June 26, 2005
Some of the online legal journals have now covered the Feldman case that has been discussed in detail here previously. These new reports do bring to light a few points that were not mentioned in the other reports of the case, such as the fact that there is a possibility of a compromise, whereby the British Museum could acknowledge that due to their legality, it could be claimed that the four paintings were never legally a part of the British Museum’s collection – in which case the de-accessioning rules would not apply.
Attorney General v Trustees of the British Museum
Ch D: Sir Andrew Morritt V-C: 27 May 2005
Under s 3(4) of the British Museum Act 1963 the Trustees of the British Museum were prohibited from returning an object which formed part of the collections of the museum to a previous owner of the object, notwithstanding that because of the circumstances leading up to the acquisition of the object, there was a moral obligation to do so.
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