Restitution conferences on “70 Years and Counting: The Final Opportunity?” & “Nazi-Looted Art: From Fair and Just Solutions to Litigation”

  • September 19, 2017
  • By Hunters Law

Last week saw the much anticipated conference, “70 Years and Counting: The Final Opportunity?” organised by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and sponsored by the Commission for Looted Art in Europe. Over 200 claimants, government representatives, advisors, members of the judiciary, lawyers, provenance researchers, members of the art trade and others involved in restitution matters, gathered at the National Gallery on 12th September 2017 to discuss shared experiences, issues in relation to the return of Nazi-era looted art and recommendations for achieving fair and just solutions and accelerating efforts to recover collections at this late date.

Four expertly chaired sessions covered topics including the experience of claimants and institutions, the effectiveness of the claims processes in the five European countries that have established panels to consider claims (the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria, France and Germany), the progress that has been made in relation to provenance research and the barriers to information sharing, how private collectors can ensure their collections are not problematic and how claimants can face the challenges of making claims for the return of artworks.

The opening remarks included a keynote address from John Glen MP, Minister for the Arts, Heritage and Tourism, who confirmed two legal developments that are of importance to cases involving the restitution of Nazi era looted art but also to the trade in, and return of, cultural property unlawfully exported from occupied territory. The Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act 2009, which gives national institutions the power, subject to certain conditions, to de-accession and transfer an object from its collections to a victim of Nazi era looting,  will no longer expire in 2019 but will be extended indefinitely to allow claims to be made to the Spoliation Advisory Panel. Moreover, the Government has formally underlined its commitment to protecting cultural property in times of war by ratifying the 1954 Hague Convention and acceding to its two Protocols.

Themes presented at the National Gallery conference were continued the following day, with a seminar titled “Nazi-Looted Art: From Fair and Just Solutions to Litigation”, organised by the Centre for Commercial Law Studies and the Institute of Art and Law. Gregor Kleinknecht of Hunters participated in the panel discussion and spoke about his practical experience in acting on behalf of claimants in restitution matters.

If you would like further information about restitution matters, please contact Gregor Kleinknecht or a member of the Art and Cultural Property team.

Related News

Sep 03, 2021
Gregor Kleinknecht discusses NFTs in the London Art Week Summer 2021 catalogue
Jul 26, 2021
Gregor Kleinknecht comments on the national crackdown on money laundering and fraud, and how the new regulations could cripple the small art market in The Times
Jul 22, 2021
Hunters’ success in the Chambers HNW 2021 Guide
May 12, 2021
Anastassia Dimmek comments on investing in NFTs and what UHNW clients should consider in Citywealth
Jan 25, 2021
Gregor Kleinknecht and Petra Warrington contribute to the first edition of The Art Law Review
Dec 10, 2020
Gregor Kleinknecht discusses lessons learned about buying and selling art during a global pandemic for London Art Week
Dec 03, 2020
Petra Warrington contributes to the International Bar Association’s Art law: Restrictions on the export of cultural property and artwork handbook
Jul 07, 2020
Gregor Kleinknecht appointed as Chairman of Professional Advisors to the International Art Market’s Board
Jun 25, 2020
Petra Warrington to participate in a panel discussion hosted by London Art Week
Jun 24, 2020
Gregor Kleinknecht and Petra Warrington highlight top ten tips for buying art, as part of London Art Week’s newsletter

© Hunters Law LLP 2021 | Privacy NoticeLegal & Regulatory | Cookies Policy | Complaints Procedure.

Hunters Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (number 657218)