Category Archives: Recovery

New York seizure of a “recovered” Persian artefact

Posted on: November 28, 2017 by Alexander Herman and Holly Woodhouse

Last month, on the 21st of October, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (along with local police) seized an ancient Achaemenid Persian bas-relief from the European Fine Art Fair at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. The item was being offered for sale by the London-based art dealer Robert Wace for roughly $1.2 million. The […]

Two recent antiquities cases in the US

Posted on: July 7, 2017 by Alexander Herman

A warning for museums? There have been two interesting recent developments relating to antiquities: one regarding allegedly looted antiquities, the other regarding artefacts at the centre of a legal storm that has been brewing for some 15 years; both involve the United States of America. The first is the action brought by US District Attorneys […]

Report on Conference for Safeguarding Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas

Posted on: December 9, 2016 by Fionnuala Rogers

“A country is not recognised by its size on the map, but by its culture” Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova quoted His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, former President of the UAE at the International Conference for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas on 2nd and 3rd December […]

New EU Directive on return of cultural objects now implemented

Posted on: January 12, 2016 by Alexander Herman

As of last month, the UK has brought into force the necessary regulations to implement the 2014/60 EU Directive on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State. In fact, the deadline for all EU Member States to bring about this change in their national law was 18 December 2015. […]

Cultural heritage protection events in London

Posted on: December 1, 2015 by Alexander Herman

There was a very interesting talk last night on cultural heritage and international law delivered by Roger O’Keefe, professor of international law at University College London. Prof O’Keefe’s paper, presented as the Harry Weinrebe Annual Memorial Lecture at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), was entitled ‘The Protection of Cultural Property, the Maintenance of International Peace […]

Behind the scenes of the Subhash Kapoor operation

Posted on: July 30, 2015 by Ruth Redmond-Cooper

An interesting and in-depth article appeared last week in the New York Times about Subhash Kapoor’s antiquities smuggling operation. This involved looted antiquities that had been taken from a number of cultural and religious sites throughout India, then sold to unsuspecting buyers. These were buyers of importance, including the National Gallery of Australia, which had purchased […]

Art restitution and the Duke of Wellington

Posted on: July 24, 2015 by Alexander Herman

For those in or around London this summer, it may be worthwhile to stop by Apsley House at Hyde Park Corner to see the former residence of the Duke of Wellington (known as ‘Number 1 London’). But what many people don’t know is that the Iron Duke was a formidable proponent of art restitution. Following his victory […]

New development in Cassirer litigation in California

Posted on: July 17, 2015 by Alexander Herman

The dispute before the California courts between the Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation and the descendants of Lily Cassirer Neubauer has now entered its second decade. Neubauer was forced to sell a painting by Pissarro before fleeing Germany in 1939 and her heirs now claim that it should be returned to them from the Spanish Foundation, the painting’s current possessor. The action brought […]

Restitution of Nazi Loot: The Max Stern Project

Posted on: October 1, 2014 by Alexander Herman

A fascinating story on the work of the Max Stern Restitution Project has appeared in the latest issue of The Walrus and is thankfully available online. The Stern Project, run out of Concordia University in Montreal, Canada has the task of reconstituting the art collection of the famed Düsseldorf dealer, Max Stern. Stern, who was Jewish, fled Nazi Germany in 1937 […]

Appeal of decision on Rupert Bunny painting

Posted on: May 16, 2014 by Alexander Herman

This week, the Court of Appeal of Victoria in Australia, rendered an appeal decision regarding a painting by the celebrated Australian impressionist Rupert Bunny. The work has sometimes been referred to as ‘Female Reading in Sun”. The case, Levy v. Watt [2014] VSCA 60, which came down on 14 May 2014, involved an analysis of […]