Tag Archives: Switzerland

Switzerland provides financial support to provenance research projects

Posted on: January 25, 2016 by Nina M. Neuhaus

Switzerland was one of the 44 states that approved the Washington Principles on Nazi-confiscated Art in December 1998. By doing so, the Swiss Confederation obliged itself to identify artworks in its collections that were looted during the Second World War, undertake efforts to locate their pre-War owners or legal successors, and take measures to achieve […]

Switzerland: revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Act will impact art dealers

Posted on: August 31, 2015 by Nina M. Neuhaus

On 1 January 2016, the revised Anti-Money Laundering Act (‘AMLA’) will enter into force. The impetus for this revision was the implementation of the Revised Financial Action Task Force Recommendations of 2012. The Financial Action Task Force (‘FATF’) is an inter-governmental organisation which was established by the G-7 Summit in Paris in 1989. Its goal is to […]

Update and thoughts on Gurlitt

Posted on: August 6, 2015 by Alexander Herman

It has been some time since we discussed the Gurlitt affair in these pages. And what has happened since? Well, the challenge to Gurlitt’s will by his cousin Uta Werner has continued on. It is now before the Higher Regional Court in Munich (Oberlandesgericht München) and just last month the Court requested a psychological opinion concerning Gurlitt’s competence […]

Austria joins UNESCO 1970 Convention

Posted on: August 2, 2015 by Ruth Redmond-Cooper

Just two weeks ago Austria ratified the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. This brings the tally of States Parties to the Convention to an impressive total of 129 (out of 193 countries in the world). The non-ratifying States include mainly those of South-East […]

Customs Warehouses in Switzerland: An Introduction

Posted on: May 4, 2015 by Nina M. Neuhaus

A recent art fraud scandal has put Mr Yves Bouvier into the media spotlight. Mr Bouvier, also known as the ‘Freeport King’, oversees freeport operations in Geneva, Luxembourg, and Singapore. He is the largest private shareholder of Ports Francs & Entreports de Geneve SA, the company running the freeport in Geneva. (The majority shareholder is […]

Da Vinci Portrait seized from vault in Switzerland

Posted on: February 11, 2015 by Nina M. Neuhaus

The Swiss police have seized a 61 x 45.5cm oil painting depicting the marquise Isabella d’Este from a vault of a trust company in Lugano, the southern part of Switzerland bordering Italy. Isabella d’Este, an influential figure in arts and politics during the Italian Renaissance, allegedly commissioned the portrait from Leonardo da Vinci. The portrait, […]

Switzerland limits trade in Syrian cultural property

Posted on: January 14, 2015 by Nina M. Neuhaus

On 17 December 2014, the Swiss Federal Council extended the existing sanctions against Syria by introducing a trade ban on cultural objects which were stolen or illegally exported from Syria. The EU had introduced a similar trade ban on 13 December 2013. According to Article 11c, which was inserted by the EU Council Regulation No 1332/2013 […]

Switzerland Returns Illegally Imported Terracotta Statue To China

Posted on: December 24, 2014 by Nina M. Neuhaus

The Swiss Customs Authorities at the Basel Airport discovered the 47cm tall statue in an inconspicuous parcel that was sent from the UK to a private individual in Switzerland. They immediately informed the Specialised Body for the International Transfer of Cultural Property at the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (‘Specialised Body’) of their discovery. The […]

Bern Museum Accepts Gurlitt Bequest

Posted on: November 24, 2014 by Nina M. Neuhaus

Alea iacta est…  The decision in the Causa Gurlitt was highly anticipated. On Saturday, the board of trustees of the Museum of Fine Arts Bern (‘Museum’) decided to accept the bequest of the late Cornelius Gurlitt. This morning, the decision was publicly announced in a joint press meeting by the German government, the State of […]

New psychiatric report casts doubt upon Gurlitt will

Posted on: November 20, 2014 by Nina M. Neuhaus

On 26th November, the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Fine Arts Bern will decide whether to accept the bequest of Cornelius Gurlitt. Unexpectedly, one of Gurlitt’s two cousins, Uta Werner, has threatened to challenge the  will. Her claim is based on a psychiatric report, which she had commissioned from Dr Helmut Hausner, chief physician at […]