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Cypriot Icon – Boy George and the Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus
When the representative of the Greek Orthodox church of Cyprus, Bishop Porfyrios, watched a television interview with the British singer, Boy George, he discovered that an 18th century Cypriot icon was hanging in the singer’s living room. The artefact depicting Jesus Christ Pantokrator was displayed in the Cypriot Church of St. Charalambos, before it was allegedly looted during the Turkish invasion of 1974. At the request of the Bishop, Boy George immediately agreed to return the artefact and received a gift in return.
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Liberation of Saint Peter from Prison – Feldmann Heirs and Private Person
In 2002, an American professor spontaneously contacted the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) as she suspected that the drawing she had inherited, “The Liberation of Saint Peter from Prison”, was looted from Arthur Feldmann during WWII. IFAR established evidence which confirmed her suspicions and acted as a facilitator, together with the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, in the negotiations between the professor and the Feldmann heirs. In 2004, the professor agreed on the unconditional restitution of the drawing to the Feldmann heirs.
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Obélisque d’Axoum – Italie et Ethiopie
En 1937, Mussolini ordonne l’enlèvement de l’obélisque d’Axoum et son transport en Italie. Il faudra attendre 2007 pour que l’obélisque retrouve le site d’Axoum.
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Bogazköy Sphinx – Turkey and Germany
In 2011, Germany decided to conclude the long running dispute concerning the “Boğazköy Sphinx” by voluntarily transferring to the Turkish Government the title of the sculpture.
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Egyptian Archaeological Objects – United States v. Frederick Schultz
On 16 July 2001, Frederick Schultz, a New York antiquities dealer, was indicted on one count of conspiring to receive stolen Egyptian antiquities in violation of the National Stolen Property Act (NSPA). Under the NSPA, it is a crime to deal in property that has been “stolen, unlawfully converted or taken, knowing the same to be stolen”.
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Tête Maorie de Rouen – France et Nouvelle-Zélande
Par une délibération du 19 octobre 2007, le Conseil Municipal de la Ville de Rouen autorise la restitution d’une tête maorie détenue dans les collections du Musée de la Ville de Rouen depuis 1875. L’autorisation est annulée par le Tribunal administratif de Rouen et par la Cour d’appel de Douai.
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Jiroft Collection – Iran v. Barakat Galleries
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran sued the London-based Barakat Galleries seeking the restitution of a collection of eighteen carved jars, bowls and cups which had been illicitly excavated in the Jiroft region, in Southeast Iran, and subsequently exported abroad. The Court of Appeal, overruling the trial court decision, held that the relevant laws of Iran were sufficiently clear to vest ownership title and an immediate right of possession of the relics in the Iranian State.
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Lydian Hoard – Turkey and Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Lydian Hoard is a sixth-century B.C. collection of gold and silver objects which was clandestinely excavated in Turkey in the 1960s. It was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) of New York. A formal demand for its return was made by Turkey in 1986.
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Odalisque Painting – Paul Rosenberg Heirs and Seattle Art Museum
In June 1999, the Seattle Art Museum returned the painting Oriental Woman Seated on Floor (also known as Odalisque), by Henri Matisse, to the heirs of Paul Rosenberg. The painting was donated to the museum in 1991 by the Bloedel family.
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Venus of Cyrene – Italy and Libya
In 1913, Italian soldiers deployed at Cyrene, Libya, found a headless marble sculpture, commonly known today as the “Venus of Cyrene”. In 1915, the statue was shipped to Italy, where it was placed on display in the Museo Nazionale delle Terme of Rome.
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