Category Archives: Art Theft

Art Crime in Current Times

Posted on: May 1, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

There is no doubt that the current times have caused extraordinary changes to daily life. There have been major impacts on every aspect of society, including how, when and where crime will occur. Thankfully, in general, crime has fallen since the introduction of lockdown measures in the UK. However, as noted in this article by […]

Response of the museum sector to the coronavirus pandemic

Posted on: April 10, 2020 by Emily Gould

In a blog post last week, we discussed the many ramifications of the Coronavirus pandemic on contracts. The effects are being felt by businesses and individuals in all sectors across the globe, and museums are certainly not immune to the challenges presented. The inevitable cancellations of exhibitions involves disrupting contractual arrangements on many levels, from […]

Recent case of ‘stolen’ Turing memorabilia highlights the complexities of the law of title

Posted on: February 13, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

An intriguing series of events has led the US Government to commence court action over a collection of objects associated with Alan Turing, the British mathematician. Alan Turing is famous for his involvement in breaking the German Enigma code during WW2 and for his contribution to the field of computer science. This case raises questions […]

‘Bad things come in threes’ in the world of art crime…

Posted on: November 26, 2019 by Emily Gould

It has been a tumultuous fortnight in Europe in the world of art crime. First, we heard about the audacious attempt to steal two Rembrandts from London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery – thankfully unsuccessful with the perpetrators being apprehended and the paintings recovered within the grounds of the gallery. Then, yesterday, news broke of a heist […]

US charges added to dealer Kapoor’s rap sheet

Posted on: November 12, 2019 by Adele Harrison

In the 1891 story A Case of Identity, Sherlock Holmes cracked another mystery in his careful examination of evidence emanating from a typewriter. Now, over 120 years later, investigators in New York  have relied on similar skills to expose one of the largest art looting conspiracies of all time.  It was at the office of […]

New issue of IAL’s Art Antiquity and Law journal just released

Posted on: October 24, 2019 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

Marking the beginning of a new academic year, the latest issue of Art Antiquity & Law, IAL’s quarterly journal, is hot off the press and brings a number of articles ranging from topics such as musical instruments and their legal framework to arbitration, art theft, export of cultural goods and the repatriation claims for the […]

Japanese Museum claims title to the Reynolds painting stolen in UK

Posted on: October 1, 2019 by Makoto Shimada

According to recent articles in the Antiques Trade Gazette, Art Newspaper and several other English papers, a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds stolen in the UK has ended up in Japan at the collection of the Fuji Tokyo Art Museum (“the Museum”). The Museum claims that it purchased the work with valid title. Facts In […]

New York Appellate Court Upholds Purpose of HEAR Act: Austrian Performer’s Heirs Found to Have Superior Right to Looted Schiele Works

Posted on: August 23, 2019 by Stephanie Drawdy

Fritz Grünbaum was a clear target for the Nazis. He was a Jewish law school graduate and decorated World War I veteran turned pacifist and an outspoken man of the arts with a platform as a Viennese cabaret performer. On the day Hitler invaded Vienna, he entertained nightclub guests as he groped onto a darkened […]

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 Amineddoleh, 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 […]