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ArThemis is a fully searchable database containing case notes about art and cultural property disputes settled through alternative resolution methods or traditional judicial proceedings.

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Latest Case Notes

Portrait of a Youth – Reichel Heirs v. Sarah Blodgett Dunbar

In the mid-2000s, Claudia Seger-Thomschitz, one of the heirs of Oskar Reichel, attempted to recover the painting “Portrait of a Youth” from Sarah Blodgett Dunbar on the grounds that it had been lost as a result of Nazi persecution. The 2010 appeal decision of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals settled the case in favour of Sarah Blodgett Dunbar.

Portrait of a Youth – Reichel Heirs v. Sarah Blodgett Dunbar - Read More…

Tête du roi Badu Bonsu II – Ghana et Pays-Bas

En 1838, Badu Bonsu II, roi des Ahanta du Ghana, est condamné à mort par les autorités coloniales néerlandaises. Il sera pendu et décapité. Sa tête sera transportée aux Pays-Bas. Par la suite, un accord de restitution de cette tête sera signé à La Haye entre les gouvernements néerlandais et ghanéen ainsi qu’un représentant de la tribu Ahanta.

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Poster Collection – Sachs Heirs v. Foundation German Historical Museum

Hans Sachs began collecting posters from the end of the nineteenth century. This collection was considered lost as a result of its seizure by the Nazis in 1937. In 2005, Peter Sachs, as Hans Sachs’ son and sole heir, located his father’s collection at the German Historical Museum and demanded its restitution. A judgment of the German Federal Court of Justice made possible the return of the poster collection to Peter Sachs.

Poster Collection – Sachs Heirs v. Foundation German Historical Museum - Read More…

La Bergère – Meyer Heirs and Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art

Raoul Meyer’s art collection, which included Camille Pissarro’s painting “La bergère rentrant des moutons”, was looted by Nazi troops during the occupation of France in early 1940s. Decades later, Meyer’s daughter and heir, Léone Meyer, discovered the painting at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma, and initiated a lawsuit in the United States seeking its return. After a three-year litigation, the two sides reached a settlement in 2016.

La Bergère – Meyer Heirs and Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art - Read More…

3000 Archeological Objects – China and Two British Dealers

On 10 February 1998, the Chinese government and two British dealers signed an out-of-court agreement that resolved the question of ownership of over 3000 archaeological objects. Most probably were transferred to the United Kingdom through illegal excavation and trafficking. This early case shows how countries, both exporting (like China) and importing (like the United Kingdom), had to review and adapt their systems to better combat against the illicit traffic.

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Un inestimable sarcophage va être restitué à la Turquie

La saga judiciaire s’achève enfin pour l’extraordinaire sarcophage romain en marbre blanc représentant les douze travaux d’Hercule. Après sept ans de procédure, cette pièce rarissime va pouvoir être restituée prochainement à son pays d’origine, puisqu’elle est reconnue comme étant issue d’une fouille clandestine et exportée illégalement de Turquie

Un inestimable sarcophage va être restitué à la Turquie - Read More…

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