Category Archives: Museums

Ownership of Nazi-Plundered Pissarro Goes to Spanish Foundation

Posted on: May 14, 2019 by Stephanie Drawdy

It’s a rainy winter day in Paris, 1897. A distinguished gentleman is standing at his easel with the curtains drawn, his eyes surveying the street below. As a painter myself, I like to imagine the excitement the Impressionist Master Camille Pissarro felt as he envisioned the composition of the scene that would become Rue Saint-Honoré, Après-midi, […]

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 […]

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 This comes hot on the heels of reports in the BBC and other outlets this week that the Sackler Trust has withdrawn a £1M ($1.3M) potential donation to the National Portrait Gallery. […]

Local Authority collections at risk as austerity continues to bite

Posted on: March 21, 2019 by Emily Gould

Cheffins Fine Art Auctioneers will today auction off some 428 paintings from a collection of over 1800 works owned by Hertfordshire County Council. The works to be sold include those by Barbara Hepworth and Keith Vaughan as well as highlights such as lino cuts by Edward Bawden and a pastel work by Scottish artist, Joan […]

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 […]

Talk by Alexander Herman on museums, ethics and deaccession

Posted on: March 13, 2019 by Kiri Cragin Folwell

Last week, our Assistant Director Alexander Herman gave a talk at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, on the topic of museums, law, ethics, deaccession and restitution. The talk was entitled “Values & Art: Ethics in the Management of Culture” and was part of Ryerson’s Business Ethics speaker series at the Ted Rogers School of Management. […]

Judge allows Tate Modern to keep its view

Posted on: February 15, 2019 by Rebecca Reynolds

The four residents of Neo Bankside who sought to make Tate Modern close off part of the 360° viewing platform on the 10th story of the Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern’s £260 million extension opened in 2016, have been denied their wish. Justice Mann handed down his judgment on 12 February dismissing their claim of nuisance and […]

Art of the view: Tate Modern and the privacy of its neighbours

Posted on: December 6, 2018 by Rebecca Reynolds

When Tate Modern opened its new extension in the summer of 2016, the Blavatnik Building, the art world applauded and celebrated the new space which allows for increased permanent and temporary exhibition space, another restaurant as well as education rooms. However, there is now a more contentious side to this building. The building has a […]

Progress on the Washington Principles: a glass half full after 20 years?

Posted on: December 5, 2018 by Emily Gould

The adoption of the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art by 44 nations in 1998 marked a deeply significant moment in the development of cultural policy in the 20th and 21st centuries. Whilst the extent of looting perpetrated by the Nazis during the 1933-45 period was fairly well understood at that stage, few would have […]

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 […]