Showing results 37 - 48 of 80 for the tag: Legal action.

March 27, 2012

The problems with the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act

Posted at 2:01 pm in Similar cases

Marc Masurovsky has helped me out, by going into some of the issues with the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act.

The bill has now been introduced in the Senate as S. 2212. The worry is, that many of the successful cases that have been brought in the US in recent years, to secure the return of looted cultural property would no longer be possible. For those of you in the USA, the Senators supporting the bill are: Dianne Feinstein and Orrin Hatch. As he points out, Fenstein has many major museums within her community, which includes San Francisco & Los Angeles.

As Marc says “It’s the end of art restitution as we know it.” Supporting such a bill would be a backward step for the country that is currently one of the more forward thinking (well compared to the UK at any rate) in terms of cultural property restitutions & the legal framework that allows them to take place. “After all, once you write a bill that carries with it select exclusions, it implies that you tolerate other forms of looted art to enter the US for display. Hence, the clarification to the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act should either be all-inclusive or dropped entirely. It is absolutely critical for source countries to express themselves”.

Doubtless, many organisations such as the AAMD are unlikely to agree with this point of view.

More details of the act can be found in my original post on it.

February 1, 2012

Chasing Aphrodite – Italy’s attempts to reclaim their cultural patrimony

Posted at 5:51 pm in Similar cases

Another review of Chasing Aphrodite – about the Italian’s hunt for looted artefacts in the Getty Museum.

From:
Washington Times

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Chasing Aphrodite’
CHASING APHRODITE: THE HUNT FOR LOOTED ANTIQUITIES AT THE WORLD’S RICHEST MUSEUM
By Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28 384 pages, illustrated

The 19th century was the golden age of acquisition. European and American collectors, smitten with the lure of antiquities from Greece, Italy and China, spent recklessly to assemble great collections in London, Paris and New York. No one questioned that marbles from the Parthenon would get more careful attention in London than in Athens.

Then the tide began to turn. Italians became restless at the sight of their “patrimony” being exported abroad. In 1939, Italy passed a cultural property law stating that archaeological objects found after that date were the property of the state. In Athens, Greeks demanded the return of the Elgin Marbles.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 26, 2012

What went wrong at the Getty Museum – the hunt for looted antiquities

Posted at 2:16 pm in Similar cases

The Trial (without result) of former Getty curator Marion True has been covered here many times before. The book “Chasing Aphrodite” aims to retell some of this story, as well as the background to it.

From:
New York Review of Books

What Went Wrong at the Getty
June 23, 2011
Hugh Eakin

Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum
by Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 375 pp., $28.00

1.

On August 5, 70 BC, at 1:30 in the afternoon, a remarkable criminal trial began in Rome. A young prosecutor named Marcus Tullius Cicero was accusing a senior Roman political official, Gaius Verres, of extortion and misrule during Verres’s tenure as governor of Sicily. “For three long years he so thoroughly despoiled and pillaged the province that its restoration to its previous state is out of the question,” Cicero proclaimed in his bold opening statement.
Read the rest of this entry »

November 16, 2011

US court rejects Iranian antiquities seizure

Posted at 2:11 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the US Appeal Court verdict on the seizure of Iranian Artefacts from two Chicago Museums.

From:
Tehran Times

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
U.S. court rejects seizure of Iranian antiquities
Tehran Times Culture Desk

TEHRAN — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has rejected confiscation of Iran’s 300 Achaemenid clay tablets loaned to the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute in a session on March 29.

In the ruling, the Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s order that might have handed the artifacts over to several victims of a 1997 terrorist bombing in Israel, the Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS) reported last week.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 31, 2011

What was achieved by the trial of former Getty curator Marion True in Italy?

Posted at 1:40 pm in Similar cases

Following on from the end of Marion True’s trial, it seems as though this is a case where the approach of direct legal action by Italy may have caused as many problems as it solved. Huge amounts were spent on a trial involving an institution that had been largely cooperative regarding the return of disputed artefacts in the past (bear in mind that this article is from the perspective of the Getty however – I think that this cooperation might not have seemed to apparent to the other parties that wanted artefacts returned that they knew were looted, yet didn’t have conclusive proof of this.

