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You are reading the Art Law Blast, a weekly newsletter with upcoming events, recent publications, job openings and headlines in all that is art law.

Center for Art Law is wishing all pleasant holidays!

Nov. 28, 2013 -- US Thanksgiving Day (you decide) TBD

*Dec. 1-8, 2013 -- 3rd Provenance Research Training Program (Vilnius, Lithuania)
About the program: The Workshop is designed as "an advanced training program [with the] main mission to serve the international community of current and future professionals of various backgrounds who are or will soon be engaged in dealing with Nazi-era looted cultural property and related post-Holocaust issues. Fully aware that facing the complexities of cultural crimes relating to the period of 1933-1945 represents a difficult professional, legal, and ethical challenge, the initiators and supporters of the PRTP have tailored the program to the needs of those who want to gain greater proficiency in solving practical problems and to network in the international community of provenance researchers."

CORRECTED: Dec. 7, 2013 --  Art Law Talk/Art Title Insurance: What is It and Should You Get It?  (Miami Beach, FL) 2:00PM- 3:00PM
Part of the Art Basel Talks, this panel will focus on the promises and potentials of getting art title insurance. If you are in Miami for the festivities, consider attending. Access with Art Basel VIP card or ticket.


  • Stephen D. Brodie, Esq., Int'l Art Law Group, Herrick, Feinstein LLP, New York;
  • Howard N. Spiegler, Esq., Int'l Art Law Group, Herrick, Feinstein LLP, New York;
  • Judith L. Pearson, President, ARIS Title Insurance Corporation, Denver.

*Dec. 13-15, 2013 -- ISPAC International Conference on “Protecting Cultural Heritage as a Common Good of Humanity: a Challenge for Criminal Justice

Select list of participants:

  • Pascal Beauvais, Professor at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre, Paris, France;
  • Steven D. Feldman, Partner in Herrick Feinstein LLP;
  • Marie Pfammatter, post doctoral researcher at the University of Geneva, Switzerland;
  • Marc-André Renold, Professor of Art and Cultural Property Law, Director of the Art-Law Centre, and Holder of the UNESCO Chair in the International Law of Cultural Heritage at the University of Geneva, Switzerland;
  • Mark V. Vlasic, Senior Fellow & Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
  • Luis Arroyo Zapatero, Professor of Criminal Law at the Universidad Castilla-la-Mancha, Spain.

*Dec. 13, 2013 -- IAL Seminar: Human Remains and the Law (London, UK)
The treatment of human remains, whether contained in museum collections or discovered during the course of building or other works, gives rise to a host of moral, ethical and legal issues. Consider attending the program to discuss whether all remains be treated in the same way, where are the boundaries and are all the boundaries for how museums use remains the same?

*Dec. 27, 2013 -- IAL Seminar: Culture and Conflict (London, UK)
Topics under discussion include the steps to be taken in preparation for the possible outbreak of war (terms to be included in insurance policies; removal of artworks to a place of safety, as occurred prior to the Second World War; obligations under the Hague Convention 1954), the work of provenance researchers, and post-war reparations and claims (insurance claims, legal claims, the work of national panels such as the UK Spoliation Advisory Panel, the Dutch Restitutions Committee and the French CIVS).  

NOTE: Events with a * next to the date are appearing in the Newsletter for the first time.
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What's New:
  • Center for Art Law just launched a new Research Guides page. Do you think you should be included in the list? Please let us know!
  • Pryor Cashman LLP is adding Asset Forfeiture expert to its Art Law  The new team member, Jeffrey Alberts, is formerly from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Asset Forfeiture Unit. "His knowledge of asset forfeiture, especially as it pertains to priceless works of art, will be valuable to the firm’s clients which include galleries, dealers, lenders, collectors, heirs and artists themselves, as they navigate the challenges to ownership, provenance and authenticity of their collections."
November Court Decisions of Note:
  • In the Matter of Riven Flamenbaum dispute over the Estate of Riven Flamenbaum and a 3,000 years old gold tablet found among his possessions, the court rejected the "spoils of war " doctrine because the court declined to adopt "any doctrine that would establish good title based upon the looting and removal of cultural artifacts during wartime by a conquering military force." Decision is available here.
  • "5Pointz" Decision: In Cohen, Fabara, et al v. G&M Realty L.P, et al., 13-CV-5612 (FB) (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 2013) Senior District Judge Block denied preliminary injunction under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (“VARA”), to prevent the destruction of exterior aerosol art, a.k.a. graffiti that adorned the exterior of buildings owned by the defendants, which are scheduled for demolition. Please contact us if you would like to read the full decision, or read the HP article for a good summary.
  • Jury trial regarding damages owed to Daniel Morel, in Morel v. AFP v. Getty Images 10-cv-02730-AJN-MHD (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 2013) ended on Friday, November 22, 2013 awarding $1.22 million for willful infringement of copyright to the photographer. Earlier this year, District Judge Alison Nathan found that Defendants violated Morel's copyright as a matter of law (January decision available here).

Competitions/Calls for Submission:
  • Call for Proposals: 2014 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia). This week we learned that the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar is seeking proposals for the 2014 Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) program. Described as "the only U.S. government program that provides direct grant support to heritage preservation in developing countries," the Fund is accepting applications until Monday, December 2, 2013.  To inquiry, contact To some it may come as news that the U.S. Congress agreed to fund something that "offers an opportunity to show a different American face to other countries, one that is non-commercial, non-political, and non-military. By taking a leading role in efforts to preserve cultural heritage, we show our respect for other cultures."
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  • John Anderson, Art Held Hostage: The Battle over the Barnes Collection (Sept; 2013) ISBN: 0393347311
Barnes collection is now safely installed in a specially built museum in Philadelphia, the place where its founder, Albert Barnes, expressely did not wish his prized paintings to be exhibited. Art Held Hostage, with a new epilogue, describes the history of the collection formation and the legal battle over its fate. The book is available here.
  • Anne-Marie O'Connor, The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (Feb. 2012) ISBN: 0307265641
Described as a "riveting social history; an illuminating and haunting look at turn-of-the-century Vienna; a brilliant portrait of the evolution of a painter; a masterfully told tale of suspense. And at the heart of it, the Lady in Gold--the shimmering painting, and its equally irresistible subject, the fate of each forever intertwined." You may purchase this book here.

*Please visit our Publications page to see the list of books and articles previously featured in this Newsletter.

Case Preview: Meyer v. Bd. of Regents of the U. of Oklahoma, or How long will Oklahoma herd Pissarro “Sheep”?

On Nov. 22, 2013, New York Country Lawyers’ Association held its 6th Annual Art Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Institute. …

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Spotlight: ArtWatch International

by Angelea Selleck ArtWatch International (ArtWatch) is a watchdog organization that “alert[s] the general public to illicit interventions, unreasonable threats …

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Gurlitt Connection: Dix’s granddaughter on Otto Dix’s paintings in Gurlitt possession

Dozens if not hundreds of articles appeared about the art hoard (latest from TNYT), amassed during the Nazi period and …

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