Importance and value

The definition of ‘cultural property’ immediately indicates its importance. 

In addition to a cultural-historical or scholarly value, cultural property usually has a financial value. The financial value is among other things important for the art trade and customs, and can be a cause for theft from museums and churches or looting of archaeological sites.

The purchase of looted or unlawfully removed cultural objects from a territory can damage a society. A part of the cultural identity can be lost, just like scientific and historical data, which can be important for future generations in the understanding of their own history. This is why the import and export of cultural property is bound to regulations.