Institute of Art & Law

The Institute of Art and Law is an educational organisation giving knowledge and perspective on the law relating to cultural heritage a concept which includes art, antiquities, archives, archaeology, architecture, monuments, treasure and much, much more.  IAL’s educational remit is fulfilled through publishing and courses. It convenes distance learning and intensive courses (both public and in-house) on art and museums law, as well as seminars, study groups and conferences in the United Kingdom and abroad. It also publishes monographs and commentaries on all aspects of the law relating to cultural heritage, in addition to a quarterly periodical, Art Antiquity and Law, now in its twentieth year.

The law of cultural heritage is a wide remit: it encompasses a vast range of subject matter, from copyright and art theft, to protection of buried treasure and shipwrecks, return of human remains from museum collections, restitution of illegally exported antiquities and art wrongfully taken in time of war including Holocaust-looted, archives and religious objects, through to planning regulations protecting listed buildings and scheduled monuments, and the organisation of international blockbuster exhibitions.

Internationally recognised, IAL delivers, through its educational and publishing programmes, a depth of knowledge unrivalled elsewhere.

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Upcoming Events

  • Diploma in Art Profession Law and Ethics

    The next intense five-day long version of the course will be held in London in the week commencing 26th September 2016. Please see below if you would like to register. Course Description An intensive, interactive course from the Institute of Art and Law designed to introduce both art professionals and lawyers to the specific legal […]

  • Diploma in Law and Collections Management

    This five-day course will next be held in London in the week commencing 17th October 2016. Please see below if you would like to register. Course Description DipLCM is a diploma course for museum personnel. Diligent management of collections and claims is vital to museum professionals. No project can be secure unless its architects know […]

Latest News

  • Charles Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman; Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons: By The original uploader was Sonett72 at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

    An end to ‘bargain basement’ design furniture

    Anyone keen to net a cut price replica Charles Eames chair, a bargain ‘Arco-style’ lamp or a reproduction Barcelona chair would be well-advised to act quickly. A change to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 which came into force last Thursday (28th July) will mean that in six months’ time, copies of such modern […]

    Published: August 7, 2016
  • European Court rejects Elgin Marbles claim

    We had earlier this year reported on a claim lodged at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg by an independent Athenian association seeking the return of the Parthenon Marbles. The claim of the Syllogos Ton Athinaion (or ‘Athenians’ Association’) has been rejected by the Court on admissibility grounds. In a short ruling dated 23 June 2016 […]

    Published: August 1, 2016
  • 02_1639

    Switzerland: legal dispute over Alberto Giacometti collection

    Following a host of recent articles regarding the seizure of a Giacometti collection, this blog aims to shed some light on the case: On 24 February 2014, the State Prosecutor of the Canton of Graubünden seized as a precautionary measure a collection of Giacometti works from the Bündner Kunstmuseum. The Paris-based Fondation Alberto et Annette […]

    Published: July 18, 2016

Latest Publications

  • UNESCO

    Commentary on the 1970 UNESCO Convention

    (Second Edition) by Patrick J. O’Keefe, 2007, 217 Pages. ISBN: 1903987164 The first edition of this Commentary was published in 2000 to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the UNESCO Convention. Since then, the Convention has been ratified by many more States, including the United Kingdom, Japan and Switzerland, and the Convention is acquiring greater […]

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  • russiacover

    Returned from Russia: Nazi Archival Plunder in Western Europe and Recent Restitution Issues with 2013 Afterword

    Edited by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted, F.J. Hoogewoud and Eric Ketelaar During the Second World War German agencies plundered the European archival heritage – from military intelligence and national security records to files from Masonic lodges and Jewish Communities and personal papers of countless luminaries. At war’s end the Red Army and Soviet trophy scouts found […]

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  • festfront

    Realising Cultural Heritage Law: Festschrift for Patrick O’Keefe

    Edited by Lyndel Prott, Ruth Redmond-Cooper and Stephen Urice January 2013 £30 ISBN: 978-1-903987-30-8 Contents: Making a Statement for Heritage Preservation: Ratifying the 2001 UNESCO Convention David Blackman Models of Implementation of the 1970 UNESCO Convention: Can Their Effectiveness be Determined? Patty Gerstenblith The Wishes of the Dead as a Reference Point in Law Christopher […]

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