Bi-partisan momentum appears to be gathering for Senate Bill 2212, the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act (a bill that would clarify an exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act in respect to the loan of cultural artifacts). After Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) signed on as a co-sponsor on November 27, 2012, others have followed. In addition to its original co-sponsors Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the bill has since gained the co-sponsorship of John Cornyn (R-TX) on December 3, 2012; Thomas Coburn (R-OK) on December 11, 2012; and Chris Coons (D-DE) on December 12, 2012.
Topics: Legislation, Dianne Feinstein, Thomas Coburn, Chris Coons, Restitution, Orrin Hatch, Senate Bill 2212, Foreign Sovereign Immunities, S.B. 2212, Charles Schumer, John Cornyn, Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity
Our prior commentary has expressed support for Senate Bill 2212, the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act. The bill remains stalled in the Senate Judicary Committee.
A new piece at the Art Newspaper reflects on the importance of the Portrait of Wally case. Wally was seized in 1998 by customs officials on the theory that it was stolen property when imported into the U.S. The painting sat in a warehouse for 12 years, until a settlement returned the painting to Vienna in 2010 and a payment to Lea Bondi's heirs was made. I recall well the citywide celebrations in the Austrian capital when the painting returned; banners on lampposts proclaimed Bildnis Wally kehrt zurück—Portrait of Wally returns!
Topics: Maria Altmann, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, Malewicz v. City of Amsterdam, The Art Newspaper, 22 U.S.C. § 2459, FSIA, Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, IFSA, Foreign Sovereign Immunities, Portrait of Wally, S.B. 2212, Immunity from Seizure Act, Customs, Gustav Klimt, Vienna