Author Archives: Stephanie Drawdy

About Stephanie Drawdy

Stephanie is an artist and attorney licensed to practice in New York and South Carolina. She proudly uses American spelling in all her IAL blog posts.

US Supreme Court remands Guelph Treasure case

Posted on: February 12, 2021 by Stephanie Drawdy

The much-anticipated ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court in the Welfenschatz (or ‘Guelph Treasure’) restitution case (previously discussed here) was issued on 3 February 2021, rendering precedent on the interpretation of the ‘expropriation exception’ of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).[1] Enacted to lift the “baseline presumption of immunity” given to foreign states under the […]

U.S. financial crime regulations now reach antiquities trade and beyond

Posted on: February 1, 2021 by Stephanie Drawdy

A new year has swept in, bringing with it an expansion of U.S. federal anti-corruption / anti-money laundering laws. On 1 January 2021, America’s annual defense budget known as H.R. 6395, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA), became law. The wide-reaching and significant reforms included in the NDAA range from corporate […]

JUST Act Report surveys efforts at justice for Holocaust survivors

Posted on: January 7, 2021 by Stephanie Drawdy

In March 2020, the U.S. State Department issued the ‘Just Act Report’, a 196-page document with a laudable goal – furthering long-delayed justice for Holocaust victims, survivors and heirs. It is described as an “essential tool” to show the U.S. Congress where restitution efforts are lagging across the globe. The rather disheartening results show a […]

U.S. Supreme Court declines to review 5Pointz ruling

Posted on: November 13, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

The 5Pointz case has now been confirmed as viable authority in favor of artists’ rights in the United States. In early October, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the petition for certiorari filed by developers Gerald Wolkoff and several of his real estate entities, thereby eliminating the last appellate hope the developers had to […]

Cassirer heirs may challenge ruling favoring Spanish foundation over Nazi-plundered Pissarro

Posted on: October 26, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

The Cassirer heirs recently received another negative ruling in their lawsuit to recover a Nazi-looted painting by French Impressionist Camille Pissarro, but this case has not yet ended. The heirs indicated their intent to request a rehearing of the Ninth Circuit’s holding that, under Spanish law, title to the Pissarro is rightly held by the […]

Guelph Treasure Appeal Pending in U.S. Supreme Court

Posted on: August 21, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

A collection of ecclesiastical art known as the Guelph Treasure (Welfenschatz) is at the center of a U.S. restitution claim brought by heirs of Holocaust victims who sold it during the Nazi reign, previously discussed here. Having held the highly valued collection for approximately six decades, Germany is unwilling to part with what it considers […]

Gurlitt trove eludes restitution efforts owing to unresolved provenance questions

Posted on: July 1, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

The full story of the billion-dollar art collection gathered by Nazi art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt during World War II may never be told. After years spent trying to determine the collection’s history, the prior owners of a large majority of those works remain unknown. This is a story we have followed with interest throughout its […]

5Pointz case stayed pending petition to U.S. Supreme Court

Posted on: June 12, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

A nearly seven-year long legal battle over the rights of aerosol artists that played out before the New York courts and resulted in a $6.75 million judgment in favor of the artists has taken yet another turn. In 2018, a ground-breaking judgment was handed down against a group of New York developers for willful removal […]

Multi-million dollar collection remains with the Netherlands after heirs lose U.S. and Dutch claims

Posted on: May 13, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

Updated: May 27, 2020 Efforts to recover an art collection sold in the Netherlands during Nazi reign have met with a fruitless end – yet again. A U.S. District Court recently decided that the sale of the collection constituted a “genocidal taking” involving duress in violation of international law. However, the alleged heir to the […]

Application of HEAR Act brought into question by U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review Picasso restitution case

Posted on: April 17, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

The U.S. Supreme Court seemed inclined to fold its arms and look out the proverbial window when it recently refused to review a case that time-barred a restitution claim over a Picasso sold in late 1930s Europe. By its refusal, America’s highest court has raised questions over the application of the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery […]