Category Archives: Restitution

Arts Council England appoints IAL to develop new guidance on restitution and repatriation

Posted on: March 19, 2020 by Kiri Cragin Folwell

On Monday 16 March, Arts Council England announced the appointment of the Institute of Art and Law (IAL) to develop new guidance for museums on the restitution and repatriation of cultural objects. The guidance, which will be published in Autumn 2020, will aim to encourage a more proactive and coordinated approach across UK museums by […]

Heated U.S. restitution suit continues over long-lost Modigliani valued at approximately $30 million

Posted on: February 21, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

Pit a billionaire art collector against a French farmer, add in a mysterious offshore company and a Modernist painting confiscated by the Nazis and missing for over a half-century and – voilà – you have the makings of a highly contentious lawsuit. Those are the facts swirling in an ongoing case involving Seated Man With […]

Action at last? France renews promise to return looted artefacts to Benin

Posted on: January 23, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

President Emmanuel Macron originally promised to return 26 artefacts, currently held in the Musée du Quai Branly–Jacques Chirac in Paris, to Benin in 2018. These objects were taken as spoils from the Kingdom of Dahomey in 1892, as part of French colonial military action. Macron’s promise was made in response to the publication of the […]

Year in review: recap on 2019

Posted on: December 26, 2019 by Alexander Herman

If nothing else, the end of a calendar year offers the chance to step back and review the larger developments in a particular area or field. This is certainly true about the world of art and cultural heritage law where it can often be hard to see the forest for the trees. So many legal […]

Appeal for Restitution of Nazi-Plundered Pissarro Centers on Application of Spanish versus U.S. Law

Posted on: December 24, 2019 by Stephanie Drawdy

A buyer who purchases stolen property does not receive good title – depending on the jurisdiction. The Cassirer family has learned this lesson all too well after nearly two decades attempting to reclaim a Nazi-looted painting by Impressionist Master Camille Pissarro. Earlier this year, a U.S. federal court in California awarded the Pissarro to a […]

The Restitution Dialogues begin!

Posted on: December 19, 2019 by Alexander Herman

Last week, IAL was happy to be part of a conference on restitution at Tel Aviv University in Israel. This is the first of a three-conference series entitled The Restitution Dialogues: A transnational conversion on cultural loss, return and renewal. The second conference will be held in October 2020 at the University of Toronto in Canada, […]

US Restitution Suit Allowed to Proceed Against the Netherlands and Dutch Museums

Posted on: December 12, 2019 by Stephanie Drawdy

Towards the end of Second World War, Adolph Hitler received a birthday gift that likely made his heart swell with pride – a famous Rembrandt. The impact this gift had on a certain elderly woman interned in one of Hitler’s Dutch concentration camps is far more difficult to describe; the Old Master painting was her […]

Update on restitution: recent returns

Posted on: November 22, 2019 by Alexander Herman

After my piece last week on restitution, there have been some interesting developments in the area. First of all, a major non-profit organisation, the Open Society Foundations, has pledged US$15 million to assist groups working to restitute African heritage. The money is pledged over a period of four years. As I said when commenting on […]

New issue of IAL’s Art Antiquity and Law journal just released

Posted on: October 24, 2019 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

Marking the beginning of a new academic year, the latest issue of Art Antiquity & Law, IAL’s quarterly journal, is hot off the press and brings a number of articles ranging from topics such as musical instruments and their legal framework to arbitration, art theft, export of cultural goods and the repatriation claims for the […]

Unprecedented decision of German Nazi-looted art panel

Posted on: October 8, 2019 by Alexander Herman

The recent case before the German Advisory Commission involving the painting Uhlans on the March by Hans von Marées was a first of its kind on a number of counts. The Commission is the body that hears claims for the restitution of Nazi-looted artworks. The claim had been brought in 2017 by the beneficiaries of […]