cornu, C. Wallaert, J. Fromageau) a definition of “private collection” might result from a contrario reading of the concept of “public collection” of Article 3(7).
The Proposal. By Note Verbale dated 16 October 2015, the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the Rome based International Organisations transmitted to the Secretariat a document containing a proposal to insert work on legal issues related to private art collections in the Work Programme 2017-2019 of the Organisation which built upon UNIDROIT’s successful work in the cultural property field.
At the 95th session of the Governing Council (Rome, 18-20 May 2016), Mr Sánchez Cordero offered further explanation on the Mexican proposal regarding cultural property and private art collections and indicated that the time had come to create international norms which would allow States to choose which cultural objects from private art collections should be protected. He then suggested three elements to show that this issue relating to the protection of cultural property was private in nature: (a) the emergence of several recent cases involving privately-held cultural property; (b) recent legislation that protected and preserved national, cultural items; and (c) adjudications which involved contracts between public museums and private art collections. In concluding, Mr Sánchez Cordero further encouraged the Council to take into account Security Council Resolution 2199 and endorse the Mexican proposal.
The Governing Council decided to recommend that this topic be included in the UNIDROIT Work Programme for the 2017-2019 triennium and the General Assembly endorsed such recommendation at its 75th session (Rome, 1 December 2016) and assigned it a low level of priority.
The Conference. UNIDROIT hosted a two-day conference on Private Collections: Historical and Legal Perspectives (Rome, 16-17 March 2017).
The Study. UNIDROIT asked Elina N. Moustaira, Professor of Comparative Law, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, to prepare a document indicating private law aspects on which UNIDROIT’s particular expertise would be of additional benefit in this field.
Item 7.2, Official Gazette of the Council of Europe, Conseil de l’Europe, Council of Europe, Council of Europe, 01 giu 1999