Author Archives: Alexander Herman

About Alexander Herman

Alexander is the Assistant Director of the Institute of Art and Law.

To quote or not to quote – that is the question

Posted on: November 7, 2019 by Alexander Herman

As those who have followed our courses (especially our IP Diploma) will know, a big fanfare is often made about the possibilities of the ‘quotation’ exception introduced into UK copyright law five years ago. For institutions that are often users of copyright-protected material, like museums, galleries, archives and libraries, the new exception came with a […]

Recent IAL training: British Museum, Oxford and Qatar

Posted on: October 29, 2019 by Alexander Herman

The past month has been a busy one at the IAL. Not only did we run our annual Diploma in Law and Collections Management in London and a Saturday Study Forum, but we also provided a series of in-house training sessions in the UK and Qatar. We began developing these sessions over the last year […]

Unprecedented decision of German Nazi-looted art panel

Posted on: October 8, 2019 by Alexander Herman

The recent case before the German Advisory Commission involving the painting Uhlans on the March by Hans von Marées was a first of its kind on a number of counts. The Commission is the body that hears claims for the restitution of Nazi-looted artworks. The claim had been brought in 2017 by the beneficiaries of […]

Eight months on from Sarr Savoy and… still waiting

Posted on: August 7, 2019 by Alexander Herman

Since the release of the Sarr Savoy Report at the end of November (over eight months ago), there has not been the feared avalanche of returns to Africa of artefacts from French public collections. Far from it. In fact, the latest public actions on the part of the French government seem to show a retreat […]

British Museum must recognise its own powers

Posted on: June 4, 2019 by Alexander Herman

The following commentary first appeared on The Art Newspaper website on 29 May 2019. The British Museum seems to enjoy telling the world about its statutory restrictions. Whenever would-be claimants approach the museum seeking restitution of an object from the collection, the almost mechanical response from the museum is that its trustees are prevented from doing so, […]

The incredible copyright legacy of Vivian Maier

Posted on: May 24, 2019 by Alexander Herman

For those who haven’t heard of her, Vivian Maier was a secret photographer. She lived and worked in Chicago throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s largely as a nanny in well-to-do suburbs. She had no close family of her own and died in 2009 with little fanfare. But she had spent most of her adult […]

Caillebotte storm is quelled, twice over

Posted on: April 17, 2019 by Alexander Herman

Last June, a Federal Court decision in Canada caused quite a stir. It related to the export control system that applies in Canada for cultural property and the definition of the term ‘national importance’. As we reported in September, the case involved the attempted export from Canada of an oil painting by French Impressionist Gustave […]

Our submission to the DCMS consultation on UK export controls

Posted on: March 8, 2019 by Alexander Herman

The IAL recently submitted a response to a consultation on export controls released by the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). The consultation related to a recent proposal to introduce a legally binding offer into the mechanism by which would-be exporters are required to accept fair matching offers from UK institutions (or […]

Looking ahead to 2019

Posted on: January 4, 2019 by Alexander Herman

Welcome to 2019. In many ways, this year may reverse some of the developments of 2018 – at least insofar as the art law world is concerned. The reason for this is that a number of important cases decided in 2018 are under appeal, with the appeals to be heard (and likely decided) in the […]

Law, Restitution and the Benin Bronzes

Posted on: December 23, 2018 by Alexander Herman

In 1897, British troops marched on Benin City, capital of the fabled West African kingdom of Benin, ruled over by a powerful Oba. The attack was called a ‘punitive expedition’ because it was a retaliatory response to the Oba having massacred a British delegation of eight officials, two traders and local escorts the previous month. […]