Category Archives: Cultural Heritage

Caillebotte storm is quelled, twice over

Posted on: April 17, 2019 by Alexander Herman

Last June, a Federal Court decision in Canada caused quite a stir. It related to the export control system that applies in Canada for cultural property and the definition of the term ‘national importance’. As we reported in September, the case involved the attempted export from Canada of an oil painting by French Impressionist Gustave […]

The EU’s parting gift to the UK art market?

Posted on: April 1, 2019 by Emily Gould

On 12th March 2019, just over two weeks before the original date set for the UK’s exit from the European Union, the European Parliament adopted the Regulation on the import of cultural goods, a rather sweeping measure designed to control the import into EU Member States of certain items of cultural property. The legislation is […]

A new red line? Controversial gifts in the spotlight

Posted on: March 22, 2019 by Paul Stevenson

Last night, news broke that the Tate’s board of trustees have decided not to seek or accept further donations from the Sackler family. This comes hot on the heels of reports in the BBC and other outlets this week that the Sackler Trust has withdrawn a £1M ($1.3M) potential donation to the National Portrait Gallery. […]

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 […]

Heritage Crime Day with Historic England

Posted on: February 2, 2019 by Rebecca Reynolds

On 24 January 2019 IAL Senior Researcher Emily Gould and I attended a workshop on heritage crime organised by Historic England. The aim of the workshop was to present to the attendees the various types of heritage crime that can be committed, how the perpetrators can be convicted and appropriate sentences to be handed down […]

Law, Restitution and the Benin Bronzes

Posted on: December 23, 2018 by Alexander Herman

In 1897, British troops marched on Benin City, capital of the fabled West African kingdom of Benin, ruled over by a powerful Oba. The attack was called a ‘punitive expedition’ because it was a retaliatory response to the Oba having massacred a British delegation of eight officials, two traders and local escorts the previous month. […]

Planning for the unthinkable: Protecting cultural assets in extremis

Posted on: December 3, 2018 by Emily Gould

It barely seems possible that we are fast approaching the first anniversary of the UK’s ratification of the Hague Convention 1954. 12th December 2017 marked the entry into force of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act 2017, which saw the UK, finally, making a formal commitment to adhere to the Convention’s obligations for the protection […]

Cultural ‘Matrimony’ as a New Approach to Heritage Disputes

Posted on: November 29, 2018 by Sharon Hecker

The Benin Dialogue Group has recently announced plans to construct a new Royal Museum in Nigeria to display objects looted from the country that are now in European collections. This is an excellent example of what I call cultural ‘matrimony’, a new approach that can be used to resolve heritage disputes. This solution is in […]

French report calls for massive restitution of African artefacts

Posted on: November 28, 2018 by Alexander Herman

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron received the report he commissioned in March on the restitution of African artefacts currently held in French Museums. The commission followed the President’s speech in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, delivered one year ago today, in which he had called for “the conditions to be met within five years for the […]