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Blog Profile / Illicit Cultural Property

Filed Under:Arts
Posts on Regator:800
Posts / Week:2.6
Archived Since:January 18, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Litigation seems inevitable in the Gurlitt case

Next week the Kunstmuseum in Bern will announce if it will accept the bequest of 1300 works of art from Cornelius Gurlitt. Gurlitt’s father was art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, operating during World War II. As a consequence a large number of these works will have possibly been stolen or forcibly taken during the Nazi regime. […]

Varmer on Underwater Cultural Heritage law

Ole Varmer, International Section, Office of General Counsel, NOAA has written a technical examination of Underwater Cultural Heritage law: Closing the Gaps in the Law Protecting Underwater Cultural Heritage on the Outer Continental Shelf, 33 Stan.Envtl.L.J. Show More Summary

Murray Reviews HBO’s ‘Banksy Does New York’

Noel Murray previews tonight’s HBO documentary on Banksy’s New York ‘residence’. One reason for the enduring appeal of Banksy, is the artist gets people thinking about art: Banksy posted pictures of the finished works, but wouldn’t say where they were located, which meant that Banksy fans had to hunt around the city to find them—all while […]

More on ISIS and Illicit Antiquities

Jason Felch has an excellent piece examining the claims that ISIS has made massive profits off of illicit antiquities. He effectively critiques the claim that illicit antiquities have become the second-largest revenue stream for ISIS. Having seen the destruction and looting in Syria, we can see theft and destruction is taking place. But how can we […]

How Law Defines Art

Last month the John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law held its annual symposium. This year the topic was the intersection of art and law. There were a number of great papers examining how art and law overlap. I contributed a short talk on how the law ends up defining art, arguing the legal and the […]

Perhaps art and archaeology should work together

Central Nevada’s Garden Valley is home to wildlife, Native American rock shelters, the White River Narrows archaeological sites, and ancient trails used by the Shoshone and Paiute peoples. In September Senator Harry Reid introduced legislation to put over 800,000 acres off-limits to energy exploration and exploitation there. The Bill has been referred to Committeee, and […]

Ninth Circuit to hear Artist’s Resale Rights Appeal

In 2001 a number of artists including Chuck Close, Laddie John Dill, and the estates of Robert Graham and Sam Francis brought suit against auction houses and eBay to receive royalties they had been owed under California’s Resale Royalty Act. That Moral Rights legislation provided that visual artists should receive 5% of the resale price […]

A museum asks the audience to find a forgery

The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News Virginia has crassly bowed to the need for more visitors and made the decision to exhibit a number of works by James E. Buttersworth alongside a forgery of his work by Ken Perenyi. The attraction with forged art knows no bounds it seems. How would the artist feel to […]

James Cuno Still Critical of Repatriation

James Cuno, President of the Getty Trust, has authored a short essay revisiting his arguments against repatriation. Those familiar with his arguments will see many of the same kinds of arguments he has made in the past. Mainly he criticizes repatriation as an exercise in nationalism: Such claims on the national identity of antiquities are at […]

The Consequences of Cultural Heritage Disputes

Disputes over works of art continue to hamper relationships between major Museums and nations of origin. One example is what appears to be a strained relationship between Turkey and the Met. The Met is planning a major exhibition on the Seljuk Islamic empire. But the show looks to be hampered by Turkey’s cultural embargo which […]

Review of “Art and Craft”, the Landis documentary

We might forgive the casual observer’s relaxed views of art forgers. Perhaps because many of us, on some level, love an outlaw. Tales of art forgers have been popular: Clifford Irving’s Fake! (1969) examined the life of notorious art faker Elmyr de Höry. Orson Welles’ documentary examination of creation and storytelling F for Fake (1973) still cuts to the […]

Antiquities Looting and ISIS

How much has antiquities looting contributed to funding ISIS? There are a lot of speculative reports out there, but due to the nature of the illicit antiquities trade, and the dearth of first hand reporting the situation remains murky. There seems to be a good opportunity given what we know about the unscrupulous portions of […]

Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition

DePaul is once again hosting its terrific National Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition. This is a terrific tournament, in its sixth year, with rounds argued in the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. If you are a law student interested in meeting some cultural heritage lawyers, and getting some great moot court experience, this is […]

More on ISIS and the illicit antiquities trade

Three academics (Amr Al-Azm,  Salam al-Kuntar, and Brian I. Daniels) who have been training Syrian preservationists in Southern Turkey have some more anecdotal insights into how deep the connection between ISIS and the illicit antiquities trade is in an OpEd appearing in the International NY Times: In extensive conversations with those working and living in areas currently […]

Losing California’s ancient petroglyphs

Central California PBS affiliate KVIE has a segment showing and discussing the theft and destruction of ancient petroglyphs from California. It shows some of the sites themselves, the damage they have suffered, and a good overview of the laws protecting these sites. The segment really hits its stride in pointing out the disconnect between laws protecting […]

What can be done in Syria?

Ursula Lindsey reports for the Chronicle of Higher Education on what foreign academics are doing to combat the looting and destruction in Syria: Scholars can do little to stop the fighting and looting, but they have created blogs, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts to monitor the destruction and raise awareness about it. By sharing […]

Church theft of a Guercino in Modena

Holidays and festivals always bring increased risks to works of art. Perhaps because the usual traffic of locals and visitors is reduced, and there aren’t as many who might notice something that would be odd or uncharacteristic. I’m not sure if that is one of the contributing factors to the theft of this Guercino depicting St. […]

Note on Cariou v. Prince

The Harvard Law Review has a tidy summary of the recent Second Circuit decision in Cariou v. Prince. From the note: Recently, in Cariou v. Prince, the Second Circuit held that a series of photographic collages described as “appropriation art” qualified as fair use despite the fact that both the collage and the original photographs served similar expressive […]

What’s at stake in Syria

Its not just ancient sites and archaeology that are at risk in Syria. The NPR program Fresh Air today featured a terrific interview with a former punk band drummer who was able to capture recordings of some ancient religious chants in Christian and Sufi communities in Syria. He was able to this before the outbreak […]

Stolen art found in commercial storage?

Perhaps commercial art storage institutions need to be held to a higher standard. Daniel Grant has a provocative piece in the Gallerist, exploring the possibility that a good deal of stolen art may be found in storage facilities like bank vaults or art storage facilities: The past decade has seen significant growth in the art […]

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