Tag Archives: loot

Gurlitt trove eludes restitution efforts owing to unresolved provenance questions

Posted on: July 1, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

The full story of the billion-dollar art collection gathered by Nazi art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt during World War II may never be told. After years spent trying to determine the collection’s history, the prior owners of a large majority of those works remain unknown. This is a story we have followed with interest throughout its […]

Fifty years on: the meaning of the 1970 UNESCO Convention

Posted on: June 18, 2020 by Alexander Herman

Amidst the sad turmoil (for some) and the uncertainty (for all) brought on by the pandemic and the resultant lockdown, it is perhaps more forgivable than usual to miss an important anniversary. I am referring here to the fact that 2020 marks 50 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting […]

Recent report on the illicit antiquities trade receives mixed response

Posted on: June 10, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

A UNESCO-backed research project into the illicit trade in cultural property in Germany has recently released its final report. The ‘ILLICID Project’, launched by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, aimed to increase understanding of illicit trafficking networks and financial flows linked to organised crime and terrorism. However, the findings of the final […]

Multi-million dollar collection remains with the Netherlands after heirs lose U.S. and Dutch claims

Posted on: May 13, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

Updated: May 27, 2020 Efforts to recover an art collection sold in the Netherlands during Nazi reign have met with a fruitless end – yet again. A U.S. District Court recently decided that the sale of the collection constituted a “genocidal taking” involving duress in violation of international law. However, the alleged heir to the […]

Application of HEAR Act brought into question by U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review Picasso restitution case

Posted on: April 17, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

The U.S. Supreme Court seemed inclined to fold its arms and look out the proverbial window when it recently refused to review a case that time-barred a restitution claim over a Picasso sold in late 1930s Europe. By its refusal, America’s highest court has raised questions over the application of the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery […]

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 […]

UK Museums Bid to Save Titanic Artefacts

Posted on: September 26, 2018 by Holly Woodhouse

Hedge funds are competing with a consortium of British museums to purchase 5,500 artefacts salvaged from the Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912 with the loss of 1,500 lives. The current owner of the artefacts, Premier Exhibitions, is selling them after filing for bankruptcy in the United States in 2016.  The […]

Culture as a unifier: the Ethiopian manuscripts

Posted on: February 9, 2018 by Alexander Herman

The story begins 150 years ago. In 1868, deep in the deserts of east Africa, a British expedition led by General Robert Napier, was attacking the capital of the Abyssinian Empire, Maqdala, ruled over by King Tewodros. The British were looking to teach Tewodros a lesson for having imprisoned a number of British envoys and […]

Nazi-looted art lecture by Nicholas O’Donnell

Posted on: September 14, 2017 by Alexander Herman

Along with the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, we were happy to host US attorney Nicholas O’Donnell last night for a talk on Nazi-looted art and the ongoing attempts at reclaiming lost works from museums and private collections in the US. Nicholas was in London promoting his new book, […]

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill scrutinised by Lords at Committee Stage

Posted on: July 4, 2016 by Emily Gould

It was heartening to see the strong support for the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill 2016 when it was debated at the Committee Stage in the House of Lords last week (28 June). The Lords discussed at length, and with some passion, the amendments tabled by a number of peers. The proposals for changes came […]