From:
The Art Newspaper

“Neither condemned nor vindicated”
Marion True on why it is hard to accept the lack of verdict after her five-year trial
By Marion True | From issue 220, January 2011
Published online 5 Jan 11 (News)

The trial of Marion True, the former antiquities curator of the Getty Museum (which for many years has been one of the leading collectors of world-class antiquities), for conspiring to receive antiquities that had been illegally excavated and exported from Italy, began on 16 November 2005. The Art Newspaper has been covering the trial since its outset. Until March 2009, the prosecution worked through its case, and then the defence began cross-examining witnesses, but True has had no opportunity to present her case directly. Here, she tells The Art Newspaper about the trial and its outcome.

A headline in The Art Newspaper in June 2010 announced that the trial in Rome against me had “collapsed” after five years, the statutes of limitations for all crimes of which I was accused by the Italian state having expired. The court officially recognised this fact on 13 October in a hearing of 12 minutes. Thus, my five-year long trial ended without judgment—neither condemnation nor vindication, a reality hard to accept, given the distorted and slanderous allegations against me. Throughout, my lawyers advised me not to speak out, not to undermine my defence.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 24, 2011

Do international cultural property laws create a split market depending on when artefacts were acquired?

Posted at 1:59 pm in Similar cases

International laws such as Unidrois convention that deal with cases of disputed cultural property (Through their adoption by UNESCO) are seen by many as a good thing – although clearly not by all, as many countries have yet to subscribe to these conventions. The conventions do not act retrospectively however – so there is a strong argument that they have created a division in the market – between those artefacts acquired before the convention came into force & those acquired afterwards. Many collectors fear that these conventions are devaluing their collections – but this point is counterbalanced byt the fact that is the artefact was acquired legitimately & has good provenance (which is the only real way of proving that it was acquired legitimately) then there should not be any problems.

From:
New York Times

Auctions
Wanted: Antiquities Beyond Reproach
By SOUREN MELIKIAN
Published: December 17, 2010

NEW YORK — The impact of the Unidroit convention, adopted by Unesco when endeavoring to protect the artistic heritage of mankind, starting with its archaeological treasures, is beginning to make itself as never before, although not quite in the way that its promoters expected.

By all accounts, the terrifying destruction of archaeological sites goes on, from Syria to Afghanistan to Nepal. But on the auction scene the consequence of Unidroit, to which only a few countries subscribe, is that some collectors live in fear that their favorite game, buying the relics of antiquity, may soon end. Many suspect that objects that cannot be proved to have been acquired before 1970 — the cutoff date set by the Unidroit convention — will become financially worthless or exceedingly difficult to negotiate.
Read the rest of this entry »

Strong legal framework & international collaboration are the key to reclaiming disputed artefacts

Posted at 1:48 pm in Elgin Marbles, Greece Archaeology, Similar cases

Greek Ministry of Culture Acting Deputy General Director of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki has given an interview in China, indicating what she sees as the way forward (as it applies to both Greece & China) in securing the restitution of disputed artefacts. this is interesting, particularly int he light of the recent conference, suggesting that Greece may now be seriously considering following Italy’s lead in taking legal action to secure the return of artefacts – something that it has always tried to avoid in the past.

From:
People’s Daily (China)

Interview: Strong legal framework, int’l collaboration key in reclaiming antiquities: Greek expert
10:14, December 18, 2010

A strong legal framework and international collaboration are the main keys in efforts to reclaim antiquities with success, for Greece or China, stressed Greek expert Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki in an interview with Xinhua on Friday.

A country rich in cultural relics which due to historical and other reasons have been illegally transported abroad in many cases, Greece struggles for decades for their return back home.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 15, 2011

The agreement between Peru & Yale University for Inca Artefact return

Posted at 12:56 pm in Similar cases

More coverage of the deal reached between the government of Peru & Yale University for the return of various artefacts from Machu Picchu.

From:
Realclearworld

December 08, 2010
Peru president says Yale to return Inca artifacts
Carla Salazar

Peru’s president announced Friday that Yale University has agreed to return thousands of artifacts taken away from the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu nearly a century ago.

