Category Archives: Restitution

Accessory charges brought against former Louvre Director

Posted on: June 10, 2022 by Alexander Herman

“I’m confident in saying there will be more seizures and more prosecutions arising out of this investigation…” Those were the words of Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos, speaking to Ben Lewis last year on the Art Bust podcast. He was referring to an antiquities trafficking ring he’d uncovered that had been dealing in artefacts smuggled […]

Belgian restitution: from Nazi-looted art to colonial-era takings

Posted on: April 14, 2022 by Hélène Deslauriers

Let us consider recent developments in Belgium, both in relation to Nazi-looted art and colonial-era collections. First, a recent return of Nazi-looted art. On February 10 the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels returned a 1913 painting by Lovis Corinth, Flowers (left), to members of the Mayer family.  The painting represents a bouquet of […]

Foundation’s arguments thwarted in New York case of Nazi-looted Schiele

Posted on: March 17, 2022 by Stephanie Drawdy

Just a year before the Spanish flu claimed him in 1918, Austrian Expressionist Egon Schiele used hues of orange and red to portray his wife as she looked away, hands folded (left). Some 20 years later in Nazi-occupied Vienna, this portrait would be looted. And now, over 80 years after that, the work is the […]

Restitution and the ‘return of beauty’ – afterthoughts

Posted on: February 4, 2022 by Alexander Herman

On Wednesday evening, I spoke on an online panel organised by the Universities of Bonn and Tel Aviv entitled The Return of Beauty: Restitution of Nazi-Looted Art in Comparative Perspectives. I was asked to introduce the topic of ‘post-colonial’ claims for the return of cultural objects as a point of comparison with claims for the […]

Michael Steinhardt’s antiquities and the legal/moral divide

Posted on: December 9, 2021 by Alexander Herman

Collector Michael Steinhardt has been in the news this week, and not for the right reasons. On Monday, an agreement was announced whereby the New York DA’s Office would not prosecute Steinhardt for acquiring looted antiquities and, in exchange, Steinhardt would surrender 180 such artefacts to the DA, and these will soon (one hopes) be […]

Restitution – what’s really going on?

Posted on: September 30, 2021 by Alexander Herman

This piece first appeared on The Art Newspaper website on 28 September 2021. *** Much is happening in the global debate over the rightful place of cultural objects. Not a week goes by, it seems, without an important return being announced. Last week it was the return at a ceremony in Washington DC of the ancient […]

July issue of Art Antiquity and Law out now

Posted on: July 27, 2021 by Ruth Redmond-Cooper

The July issue of Art Antiquity and Law has now gone to press and hard copies of the burgundy journal will soon be landing on doorsteps around the world, with digital copies finding their way to inboxes. For those interested in subscribing, please see here. This issue contains articles and case notes on a wide […]

The Benin Bronzes – recent developments

Posted on: May 7, 2021 by Emily Gould

In mid-March this year, the German government announced that it was close to finalising plans to return to Nigeria Benin Bronzes from around 25 of its museums. The statement was swiftly followed by news of proposed returns from corners of the globe as disparate as Aberdeen and  California. Developments were also in evidence in the […]

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 […]

Report on latest study forum

Posted on: February 10, 2021 by Georgiana Stables

On Saturday 6th February, we hosted our second virtual study forum. It was a full day of captivating and perceptive talks by a range of speakers within the art law field. To kick-start the day, Dr Donna Yates (Associate Professor, Maastricht University) spoke about a Cambodian sculpture stolen from Koh Ker during the Cambodian Civil […]