Tag Archives: restitution

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 […]

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.[1] However, the alleged heir to the […]

Arts Council England appoints IAL to develop new guidance on restitution and repatriation

Posted on: March 19, 2020 by Kiri Cragin Folwell

On Monday 16 March, Arts Council England announced the appointment of the Institute of Art and Law (IAL) to develop new guidance for museums on the restitution and repatriation of cultural objects. The guidance, which will be published in Autumn 2020, will aim to encourage a more proactive and coordinated approach across UK museums by […]

Heated U.S. restitution suit continues over long-lost Modigliani valued at approximately $30 million

Posted on: February 21, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

Pit a billionaire art collector against a French farmer, add in a mysterious offshore company and a Modernist painting confiscated by the Nazis and missing for over a half-century and – voilà – you have the makings of a highly contentious lawsuit. Those are the facts swirling in an ongoing case involving Seated Man With […]

Action at last? France renews promise to return looted artefacts to Benin

Posted on: January 23, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

President Emmanuel Macron originally promised to return 26 artefacts, currently held in the Musée du Quai Branly–Jacques Chirac in Paris, to Benin in 2018. These objects were taken as spoils from the Kingdom of Dahomey in 1892, as part of French colonial military action. Macron’s promise was made in response to the publication of the […]

Year in review: recap on 2019

Posted on: December 26, 2019 by Alexander Herman

If nothing else, the end of a calendar year offers the chance to step back and review the larger developments in a particular area or field. This is certainly true about the world of art and cultural heritage law where it can often be hard to see the forest for the trees. So many legal […]

Appeal for Restitution of Nazi-Plundered Pissarro Centers on Application of Spanish versus U.S. Law

Posted on: December 24, 2019 by Stephanie Drawdy

A buyer who purchases stolen property does not receive good title – depending on the jurisdiction. The Cassirer family has learned this lesson all too well after nearly two decades attempting to reclaim a Nazi-looted painting by Impressionist Master Camille Pissarro. Earlier this year, a U.S. federal court in California awarded the Pissarro to a […]

The Restitution Dialogues begin!

Posted on: December 19, 2019 by Alexander Herman

Last week, IAL was happy to be part of a conference on restitution at Tel Aviv University in Israel. This is the first of a three-conference series entitled The Restitution Dialogues: A transnational conversion on cultural loss, return and renewal. The second conference will be held in October 2020 at the University of Toronto in Canada, […]

US Restitution Suit Allowed to Proceed Against the Netherlands and Dutch Museums

Posted on: December 12, 2019 by Stephanie Drawdy

Towards the end of Second World War, Adolph Hitler received a birthday gift that likely made his heart swell with pride – a famous Rembrandt. The impact this gift had on a certain elderly woman interned in one of Hitler’s Dutch concentration camps is far more difficult to describe; the Old Master painting was her […]