November 30, 2006
A response from Lord Howarth of Newport to the previous letter in The Times about the implications of the new Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill. It is worth bearing in mind that this is the same Alan Howarth who as an MP frequently spoke out that the Elgin Marbles should remain in Britain, claiming that to return them to Greece would impoverish the world.
Letters to the Editor
November 29, 2006
Law on displays of looted art
Sir, The Government’s proposals would not promote an “international free-for-all” or give “complete immunity” to those who wish to display what may be stolen and looted art in public exhibitions (letter, Nov 28). Immunity from seizure will not mean immunity from suit.
Department for Culture, Media and Sport guidance on due diligence, together with the code of practice of the Museums Association and the principles promulgated by the National Museum Directors Conference, makes it clear that museums and galleries should borrow items only if they are “legally and ethically sound”. The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill allows the Secretary of State to withdraw approval, and therefore immunity from seizure, from an institution that she considers not to be performing due diligence adequately.
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