Author Archives: Alexander Herman

About Alexander Herman

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

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 […]

One year after the Sarr-Savoy report, France has lost its momentum in the restitution debate

Posted on: November 15, 2019 by Alexander Herman

The following commentary first appeared in The Art Newspaper print edition (November 2019) and on The Art Newspaper website on 12 November 2019. A year ago this month, authors Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy submitted their controversial report to French President Emanuel Macron. The report recommended the return of a vast number of Sub-Saharan African artefacts currently in […]

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, […]