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Cultural property law fulfills many of the normative and jurisprudential goals of progressive property theory. Cultural property limits the normal prerogatives of owners in order to give legal substance to the interests of the public or of specially protected non-owners. It recognizes that preservation of and access to heritage resources advance public values such as cultural enrichment and community identity. The proliferation of cultural property laws and their acceptance by courts has occurred despite a resurgent property fundamentalism embraced by the Supreme Court. Thus, this Article seeks to explicate the category of cultural property, its fulfillment of progressive theory, and its success in an adverse legal environment. The article originated as part of a symposium responding to Rachael Walsh’s Property Rights and Social Justice: Progressive Property in Act.



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