Latest IAL News

Museums, restitution and the new Charities Act

Posted on: September 25, 2022 by Alexander Herman

An important change to charity law that will affect the ability of museums in England and Wales to return collection items was passed by Parliament in February as part of the Charities Act 2022 and is due to come into force this autumn. Charity law is especially important in the cultural sector because most museums […]

Dismissal of Heirs’ Claims for Guelph Treasure

Posted on: September 12, 2022 by Stephanie Drawdy

Heirs of German Jewish dealers who seek restitution of a collection of Christian reliquaries known as the Welfenschatz (or Guelph Treasure) have received a stinging dismissal of their suit from a Washington D.C. district court. The case made headlines in 2021 after it was remanded by the U.S. Supreme Court to the D.C. Circuit for […]

NFTs as ‘property’ – in art and law

Posted on: September 2, 2022 by Emily Gould

While some high profile artists have been somewhat underwhelmed by the NFT phenomenon, others have been much more eager to dip their toes into NFT waters. Undeterred by naysayers such as David Hockney, who in one interview, deemed NFTs as for ‘crooks and swindlers’, artists such as Damien Hirst have embraced the new technology. Hirst’s […]

NY Law Calls For Museum Transparency About Nazi-Loot

Posted on: August 22, 2022 by Stephanie Drawdy

From the Adirondacks to the Lower East Side, New York museums face a new legal requirement for their collections – a measure of candor about objects traded during Hitler’s terror reign. On 10 August 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a multi-faceted package of legislation “aimed at honoring and supporting Holocaust survivors”. Effective immediately, […]

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 […]

New issue of Art Antiquity and Law out soon

Posted on: August 4, 2022 by Ruth Redmond-Cooper

The second issue of 2022 from Art Antiquity and Law has now gone to press and hard copy will be sent out to subscribers next week. This issue covers a range of topics: Emily Gould, Assistant Director of the Institute of Art and Law, provides a detailed examination of the law relating to NFTs. These […]

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 […]

Copyright cases in the spotlight

Posted on: July 1, 2022 by Emily Gould

Perhaps it’s my imagination, but the recent delivery of the IAL’s Diploma in Intellectual Property and Collections seems to have coincided with the emergence of a series of fascinating copyright cases. Each time I’ve planned to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to offer a few thoughts on one intriguing matter, another seems […]

UK’s Ivory Act 2018 finally in force

Posted on: June 16, 2022 by Emily Gould

It’s probably fair to say that not all of our predictions for 2022 in our traditional inaugural blog post of the year have yet come to fruition – or indeed, will do so before the year is out. On one topic, however, we called it right: that this year would finally see the UK’s Ivory […]