Author Archives: Alexander Herman

About Alexander Herman

Alexander is the Assistant Director of the Institute of Art and Law. You can find him on Twitter @artlawalex

A tale of two protests: Museum protest then and now

Posted on: November 9, 2020 by Alexander Herman

Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza (left) is a man on a mission. A prolific protestor at museums in France and the Netherlands, he targets objects on display that originate from Africa, lifts them from their stands and parades them around the galleries while making pronouncements on the crimes of European colonialism. ‘Je part avec à la maison,’ he […]

Done right, selling museum pieces can work – but probably not with Michelangelos

Posted on: October 1, 2020 by Alexander Herman

This comment first appeared on The Art Newspaper website on 25 September 2020. It has been reproduced with the editorial staff’s kind permission. Is the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) going to sell its Michelangelo? It seems a preposterous proposition, but these are rather preposterous times. The idea, apparently floated by a handful of Royal […]

French law will finally tackle (some) African restitutions

Posted on: July 21, 2020 by Alexander Herman

Last week, the legal review of a bill under consideration by the French government was released. Following President Macron’s statement on the restitution of artefacts to African countries in November 2017 and the release of the controversial Sarr Savoy Report the following year, this is the first we’ve heard about specific legislation on the topic. […]

Fifty years on: the meaning of the 1970 UNESCO Convention

Posted on: June 18, 2020 by Alexander Herman

Amidst the sad turmoil (for some) and the uncertainty (for all) brought on by the pandemic and the resultant lockdown, it is perhaps more forgivable than usual to miss an important anniversary. I am referring here to the fact that 2020 marks 50 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting […]

In matters of export and art, the state always seems to have its way

Posted on: April 7, 2020 by Alexander Herman

When it comes to the export of works of art, the state always wins… or at least it can seem that way. The latest case to offer proof comes from the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in the matter of R (Simonis) v Arts Council England. Of course, matters of exporting cultural goods […]

IAL in New York City – Event on international exhibitions

Posted on: March 11, 2020 by Alexander Herman

Bright lights, big city. On 27 February, the IAL partnered with the Art Law Committee and European Affairs Committee of the New York City Bar Association to present an event on international art exhibitions in New York. The proceedings ran in the Main Hall of the Bar’s neo-classical headquarters on West 44th Street in midtown […]

Looking ahead to 2020

Posted on: January 14, 2020 by Alexander Herman

Like we did last year, we are keen to use this opportunity to have a look at what lies ahead. For one, 2020 seems to offer much change for the art world on the regulatory front. This is bookended by two major changes in the UK (and indeed across Europe) that have their source in […]

Year in review: recap on 2019

Posted on: December 26, 2019 by Alexander Herman

If nothing else, the end of a calendar year offers the chance to step back and review the larger developments in a particular area or field. This is certainly true about the world of art and cultural heritage law where it can often be hard to see the forest for the trees. So many legal […]

The Restitution Dialogues begin!

Posted on: December 19, 2019 by Alexander Herman

Last week, IAL was happy to be part of a conference on restitution at Tel Aviv University in Israel. This is the first of a three-conference series entitled The Restitution Dialogues: A transnational conversion on cultural loss, return and renewal. The second conference will be held in October 2020 at the University of Toronto in Canada, […]

Update on restitution: recent returns

Posted on: November 22, 2019 by Alexander Herman

After my piece last week on restitution, there have been some interesting developments in the area. First of all, a major non-profit organisation, the Open Society Foundations, has pledged US$15 million to assist groups working to restitute African heritage. The money is pledged over a period of four years. As I said when commenting on […]