Artifact-rich countries have recently begun to campaign more vigorously for the return of their cultural property that has found its way illegally into the United States. Whether blatantly stolen or taken in violation of a country’s export law, the National Stolen Property Act is the vehicle through which these countries can hope to retrieve their property. Its requirements, however, have often proven too difficult for countries to overcome. The United States, on behalf of the source country, must meet the mens rea requirement of the National Stolen Property Act, an often insurmountable goal because of the confusion surrounding the circumstances under which the property was taken. By relaxing the mens rea requirement, the National Stolen Property Act will become more effective and its goals of punishment and deterrence will be furthered.
Jessica E. Morrow,
The National Stolen Property Act and the Return of Stolen Cultural Property to its Rightful Foreign Owners ,
B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev.