Latest IAL News

A Listed Building – or is it? The recent Court of Appeal judgement in Dill

Posted on: January 16, 2019 by Rebecca Reynolds

While owning and living in a listed building may be a quaint dream for some of us, they do come with a fair amount of constraints, restrictions and headaches when it comes to undertaking repairs, renovations or even selling items held within them. Many an owner of a large stately home has found himself on […]

Looking ahead to 2019

Posted on: January 4, 2019 by Alexander Herman

Welcome to 2019. In many ways, this year may reverse some of the developments of 2018 – at least insofar as the art law world is concerned. The reason for this is that a number of important cases decided in 2018 are under appeal, with the appeals to be heard (and likely decided) in the […]

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. […]

Graduation of first cohort of Art, Business and Law students

Posted on: December 19, 2018 by Emily Gould

  We were delighted to take part in the graduation ceremony yesterday for the first cohort of students of the Art, Business and Law LLM offered by the IAL in conjunction with Queen Mary University of London. In the splendid surroundings of QMUL’s People’s Palace, our students joined over 200 others to receive their LLM […]

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 […]

Art of the view: Tate Modern and the privacy of its neighbours

Posted on: December 6, 2018 by Rebecca Reynolds

When Tate Modern opened its new extension in the summer of 2016, the Blavatnik Building, the art world applauded and celebrated the new space which allows for increased permanent and temporary exhibition space, another restaurant as well as education rooms. However, there is now a more contentious side to this building. The building has a […]

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 […]

Planning for the unthinkable: Protecting cultural assets in extremis

Posted on: December 3, 2018 by Emily Gould

It barely seems possible that we are fast approaching the first anniversary of the UK’s ratification of the Hague Convention 1954. 12th December 2017 marked the entry into force of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Act 2017, which saw the UK, finally, making a formal commitment to adhere to the Convention’s obligations for the protection […]

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 […]