The university issued a statement a few hours later expressing satisfaction at the results of its talks with Peru. The artifacts had been at the center of a bitter dispute for years, with Peru filing a lawsuit in U.S. court against the school.
Read the rest of this entry »

January 11, 2011

Italy to pursue stolen ancient helmet in German courts

Posted at 2:09 pm in Similar cases

Italy is demanding the return of an ancient Greek helmet that it believes was looted from an archaeological site in 1993. They are following their approach taken in many successful recent cases, by following up their requests with legal action.

From:
Earthtimes

Italy pursues ‘stolen’ early Greek helmet in German court
Posted : Wed, 08 Dec 2010 10:47:53 GMT

Berlin – The Italian government is going to court in Berlin this week to claim an early Greek metal helmet, which it claims was stolen from an archaeological site in Italy in 1993, a court spokesman said Wednesday.

Greek-speaking trading cities existed on southern Italy’s coasts in the 7th to 6th century BC when the helmet, distinctive for its geometric style of decoration with zigzags and concentric circles, was made.
Read the rest of this entry »

December 30, 2010

Austrian commission rules that Nazi looted art should be returned

Posted at 8:09 pm in Similar cases

An art commission set up by Austria’s Ministry of Culture has ruled that the country’s Leopold Museum should return seven Nazi looted paintings to their rightful owners.

From:
Bloomberg News

Nazi-Looted Art Should be Returned by Museum, Austrian Commission Rules
By Jonathan Tirone – Nov 24, 2010 10:06 AM GMT

Austria’s Leopold Museum should return seven Nazi-looted paintings by Egon Schiele and Anton Romako to their rightful owners, said an art commission set up by the country’s Ministry of Culture.

Five Schiele paintings and two Romako works should be returned, the ministry said yesterday on its website. The paintings had belonged to Maurice Eisler and Karl Maylaender, both Jews persecuted by Nazis, according to the commission. The decision is non-binding.
Read the rest of this entry »

December 13, 2010

Yale agrees to return Machu Picchu artefacts to Peru

Posted at 10:31 pm in Similar cases

After resorting to numerous ways to increase pressure on Yale University, it now looks as though Peru’s attempts to secure the return of artefacts may have been successful. It is worth bearing in mind though that agreements such as this can fall though for man reasons. Previously Yale agreed to return the same artefacts in 2007, but this never went ahead and the reasons given tend to vary depending on which side you speak to.

From:
Bloomberg News

Yale to Return Incan Artifacts Taken a Century Ago, Peru’s President Says
By John Quigley – Nov 20, 2010 5:15 PM GMT

Yale University, the third-oldest U.S. college, has agreed to return Incan artifacts taken from Peru a century ago, President Alan Garcia said.

Ernesto Zedillo, a Yale professor and a former Mexican president, promised yesterday to return the artifacts, which were excavated by archaeologist and Yale Professor Hiram Bingham from the Machu Picchu citadel in the southern Andes in 1912, Garcia said in statement dated yesterday and posted on the presidential website.
Read the rest of this entry »

November 22, 2010

Former Getty curator Marion True’s defence lawyer speaks out following the end of her trial

Posted at 10:46 pm in Similar cases

The fallout following the end of Marion True’s trial in Italy continues, with statements from her defence lawyer.

From:
The Art Newspaper

Marion True’s defence lawyer speaks out
As the case ends, True’s innocence is vigorously asserted
By Gareth Harris | Web only – Published online 4 Nov 10

“In the sense of trying to comprehend all that’s happened I am in shock. That it has been five years, with never the possibility of airing the defence—it was a very long time,” Marion True, former antiquities curator of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, told the New Yorker. Last month in Rome, she saw charges against her of conspiring to receive antiquities that had been illegally excavated and exported from Italy, dismissed. The case was closed after a marathon five-year trial because the statute of limitations had expired.

The trial began on 16 November 2005, following a ten-year investigation into her associations with co-defendants Swiss dealer Robert Hecht and art expert Giacomo Medici. The case was triggered in 1995 when Swiss and Italian authorities raided Medici’s Geneva store and found thousands of photographs and records which they claimed showed illegally excavated antiquities.
Read the rest of this entry »