Jesus College in the University of Cambridge has returned a looted Benin bronze to Nigeria, becoming the first UK institution to do so. The unprecedented decision was announced in November 2019 after a student-led campaign initiated talks between the college and the Benin Dialogue Group.Continue reading
Discovered at the Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, a Nazi looted painting has finally been returned to its rightful heirs after almost 90 years. This recent recovery is part of an international effort involving the FBI to restitute more than 1,000 artworks and artefacts seized in 1933 from the Mosse family, who were prominent Jewish residents of Berlin.Continue reading
The German government has announced a €3.4 million (£2.95 million) national fund to subsidise provenance research into privately-owned artworks, which may have been looted during World War II. The decision marks a departure from previous arrangements, which were used to fund research into works held by German museums and libraries. It was prompted by the 2013 discovery of the Gurlitt art trove of which five works have been identified as looted or sold under duress. A further 153 works in the hoard are suspected of being stolen. Continue reading
Archaeologists have reported that antiquities illegally excavated in Libya are turning up for sale in the showrooms of London, Paris and Bern.
According to a senior Libyan archaeologist, the country is struggling to control a spate of ‘random digging’ at ancient sites including the Greek and Roman city of Cyrene. Ramadan Shebani told The Art Newspaper that looters are exploiting the political vacuum created by the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 to engage in illegal excavations. Continue reading
New York’s Neue Galerie announced on Tuesday (27 September) that it had returned a painting looted by the Nazis to its rightful owners before purchasing it back from them at its current fair market value.
The Museum agreed to return Karl Schmidt-Rottluff’s ‘Nude’ (1914) to the heirs of a Jewish shoe manufacturer and Expressionist art collector after they approached the Museum a little over a year ago with a potential restitution claim. The repurchase price has not been revealed but other works by Schmidt-Rottluff’s have commanded over US$1million (approximately £768,357) in recent times. Continue reading
“Disingenuous” and “depressing” is how art law experts are describing the response of Bavarian authorities to the latest art restitution claim by the heirs of a Jewish family who fled Nazi persecution during World War II.
The experts, which include art lawyers Christopher Marinello of the Art Recovery Group in London and Nicholas O’Donnell, shared their frustrations over the official response to the claim with artnet News. Continue reading
Is it possible to buy a looted artefact unwittingly?
Coins, jewellery, mosaics, glassware, vases, figurines and other artefacts are reportedly being excavated and smuggled out of Iraq and Syria on an ‘industrial’ scale, to be sold online or in Western dealerships. Continue reading
An important collection of medieval gold and silver pieces known as the Guelph Treasure (‘Welfenschatz’), is the subject of a claim filed this week in the US District Court in Washington D.C.
The claimants are seeking restitution of the treasure, which is valued at $250-300 million, from Germany and the German Prussian Heritage Foundation who currently own it. Continue reading