Category Archives: Restitution

Latest issue of our journal Art Antiquity and Law available now

Posted on: November 26, 2022 by Ruth Redmond-Cooper

The latest issue of Art Antiquity and Law has now been published and hard copies are being sent to subscribers and members, with the digital version available online to subscribers who have chosen this option. This issue contains a thought-provoking piece by Alexander Herman in which he points out that the recent Charities Act 2022 […]

Heirs of Jewish Collector win back the family’s Kandinsky

Posted on: October 9, 2022 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

A pioneer of abstract art in the early 20th century, Kandinsky is still making the headlines today because of a link between Holocaust-looted art and claims involving his works. The present case, in this regard, is no different. However, an important point of distinction about the present case that is worthy of note and close […]

Museums, restitution and the new Charities Act

Posted on: September 25, 2022 by Alexander Herman

An important change to charity law that will affect the ability of museums in England and Wales to return collection items was passed by Parliament in February as part of the Charities Act 2022 and is due to come into force this autumn [update, see below]. Charity law is especially important in the cultural sector […]

NY Law Calls For Museum Transparency About Nazi-Loot

Posted on: August 22, 2022 by Stephanie Drawdy

From the Adirondacks to the Lower East Side, New York museums face a new legal requirement for their collections – a measure of candor about objects traded during Hitler’s terror reign. On 10 August 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a multi-faceted package of legislation “aimed at honoring and supporting Holocaust survivors”. Effective immediately, […]

Arts Council England releases new guidance for museums on restitution and repatriation

Posted on: August 5, 2022 by Alexander Herman and Emily Gould

Today, Arts Council England released its guidance on restitution and repatriation for English museums. Restitution and Repatriation: A Practical Guide for Museums in England offers guidelines, best practice and case studies for the museum sector, helping institutions act appropriately and considerately in the context of claims for the return of collection objects. It replaces previous […]

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 […]