Category Archives: Antiquities

To deal or not to deal: provenance and morality in recent sale at Christie’s

Posted on: July 26, 2019 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

Earlier this month, controversy surrounded one particular lot in the ‘The Exceptional Sale’ at Christie’s in London. The object of the controversy was ‘An Egyptian Brown Quartzite Head of the God Amen with the features of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen’, dated to the Reign of Tutankhamen, c. 1333-1323 BC, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty. The lot (no. 110) […]

Protecting cultural heritage: a lawyer’s view

Posted on: April 29, 2019 by Emily Gould

In the most recent of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum’s excellent Culture in Crisis lecture series, Leila Aminnedoleh, New York-based art and cultural heritage lawyer, shared some fascinating insights into stories of theft, looting and restitution through the ages in a talk last Thursday, 25th April 2019. Leila practices in the art law field and […]

The MET in the spotlight again: Due diligence dissected

Posted on: March 20, 2019 by Emily Gould

We reported late last year how busy the New York authorities have been in recent times in seizing and returning looted artefacts. The pattern has continued into the new year, with the widely reported return to the Egyptian Government of a first-century BC gilded coffin, acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the centre […]

Monetising the past – some thoughts on the sale of archaeological artefacts

Posted on: March 4, 2019 by Rebecca Reynolds

Laws and guidance notes are rarely retrospective as this would go against fairness and justice. As regards laws such as the Treasure Act 1996 and guidance notes dealing with human remains and archaeological excavation, however, many archaeologists, Anglo-Saxon specialists and museum curators probably wish that they could be. Hansons Auctioneers recently announced it would be […]

Study Forum in London and Upcoming Talks

Posted on: February 26, 2019 by Kiri Cragin Folwell

Thanks to everyone who joined us at our sold out study forum on Saturday. Held at Notre Dame University in London, we were fortunate to hear a variety of presentations from specialists in art and cultural heritage law. The first talk of the day was on auction houses and third party guarantees. Christine Burron, the […]

Recent American Restitutions

Posted on: December 14, 2018 by Alexander Herman

American prosecutors have been busy of late. Not only has New York Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos been active over the past 18 months in seeking seizure and forfeiture orders for stolen or looted property, but the US Attorney’s office has been busy as well. Added to this is the favourable stance the US courts […]

UK Museums Bid to Save Titanic Artefacts

Posted on: September 26, 2018 by Holly Woodhouse

Hedge funds are competing with a consortium of British museums to purchase 5,500 artefacts salvaged from the Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912 with the loss of 1,500 lives. The current owner of the artefacts, Premier Exhibitions, is selling them after filing for bankruptcy in the United States in 2016.  The […]

Addressing the challenges in international cultural property crime

Posted on: July 1, 2018 by Emily Gould

The 2018 Transatlantic Cultural Property Crime Symposium held on 28th and 29th June 2018 promised a varied and wide-ranging approach to current issues in heritage crime. It certainly did not disappoint on that score. The conference, organised jointly by Queen Mary University of London, Mount Saint Mary College, New York and the University of Maryland […]

Assistant Director Alexander Herman quoted in New York Times

Posted on: April 5, 2018 by Kiri Cragin Folwell

Assistant Director Alexander Herman was quoted yesterday in the New York Times article U.K. Museum Offers Ethiopia Long-Term Loan of Looted Treasures. Alexander commented on treasures taken from Ethiopia 150 years ago that could be returned on a long-term loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum. He said, “The loan is a powerful method of […]

Conservation Practice: Visibly Invisible!

Posted on: March 21, 2018 by William Hawkes

An article in The Art Newspaper by Ben Luke on the 15th of March 2018 poses an interesting question regarding the work of the conservator. The article concerned the condition of the painting depicting Christ as Salvator Mundi, by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, dated to c. 1500. This article raised the question “Should the […]