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Restitution claims


Louvre

Louvre and Sotheby’s team up to trace provenance of artworks bought by museum during Second World War

25 January 2022

The Louvre has agreed a partnership with Sotheby's to research the provenance of artworks acquired between 1933-45 by the museum.

 Silver and gilt stag’s head rhyton

New York collector given lifetime ban after four-year antiquities investigation

13 December 2021

One of New York’s most prolific antiquities collectors has surrendered 180 ‘looted’ items from his collection and been barred for life from acquiring antiquities again.

Priester family Vienna apartment

Restituted Priester collection reunited before sale takes £1.5m at Christie’s

11 December 2021

Part of an art collection once owned by a Jewish family who fled Nazi persecution has been sold at Christie’s.

A c.1600-1610 elephant automaton clock

Elephant in the room: an exceptional clock

18 October 2021

A rare 17th century elephant automaton clock was the star of the Christie’s New York Exceptional sale when it sold at $2.15m (£1.58m) to a private buyer.

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White gloves for Oppenheimer sale of Meissen porcelain at Sotheby’s

20 September 2021

Every lot of a collection of Meissen porcelain, restituted earlier this year to the heirs of Dr Franz Oppenheimer, was sold in a recent US sale.

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News In Brief – including the outcome of the Guennol Stargazer court case in New York

20 September 2021

A round-up of art and antiques news from the previous seven days, including the US ruling on whether Turkey could take ownership of the Guennol Stargazer.

Horn beakers

Saleroom pulls ‘looted artefacts from Maqdala’ after Ethiopian appeal

21 June 2021

A group of Ethiopian works of art believed to have been taken during the Battle of Maqdala in 1868 has been withdrawn from a Dorset auction after the Embassy of Ethiopia intervened.

Banquet still-life

Feasting and making merry at Christie's auction

21 June 2021

Restituted pictures remain a key area of supply for fresh Old Masters and Christie’s evening sale on July 8 includes two Dutch Golden Age paintings.

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London charity is beneficiary of restituted art

14 June 2021

A sight loss charity in London has benefited from a surprise windfall after pictures restituted to the estate of a benefactor were sold at auction in Vienna.

Old Master interior picture

Two Dutch Old Master pictures recovered by the Monuments Men and eventually restituted to Jewish businessman’s heirs come to auction

09 June 2021

Old Master pictures from the Dutch ‘Golden Age’ will be offered as part of Christie’s Classic Week of sales in July.

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Benin plaque withdrawn from auction after curator raises provenance questions

03 May 2021

The increasingly contentious issue of selling Benin works of art at auction raised its head again last week after an ancestral plaque catalogued as 16th or 17th century was withdrawn from an East Sussex sale.

Meissen clock

Rare $2m Meissen collection restituted to Jewish family comes to market in New York this autumn

28 April 2021

A collection of Meissen porcelain assembled by the Oppenheimer family and recently restituted to their heirs is coming to auction this September.

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Pick of the week: Jumbo price from Rothberger collection

14 December 2020

The Anschluss of 1938 between Nazi Germany and Austria had a devastating effect on Vienna’s Jewish population.

Bernardo Bellotto's view of Dresden

Sotheby’s to offer restituted view of Dresden acquired by Hitler's art dealer

21 July 2020

An Old Master painting restored to the family of its original Jewish owner will be offered at Sotheby’s next week with an estimate of £3m-4m.

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Descendants win fight for justice for Carl Spitzweg painting

08 June 2020

Painting went through lengthy ownership saga before being returned to family and then sold.

Parthenon marbles in the British Museum

Institute of Art and Law to update guidance on restitution cases

19 March 2020

Arts Council England has appointed the Institute of Art and Law to help form new guidance for institutions around the thorny issues of restitution and repatriation of cultural objects.

Sotheby's auction Camille Pissarro

Recovered works top Sotheby’s modern art auction

06 February 2020

Pictures restored to the family of an important Jewish collector whose property had been seized by the Nazis led Sotheby’s latest evening sale of Impressionist and Modern art in London.

Camille Pissarro's  Gelee blanche

Nazi-looted paintings by Pissarro and Signac that entered the Musée d’Orsay to be offered at Sotheby’s

16 January 2020

Three Impressionist paintings believed to be worth over £14m that were taken by the Nazis during the Second World War but recently restituted to the heirs of a French-Jewish art collector will be offered at Sotheby’s in London next month.

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The changing face of antiquities

23 December 2019

Given the growing number of claims made by national governments and heritage authorities when it comes to the antiquities sector, 2020 looks set to be another year of further controversies. Here, lawyer Fred Clark, an associate in Boodle Hatfield LLP’s art team, surveys the legal landscape of the ancient art market and looks ahead to what may well become a more regulated world.

Joshua Reynolds portrait

‘Stolen’ Joshua Reynolds portrait at centre of controversy between UK family and Japanese museum

12 September 2019

A Japanese museum has claimed it bought a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds “in good faith and without fault from a respectable art dealer” after it was identified as being stolen from a UK stately home.