Thursday - 02 October 2014

Legal seminars to tackle looted art issues

17 November 2008Written by ATG Reporter

SPECIALIST New York lawyer Charles Goldstein and academic Mara Wantuch will be exploring the issue of Holocaust-related assets in a seminar at the Notre Dame Law Centre in London on November 19.

The penultimate in a series of six lectures, the speakers will approach the question primarily through the medium of cultural assets looted during the period 1933 to 1945, but will also look at remedies in other areas, including bank accounts, liquid currency and insurance policies. And they will also compare Holocaust-related claims to those by other victims (for example, former colonial states, occupied countries, indigenous peoples deprived of sacred or ancestral material).

Mr Goldstein, of Herrick, Feinstein LLP, has been involved in a number of high-profile restitution cases and is also a member of the Commission for Art Recovery.

The seminar, which runs from 6.30-8.30pm, will be at the law centre at 1 Suffolk Street, London SW1 and is being supported by the Ben Uri Gallery, who are actively involved in maintaining a spotlight on provenance research and the issues of restitution through the touring exhibition Auktion 392, Reclaiming the Galerie Stern Dusseldorf.

To reserve a place at this or subsequent lectures listed below, call the Institute of Art and Law on 01982 560666 or email info@ial.uk.com

• There will be another lecture at the law centre on the personal liability of curators.

Life at the Sharp End – The Personal Liability of Curators, Registrars and Museum Managers in the Treatment of Cultural Objects, takes place on December 4 in association with Clyde & Co LLP.

The seminar will look specifically at the personal risks and responsibilities that confront the individual museum officer or freelance curator when conducting professional business.

According to the Institute of Art and Law, many museum practitioners are unaware of recent legal developments that could lead to their being sued personally for dealings in cultural objects or being prosecuted for alleged participation in crimes concerning such property.

The institute also argues that professionals are not fully aware of the ways in which an ill-informed museum manager can increase the risk of legal liability on the part of his employer – with potential knock-on consequences for the manager’s own pocket should the employer museum seek redress.

The seminar will be chaired by Jonathan Wood (Clyde and Company). Speakers include Gilead Cooper QC, Professor Norman Palmer (3 Stone Buildings), Kevin Chamberlain (former legal adviser, Illicit Trade Advisory Panel), and Freda Matassa (freelance museum adviser).

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