Latest IAL News

Ancient crown to be returned to Turkey in out-of-court settlement

Posted on: December 12, 2017 by Holly Woodhouse

A golden crown dating from the fourth-century BC will be returned to Turkey following an out-of-court settlement between a Turkish national residing in Scotland and the Government of Turkey. The crown, reported to have been valued at £250,000, was in the possession of Edinburgh café owner Murat Aksakalli, who claimed to have inherited it from […]

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 […]

IAL training course for Qatar Museums

Posted on: November 24, 2017 by Alexander Herman

The Institute of Art & Law was in Doha, Qatar last week providing an in-house training course on art, law and collections management for Qatar Museums, the governmental body that oversees the state-owned museums in the small Persian Gulf state. The course included one day on intellectual property and collections, another on contracts, acquisitions and […]

An important step towards asserting graffiti artists’ rights

Posted on: November 21, 2017 by Emily Gould

A recent finding of a jury in a Federal District Court in Brooklyn, New York City,[1] has opened the door for greater protection for graffiti artists. At the core of disputes between graffiti artists and the real property owners their works adorn often lies the age-old debate as to whose property rights prevail: those of […]

Gurlitt art collection at last goes on display in Germany and Switzerland

Posted on: November 20, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

The world was astonished in 2013, when the German government disclosed the discovery of an unprecedented trove of art works in Munich.  The presumptive owner, Cornelius Gurlitt, who was nearly 80 when he died, had never worked, never had a bank account, nor social security or insurance.  He was a recluse with no known friends or […]

Last-minute development in Berkshire deaccession dispute

Posted on: November 13, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

The Sotheby’s sale of the Berkshire Museum’s artworks, scheduled for the 13th of November, has now been put on hold following the Massachusetts Appeal Court’s decision reversing the previous judgment by the Superior Court, which had cleared the way for the sale. On Friday the 10th of November, the Court of Appeals granted the Attorney […]

Berkshire decision: Rockwell sales to proceed

Posted on: November 9, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

Judge John J. Agostini of the Pittsfield Superior Court gave his decision on Tuesday in the widely publicised deaccession case brought by the sons of Rockwell and others against the Berkshire Museum. As a brief reminder, the Berkshire Museum’s financial situation had been bleak for many years and wealthy donors had all but disappeared.  The […]

Hearing in the Berkshire Museum deaccession case

Posted on: November 3, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

On 1st November, Judge John Agostini, presiding over the Pittsfield Court remarked that people “don’t often see a large crowd here,” but a large crowd had indeed gathered that day. As previously discussed, the case before him involved two separate hearings for preliminary restraining orders against the Berkshire Museum and its Trustees to stop the sale of a […]

New project to study Unidroit Convention on return of cultural objects

Posted on: October 30, 2017 by Amoury Groenen

On 27 October 2017, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law – hereinafter Unidroit – officially launched the 1995 Unidroit Convention Academic Project (UCAP). The project – which was first announced during a special event on “Promoting and Strengthening the international legal framework for the protection of cultural heritage” held on 28 February […]

Legal action brought by Rockwell heirs against Berkshire Museum

Posted on: October 25, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

Following our recent post on the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, legal action has now been taken by Norman Rockwell’s heirs against the Museum in relation to the upcoming auction sale of works from the collection. On 20th October, Norman Rockwell’s sons, Thomas, Jarvis and Peter Rockwell, along with other museum members and donors, filed a […]