Art Law Report

Event—The Future of Nazi-Looted Art Recovery in the US and Abroad

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on July 25, 2018 at 1:20 PM

I am pleased to be taking part in a symposium at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles on September 26, 2018, “The Future of Nazi Looted Art Recovery in the US and Abroad.”  Presented by Cypress LLP and the Sotheby’s Institute of Art/Claremont Graduate University, the program assembles an impressive group of presenters in whose company I’m grateful to be included.  Registration is available here, and the schedule is below:

Welcome and Introductions

Daniel  McClean, Partner, Cypress LLP (Los Angeles) and Jonathan Neil, Director Sotheby’s Institute of Art (Los Angeles)

Panel 1: Finding and Recovering Nazi-looted Art

This panel addresses the challenges for victims and their heirs in finding Nazi-looted artworks and the experience for them in doing this. It looks at the resources that are available for provenance (i.e. history of ownership) research as well as the steps that governments and public museums need to take to improve research into the objects in their collections and to make this research publicly available.

  • Eyal Dolev, Provenance Researcher (Tel Aviv)
  • Simon Goodman, Author, The Orpheus Clock (Los Angeles)
  • Professor Jonathan Petropolous, Claremont McKenna College, Author of The Faustian Bargain: The Art World in Nazi Germany (Los Angeles)
  • Dr. Lynn Rother, Senior Provenance Specialist, MOMA (New York)
  • Moderator: Richard Aronowitz-Mercer, Head of Restitution, Europe Sotheby’s (London)

Panel 2: Bringing Claims

This panel addresses the steps that claimants can take to recover Nazi-looted art through litigation and through alternative forms of dispute resolution and the legal and evidential complexities involved. It looks particularly, at recent legal developments in the United States in the wake of the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act (“HEAR”)(2016) which is designed to help it easier to bring restitution claims here in U.S. courts.

  • Laurence Eisenstein, Partner, Eisenstein Malanchuk LLP (Washington D.C.)
  • Lothar Fremy, Partner, Rosbach & Fremy (Berlin)
  • Nicholas O’Donnell, Partner, Sullivan & Worcester LLP (Boston)
  • Thaddeus Stauber, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP (Los Angeles)
  • Moderator: Mark Labaton, Partner, Cypress LLP (Los Angeles)

Panel 3: What Can Museums Do?

This panel addresses the steps that public museums can take to investigate and voluntarily restitute Nazi-looted artworks from their collections. It looks at the restitution initiatives taken in some Western-Europe countries enabling governments to 'ethically' resolve claims relating to looted works held in their national collections.

  • Stephen Clark, General Counsel, Vice President, Getty Institute (Los Angeles)
  • Simon Frankel, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP (San Francisco)
  • Anne Webber, Co-Chair of Commission for Looted Art in Europe (London)
  • Moderator: Bob Muller, Partner, Cypress LLP (Los Angeles)

Panel 4: What Can the Art Market Do?

This panel addresses the steps that the art market (including collectors, galleries and auction houses) can take to investigate and resolve claims involving Nazi-looted artworks. It looks at how the art market has come to recently exercise greater due diligence in relation to dealing in tainted artworks and how auction houses in particular, can broker settlements between claimants and the possessors of Nazi-looted artworks.

  • René Gimpel, Art Dealer (London)
  • Lucian Simmons, Senior Vice President, Provenance and Restitution, Sotheby’s (New York)
  • Isabel von Klitzing, Provenance Researcher (Germany)
  • Moderator: Daniel McClean, Partner, Cypress LLP (Los Angeles)

Concluding Remarks

Daniel McClean, Partner, Cypress LLP

Topics: Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Nazi-looted art, Simon Frankel, Commission for Looted Art in Europe, Covington & Burling LLP, Anne Webber, Sullivan & Worcester LLP, Sotheby's, Nicholas M. O'Donnell, Daniel McClean, Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act, HEAR Act, Isabel von Klitzing, The Orpheus Clock, Simon Goodman, Lucian Simmons, Eyal Dolev, Jonathan Petropolous, Claremont McKenna College, The Faustian Bargain, Laurence Eisenstein, Eisenstein Malanchuk LLP, Lothar Fremy, Rosbach & Fremy, Nixon Peabody LLP, Mark Labaton, Getty Institute, Bob Muller, René Gimpel, Cypress LLP, Jonathan Neil, Skirball Center, The Art World in Nazi Germany, Dr. Lynn Rother, Thaddeus Stauber, Stephen Clark

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About the Blog

The Art Law Report provides timely updates and commentary on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities. It is authored by Nicholas M. O'Donnell, partner in our Art & Museum Law Practice.

The material on this site is for general information only and is not legal advice. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage which may result from reliance on it. Always consult a qualified lawyer about a specific legal problem.

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