The July issue of Art Antiquity and Law has now gone to press and hard copies of the burgundy journal will soon be landing on doorsteps around the world, with digital copies finding their way to inboxes. For those interested in subscribing, please see here. This issue contains articles and case notes on a wide range of issues which we hope will provide food for thought.
Thomas Adlercreutz assesses a Swedish enactment from 1666, a Placat, which sought to protect cultural property within the kingdom, and which has been hailed as “the first antiquities legislation in the world”. However, while this claim is not accurate, the legislation, which protected a wide range of historical monuments, was clearly ahead of its time. It sought to protect “castles, fortresses and cairns, stones with runic inscriptions, tombs and other remains of the old kings and other nobles of Sweden and Gothia (part of today’s Sweden). Such monuments should be treasured as objects which by themselves and by virtue of their creation ought to be saved from desecration and disrepute, to the immortal glory of ancestors and the realm.”
Art loans can give rise to a range of disputes, including damage to the loaned objects, delays in returning the objects and title claims brought against the borrowing institution by persons who assert that the loaned object was wrongfully taken from them many years before. Each country has its own rules and mechanisms for resolving such disputes, and in this issue of the journal Bert Demarsin examines the law and practice of art loans as applied in Belgium.
National claims for the return of cultural assets, often taken during time of war or colonial occupation, continue to be significant and Julia Weiler-Esser describes some of the complex legal issues surrounding China’s claims for the return of items of its cultural heritage which are currently to be found in Germany.
The vexed and important question of the extent to which one artist can, under US copyright legislation, make use of the work of another artist when creating a new work arose in The Warhol Foundation v. Lynn Goldsmith which is noted by Molly Torsen Stech.
Claims for the return of cultural objects taken during the Nazi era continue to work their way through courts around the world. The US Supreme Court has recently issued an opinion in relation to the ‘expropriation exception’ of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act as it applies to a claim brought by heirs of the German art dealers who owned the Welfenschatz (‘Guelph Treasure’). The case is noted by Stephanie Drawdy.
Finally, Adrienne Bauer contributes a review of the second edition of Museums and the Holocaust.
Again, if you would like to subscribe to Art Antiquity and Law, now in its 26th year, please see here.