Category Archives: Art Recovery

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Nazi-Looted Art: Cranach Paintings to Remain at Norton Simon Museum

Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Adam[1] and Eve[2] have hung in the Norton Simon Museum at Pasadena for nearly 50 years. Since 2007, though, they have been the subject of a dispute between the museum and Marei von Saher. Von Saher is the daughter-in-law and surviving heir of Jacques Goudstikker, a Jewish art dealer who fled … Continue Reading

Persepolis Collection:  Iranian Artifacts Immune from Execution

This version contains a revision On February 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision,[1] affirming the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s 2016 decision[2] that held that a collection of ca. 30,000 ancient Persian artifacts[3] that have been on loan to the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute … Continue Reading

Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation: Application of Spanish Law of Adverse Possession Vests Title to Pissaro Painting in Spanish Museum, Not Original Owner’s Heirs

                In 1926, Lilly Cassirer Neubauer inherited a painting by Camille Pissaro, Rue St. Honore, apres midi, effet de pluie (1897).  As German Jews, Lilly and her husband were subjected to the discriminatory racial laws of the Third Reich.  They fled Germany in 1939, but as a condition … Continue Reading

The Restitution, Repatriation, and Return of Cultural Objects: Von Saher: Court Says Statute of Limitations for Recovery of Stolen Art Runs Anew Against Subsequent Purchasers/Transferees

Nearly two decades have passed since more than 40 governments and many international non-governmental organizations gathered in Washington, DC, for the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets (the “Washington Conference”). The states attending that conference endorsed a set of 11 principles, known as the Washington Conference Principles, broadly calling upon states, institutions, individuals, and others to … Continue Reading

The Restitution, Repatriation, and Return of Cultural Objects: Restitution of Cultural Objects Taken During World War II (Part II)

This article is the second in a five-part series discussing the restitution, repatriation, and return of cultural objects. Each part addresses a different category of return. The first article in the series available here, addressed the restitution of stolen cultural objects. This article is the continuation of Part 1 and discusses developments in the restitution … Continue Reading

The Restitution, Repatriation, and Return of Cultural Objects: Restitution of Cultural Objects Taken During World War II (Part I)

This article is the second in a five-part series discussing the restitution, repatriation, and return of cultural objects.  Each part addresses a different category of return.  The first article, available here, addressed the restitution of stolen cultural objects.  This article discusses developments in the restitution of cultural objects taken during World War II.  The remaining articles … Continue Reading

The Restitution, Repatriation, and Return of Cultural Objects: When Objects Go Back

An important and frequently misunderstood development in the law of art and cultural property in recent decades has been the elaboration in national laws, international instruments, and customary international law of the rights of individuals, groups, nations or other entities to obtain the return of cultural objects that were taken from them, their ancestors or … Continue Reading

Botticelli’s ‘Madonna and Child’: The Risks of Art Consignment

More than seven years is a long time to wait for a loaned painting to be returned. But after such a long wait, Sandro Botticelli’s Madonna and Child (1485) is being returned to its owner, Kraken Investments Limited (Kraken).   Kraken had consigned the painting to a gallery for sale, but the gallery’s bankruptcy intervened. … Continue Reading

Nazi-Looted Art: Cornelius Gurlitt and Toren v. Federal Republic of Germany and Free State of Bavaria

The Third Reich’s policy of seizing works of art to build the collection of a planned Fuhrermuseum to be constructed in Linz, Austria, or (for the modern works the regime deemed “entartete Kunst” (degenerate art)) is, by now, well-known. The Rape of Europa (Lynn H. Nicholas, 1994), The Lost Museum (Hector Feliciano, 1995), and The … Continue Reading
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