Jacque Bertelsen

Jacque Bertelsen has a true sense of adventure.

The second year student at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Law recently went to Sienna, Italy and Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands as part of her law school study abroad experience.

While in Italy, the Kentucky native learned transactions, conflicts of law, international law and cultural heritage and the arts. Interesting aspects of Bertelsen’s Italian experience included lessons addressing the repatriation of looted Holocaust art, people who looted from archaeological sites, in addition to learning about those who sold what they took. During the Italy program, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) diplomats taught the law students.

One Italian law professor even wrote and negotiated a cultural heritage treaty.

Bertelsen said other issues included whether cultural heritage destruction qualifies as an element of crimes against humanity. Crimes against humanity include, but are not limited to: murder, persecution against an identifiable group on political, racial, national, cultural, religious or gender grounds, and apartheid.

Bertelsen, who holds an undergraduate degree in anthropology, emphasized

the risks of human and natural dynamics on cultural heritage. A natural process as

common as rain can put antiquities at risk, she said. In the Cayman Islands, Bertelsen studied climate change law and comparative intellectual property law. In the future, the anthropology enthusiast plans to work in environmental and land use law, although scholastic exposure to cultural heritage law intensified her appreciation for the niche field.

The 2L student said during both study abroad programs she was reminded, “FAMU students are more than competitive with anybody.” She added, “Don’t be afraid to go out and do this.”

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