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The Course of "International Cultural Heritage Law", an International Frontier Project of the Discipline, Finished Smoothly

Invited by Professor WANG Yunxia, Director of the Cultural Heritage Law Institute of the Law School, professor Ana Filipa Vrdoljak, a well-known international cultural heritage law scholar of Law School of the University of Science and Technology of Sydney, delivered a series of courses on "International Cultural Heritage Law" at the Law School of Renmin University of China from October 22 to November 1, 2018. Professor Ana Filipa Vrdoljak is good at studying the cultural heritage law from the perspective of cultural human rights and international law. She served successively as the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, UNESCO and expert group member of the European Commission. She has published books on International Law, Museums and the Return of Cultural Relics (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and served as chief editor and consultant of such publications as Culture and Human Rights and International Cultural Property. As a training program for frontier teachers, this series of courses is mainly aimed at teachers and scholars engaged in cultural heritage research both on and off campus, and also open to students who are interested.Professor WANG Yunxia, Professor JIN Haijun of Teaching and Research Section of Knowledge Property Law, ZHANG Wenliang, Associate Professor of International Law Department, and scholars from Tsinghua University, Chinese Academy of cultural heritage, Lanzhou University of technology, Hebei University of technology and other colleges and universities took the series of courses.

The first lecture is entitled "Cultural Heritage and Human Rights". Professor Ana Vrdoljak focuses on the meaning and value of "Cultural Diversity". By combing the changes of the concept of cultural heritage in the field of Cultural Heritage Law in the two centuries from 1789 to 1989, the lecture reveals how cultural heritage gradually evolves from the property with cultural characteristics into the common good that reflects the cultural diversity of different ethnic groups and countries and realizes the spiritual and cultural rights of the people. At the end of the interaction session, Professor Ana Vrdoljak answered the questions of the students and teachers in detail, and also interacted with them in particular in the light of the expert reports of UNESCO, the UN human rights council and the implementation of relevant cultural heritage law conventions. The second topic of the course is "the Return of Cultural Property". According to the chronology of the World War , the World War and the Cold War, this lecture explains how to establish the new international order of cultural heritage protection. Professor Vrdoljak focused on the regulation of damage to cultural heritage and cultural rights by the 1954 "Hague Convention" and UN Security Council Resolution 2170. Despite the international judicial judgment after the war, the problem of the return of cultural heritage has not been well solved, and a large number of precious cultural heritage was destroyed by the war, which is regrettable. The third topic of the course is "Protection of Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development". Professor Vrdoljak discussed the cultural self-determination rights of different ethnic groups in the process of colonization and anti-colonization since modern times, and proposed that cultural self-determination is also a basic human right. She explained the importance of cultural diversity and cultural self-determination for the sustainable development of global culture by interpreting a series of relevant documents such as the Declaration on Global Cultural Diversity issued by UNESCO in 2001 and the convention on the protection and promotion of cultural expression in 2005. The fourth topic of the course is "Museum Law". Professor Vrdoljak puts forward the museum's important role in the protection of intangible cultural heritage and introduces the museum in the protection of cultural diversity and cultural heritage protection work and measures that should be taken and shall comply with the obligations, with cases combined with the British Museum and the Australian aborigines. She stressed that the key is to respect and guarantee of rights of different ethnic groups and individuals and the development of cultural heritage.

As an international law scholar who has been active in the field of international cultural heritage protection for a long time, Professor Ana Vrdoljak's academic exchange activity has brought us a new perspective of cultural heritage law research and materials of international law theory and practice. As a hot topic in the field of human rights, the concept of cultural human rights connects key words such as minority rights, cultural self-determination and cultural diversity in the field of cultural heritage protection, expands the connotation and extension of human rights protection, and further transforms the concept of cultural property to cultural heritage. This is also one of the latest trends in the field of international cultural heritage law. In addition, this series of courses combed through the cultural heritage method since the establishment of subject of international law on the text of the treaties and conventions, and connected with the practice in the case, did a thorough interpretation with historical research methods and vision coinciding with the law, embodies the theory of solid strength and rich practical experience of Professor Ana Vrdoljak as an international law scholar. As an Australian scholar, professor Ana Vrdoljak has also brought a case involving the protection of aboriginal cultural rights and interests in Australia, broadened the horizon of domestic scholars, teachers and students, and had reference significance in comparative law for the research on the cultural heritage and protection of cultural rights and interests of national minorities.

The training program has been highly valued by the Law School from the application, project approval to expert delivery and formal teaching. WANG Yi, Dean of the Law School, met with Professor Ana Vrdoljak at noon on October 25. The two sides exchanged in-depth views on the development of this academic exchange activity and the future cooperation vision of the two law schools.

Editor: WU Yixuan

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