“A bona fide purchaser or else a good faith purchaser is a purchaser who buys property of another without notice that some third person has a right to, or interest in, such property, and pays a full and fair price, at the time of such purchase, or before he/she has notice of the claim or interest of such other in the property, without having any suspicious circumstances to put him/her on inquiry.
“1 Therefore, it is understandable that the people who are characterized as bona fide purchasers do not have any relevant clue for having doubts concerning the legitimacy of the items obtained. In other words, such purchasers should be protected in order not to deter sellers and buyers from participating in the legal trade, because of fear of prosecution for theft and loss of a great amount of money. For this reason, there is a regulation legislated by the UNESCO Convention, according to which items of cultural property can be returned in an exchange of payment or compensation, in order to protect those kind of purchasers. Although, this measure is suitable for the creation of a safer environment towards the purchasers, it could possibly cause a number of problems to the countries of origin, which do not have the financial capability for providing those kinds of compensations and as a result do not retain the cultural artefacts back. On the other hand, in order for a possessor to be entitled to compensation, the bona fide purchaser must prove that he/she was not informed that the purchased item was stolen when the acquiring procedure took place, i.e. due diligence was implemented.
The character of the parties, the price paid, whether a register was consulted, and if an export certificate existed are some important elements in the determination of whether a due diligence existed or not. Fortunately for financially crippled nations, if the possessor cannoto prove due diligence, the source nation has the right of regaining the cultural property without being obliged to pay financial compensation. 1 Merritt v. Railroad Co.
, 12 Barb. (N.Y.) 005 and Spicer v. Waters, 05 Barb (N.Y.) 231 and Cottrell, supranote 1, at 636