Category Archives: United Kingdom

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 […]

Return to donor: Tate to deaccession Bacon archive

Posted on: July 20, 2022 by Joanna Owens

The Tate is to take the unusual step of deaccessioning from its collection and returning to the donor material from the studio of Francis Bacon, once described as the Tate Archive’s most important acquisition ever and suggested to be worth around £20m. The Tate is one of a number of UK National Museums governed by national legislation, whose […]

Benin Bronzes Joint Declaration signed between Germany and Nigeria… but what about the UK?

Posted on: July 5, 2022 by Alexander Herman

At the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin on Friday, a joint declaration on the return of the Benin Bronzes was signed by Germany’s Foreign Minister and Commissioner for Culture and Media, and by Nigeria’s Minister of Culture and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. By all accounts, it was an emotional occasion. ‘Today we have […]

Fabergé in London – Russia sanctions and immunity from seizure

Posted on: May 25, 2022 by Alexander Herman

On 8 May, the exhibition Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution concluded at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Several of the pieces on display had been lent by collections in Russia, namely those of the Kremlin in Moscow and the Hermitage in St Petersburg. The exhibition, which opened on 20 November 2021, began in a […]

Whistler’s Woman in White through the lens of copyright history

Posted on: May 16, 2022 by Elena Cooper

In February a new exhibition opened at the Royal Academy of Arts in London about the painter and printmaker James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903): Whistler’s Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan, which runs until 22 May 2022, before moving to the National Gallery of Art, Washington (3 July to 22 October 2022). The centre-piece of the […]

Church court refuses to allow Jesus College, Cambridge to remove memorial

Posted on: March 28, 2022 by Richard Harwood QC

In The Rustat Memorial, Jesus College, Cambridge [2022] ECC Ely, the college authorities proposed to remove a memorial to a seventeenth century benefactor, Tobias Rustat, from the grade I listed chapel. The concern was Rustat’s involvement in the slave trade, as an investor in two companies, and the effect which retaining his memorial in the […]

A feat of Endurance: lost vessel of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton found 107 years after sinking

Posted on: March 24, 2022 by Paul Stevenson

Media outlets last week revealed that scientists had found the wreck of Endurance more than a century after she sank in the Weddell Sea, a find many had claimed to be impossible. The find has been hailed by marine archaeologists around the world. The BBC reports that Bensun Mound, a member of the expedition team, […]

Amazing discoveries in England’s smallest county

Posted on: February 10, 2022 by Emily Gould

Last September, I had the pleasure of sharing on the blog the wonderful story of the return of a long-lost treasure to the local museum of my home county of Rutland in the UK’s East Midlands. Little did I think that less than six months later, I would again be writing about England’s smallest county, […]

Court decision on ‘technicality’ prevents claim over allegedly fake antiquity

Posted on: September 1, 2021 by Alexander Herman

On 9 August a decision came down from the High Court of England and Wales that imparts an important lesson about limitation periods and related timelines for the service of proceedings. The decision also reveals useful information about a particular dispute over allegedly fake antiquities, showing just what happens when negotiations between buyer and seller […]

New guidance from UK Government on money laundering risks for the art trade

Posted on: July 20, 2021 by Emily Gould and Alyssa Weitkamp

On 28th June, the UK Government published further guidance on the application of anti-money laundering (AML) rules to the UK art trade. As many readers will be aware, since January 2020, anti-money laundering regulations have applied to art market participants, or AMPs (traders or intermediaries involved in the sale or purchase of works of art […]