Clause 2 - Meaning of ''tainted cultural object''

Part of Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:47 pm on 14th May 2003.

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Photo of Mr Richard Allan Mr Richard Allan Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry) 3:47 pm, 14th May 2003

I think that in my earlier comments I made the substantive case as to why the single test of the wording ''formed part of the building'' is the appropriate one. We were talking in the context of the UK. It is also important that we clarify how this legislation will work in the international context before we move on. My understanding of the way the Bill will operate is that there are two conditions if an object that has been removed from a building is to become tainted. The first is that the offence was committed in another country and the second is that it also passes the part of a building test in our legislation. If a third country had its equivalent of the listed building legislation that covered all objects such as furniture, free-standing statues and so on, those objects would nevertheless not be covered by the Bill. The fact that they were removed from another country in a way that constitutes an offence is not enough on its own to be covered by the Bill. Two tests would be applied. First, that the offence had been committed and secondly that the objects formed part of the building.

The aim is to give certainty to people trying to trade in that area. They can understand that if they acquire some goods, from Germany, France or wherever, that may or may not have been part of a building, they need to apply the tests to understand whether they are at risk under this legislation and they should look at the comparable body of UK case law, which defines part of a building. If an object is outside that—if it falls into the category of furniture, free-standing

objects and so forth—they will not be at risk and do not need to worry about the application of this legislation. It is important to clarify that matter because some other countries will have a much broader definition in their listed building legislation and I do not include that concept of part of a building.