Category Archives: Restitution

Cassirer heirs may challenge ruling favoring Spanish foundation over Nazi-plundered Pissarro

Posted on: October 26, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

The Cassirer heirs recently received another negative ruling in their lawsuit to recover a Nazi-looted painting by French Impressionist Camille Pissarro, but this case has not yet ended. The heirs indicated their intent to request a rehearing of the Ninth Circuit’s holding that, under Spanish law, title to the Pissarro is rightly held by the […]

Latest issue of Art Antiquity & Law available now

Posted on: September 8, 2020 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

We are pleased to announce that the latest issue (Vol XXV, 2) of our journal Art Antiquity & Law is available now, please see below for details on subscriptions and access.  Paul Kearns provides the readers with a comprehensive panorama of the international legal regulations on freedom of artistic expression, a fundamental but much overlooked and […]

Guelph Treasure Appeal Pending in U.S. Supreme Court

Posted on: August 21, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

A collection of ecclesiastical art known as the Guelph Treasure (Welfenschatz) is at the center of a U.S. restitution claim brought by heirs of Holocaust victims who sold it during the Nazi reign, previously discussed here. Having held the highly valued collection for approximately six decades, Germany is unwilling to part with what it considers […]

French law will finally tackle (some) African restitutions

Posted on: July 21, 2020 by Alexander Herman

Last week, the legal review of a bill under consideration by the French government was released. Following President Macron’s statement on the restitution of artefacts to African countries in November 2017 and the release of the controversial Sarr Savoy Report the following year, this is the first we’ve heard about specific legislation on the topic. […]

Gurlitt trove eludes restitution efforts owing to unresolved provenance questions

Posted on: July 1, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

The full story of the billion-dollar art collection gathered by Nazi art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt during World War II may never be told. After years spent trying to determine the collection’s history, the prior owners of a large majority of those works remain unknown. This is a story we have followed with interest throughout its […]

Fifty years on: the meaning of the 1970 UNESCO Convention

Posted on: June 18, 2020 by Alexander Herman

Amidst the sad turmoil (for some) and the uncertainty (for all) brought on by the pandemic and the resultant lockdown, it is perhaps more forgivable than usual to miss an important anniversary. I am referring here to the fact that 2020 marks 50 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting […]

New Art Antiquity and Law Issue Released

Posted on: May 15, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

The most recent issue of Art Antiquity and Law is now available and, since we all have a little extra time on our hands lately, you can find articles, case notes and book reviews in our journal to help fill those spare hours with fascinating reading. Evelien Campfens gives a detailed exposition of the methods for […]

Multi-million dollar collection remains with the Netherlands after heirs lose U.S. and Dutch claims

Posted on: May 13, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

Updated: May 27, 2020 Efforts to recover an art collection sold in the Netherlands during Nazi reign have met with a fruitless end – yet again. A U.S. District Court recently decided that the sale of the collection constituted a “genocidal taking” involving duress in violation of international law. However, the alleged heir to the […]

Application of HEAR Act brought into question by U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review Picasso restitution case

Posted on: April 17, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

The U.S. Supreme Court seemed inclined to fold its arms and look out the proverbial window when it recently refused to review a case that time-barred a restitution claim over a Picasso sold in late 1930s Europe. By its refusal, America’s highest court has raised questions over the application of the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery […]

Lessons in Collecting from the Museum of the Bible

Posted on: April 14, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

The Museum of the Bible has been a site of continual controversy since its opening in November 2017. The issues it has faced range from alleged thefts and forgeries to the illicit trade in antiquities. More than anything else, the Museum’s difficulties have demonstrated the importance of careful provenance research before acquiring artefacts for a […]