Category Archives: Restitution

Latest Art Antiquity & Law issue

Posted on: May 21, 2019 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

The brand new issue of IAL’s Art Antiquity & Law quarterly journal is hot off the press and is now available in print and online via the Hein portal. This year’s first issue brings an array of articles, conference reports and a book review. Maja Dehouck discusses the regulation of illicit trafficking of cultural property […]

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 […]

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. […]

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. […]

Recent American Restitutions

Posted on: December 14, 2018 by Alexander Herman

American prosecutors have been busy of late. Not only has New York Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos been active over the past 18 months in seeking seizure and forfeiture orders for stolen or looted property, but the US Attorney’s office has been busy as well. Added to this is the favourable stance the US courts […]

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 […]

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 […]