Category Archives: Restitution

Major sale of restituted Nazi-spoliated works tonight

Posted on: November 12, 2018 by Alexander Herman

Tonight, Sotheby’s auction house in New York will hold a major sale of early 20th century European masterworks, including pieces by Kandinsky, Monet, Magritte and Miró. But perhaps most exceptional will be three restituted works that had been spoliated during the Nazi period. Two of these were returned to the heirs of Alfred Flechtheim, a […]

Addressing the challenges in international cultural property crime

Posted on: July 1, 2018 by Emily Gould

The 2018 Transatlantic Cultural Property Crime Symposium held on 28th and 29th June 2018 promised a varied and wide-ranging approach to current issues in heritage crime. It certainly did not disappoint on that score. The conference, organised jointly by Queen Mary University of London, Mount Saint Mary College, New York and the University of Maryland […]

Assistant Director Alexander Herman quoted in New York Times

Posted on: April 5, 2018 by Kiri Cragin Folwell

Assistant Director Alexander Herman was quoted yesterday in the New York Times article U.K. Museum Offers Ethiopia Long-Term Loan of Looted Treasures. Alexander commented on treasures taken from Ethiopia 150 years ago that could be returned on a long-term loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum. He said, “The loan is a powerful method of […]

Culture as a unifier: the Ethiopian manuscripts

Posted on: February 9, 2018 by Alexander Herman

The story begins 150 years ago. In 1868, deep in the deserts of east Africa, a British expedition led by General Robert Napier, was attacking the capital of the Abyssinian Empire, Maqdala, ruled over by King Tewodros. The British were looking to teach Tewodros a lesson for having imprisoned a number of British envoys and […]

Ancient crown to be returned to Turkey in out-of-court settlement

Posted on: December 12, 2017 by Holly Woodhouse

A golden crown dating from the fourth-century BC will be returned to Turkey following an out-of-court settlement between a Turkish national residing in Scotland and the Government of Turkey. The crown, reported to have been valued at £250,000, was in the possession of Edinburgh café owner Murat Aksakalli, who claimed to have inherited it from […]

New York seizure of a “recovered” Persian artefact

Posted on: November 28, 2017 by Alexander Herman and Holly Woodhouse

Last month, on the 21st of October, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (along with local police) seized an ancient Achaemenid Persian bas-relief from the European Fine Art Fair at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. The item was being offered for sale by the London-based art dealer Robert Wace for roughly $1.2 million. The […]

New project to study Unidroit Convention on return of cultural objects

Posted on: October 30, 2017 by Amoury Groenen

On 27 October 2017, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law – hereinafter Unidroit – officially launched the 1995 Unidroit Convention Academic Project (UCAP). The project – which was first announced during a special event on “Promoting and Strengthening the international legal framework for the protection of cultural heritage” held on 28 February […]

Two recent antiquities cases in the US

Posted on: July 7, 2017 by Alexander Herman

A warning for museums? There have been two interesting recent developments relating to antiquities: one regarding allegedly looted antiquities, the other regarding artefacts at the centre of a legal storm that has been brewing for some 15 years; both involve the United States of America. The first is the action brought by US District Attorneys […]

Russian Revolution(s) at the British Library

Posted on: April 28, 2017 by Alexander Herman

An excellent show has begun today at the British Library in London called ‘Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths‘. It offers a view into some of the most important – and iconic – texts and visual images of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that marked not only Russia, but also the world. Instead of focusing solely on […]

Report on Conference for Safeguarding Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas

Posted on: December 9, 2016 by Fionnuala Rogers

“A country is not recognised by its size on the map, but by its culture” Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova quoted His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, former President of the UAE at the International Conference for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas on 2nd and 3rd December […]