Taking it Personally: The Individual Liability of Museum Personnel

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Edited by Ruth Redmond-Cooper and Norman Palmer

ISBN 9781903987254 |  November 2011 | 152 pages

Art litigation is an inventive field and nowhere are its claimants more resourceful than in the search for new defendants and heads of claim. This collection of essays explores an initiative that has begun to occupy increasing attention in modern claims against museums: the visiting of personal liability upon individual members of museum staff for acts and omissions related to their employment.

Courts in common law jurisdictions are increasingly willing to perceive and enforce both national and individual rights to recover looted art, with the result that the range of potential defendants is correspondingly widened. Trustees, directors and curators may all now be targeted by claimants – particularly where there is concern as to the financial resources of the employing museum. Moreover, modern legislation creating offences related to cultural property has shown an increasing tendency to expose senior officers of cultural institutions to the threat of criminal prosecution.

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