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14 Archaeological Objects – Italy and Cleveland Museum of Art

14 Archaeological Objects – Italy and Cleveland Museum of Art

On 19 November 2008, the Italian Ministry for Cultural Assets and Activities and the Cleveland Museum of Art signed an agreement concerning 14 archaeological objects in the museum’s collection. This agreement provides for the return to Italy of the artworks in exchange for loans of “a similar number of works of equal aesthetic and historical significance”.

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15 Archaeological Objects – Italy and Princeton University Art Museum

15 Archaeological Objects – Italy and Princeton University Art Museum

The Italian Government and the Princeton University Art Museum signed an agreement on 30 October 2007 that resolved the question of ownership of 15 archaeological objects in the Museum’s collection. This accord was the culmination of negotiations that were initiated by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities following the discovery of substantial evidence demonstrating the illicit provenance of the requested antiquities.

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Afo-A-Kom – Furman Gallery and Kom people

Afo-A-Kom – Furman Gallery and Kom people

The Afo-A-Kom is a wooden sculpture sacred to the Kom people, a tribal population of Cameroon. In 1966, it was stolen and subsequently sold to a New York art dealer.

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Aidonia Treasure – Greece and Ward Gallery

A collection of golden Mycenaean jewellery (the Aidonia Treasure) was acquired by the Ward Gallery of New York in early 1993. Before proceeding with the purchase the Gallery made enquiries in various Mediterranean States, including Greece, to find out whether the treasure was stolen. Greece responded in the negative, but it later sued the Gallery seeking restitution.

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Bath of Bathsheba – Italy and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Bath of Bathsheba – Italy and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

The painting “The Bath of Bathsheba”, by Jacopo Zucchi, was looted in 1945 from the Italian Embassy in Berlin, where it was on loan from the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica of Rome. In 1965, it was acquired by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

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Beneventan Missal – Metropolitan Chapter of the Cathedral City of Benevento and British Library

Beneventan Missal – Metropolitan Chapter of the Cathedral City of Benevento and British Library

On 11 November 2010, a 12th Century manuscript, also known as the “Beneventan Missal”, was returned to the Metropolitan Chapter of the Cathedral City of Benevento, in Italy. The Missal disappeared in 1943 when the city was occupied by the Allied forces during World War II.

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Buste d’un jeune garçon – Héritiers Gentili di Giuseppe et Art Institute de Chicago

Buste d’un jeune garçon – Héritiers Gentili di Giuseppe et Art Institute de Chicago

En 1999, les héritiers de l’important collectionneur d’art de confession juive Federico Gentili di Giuseppe ont contacté l’Art Institute de Chicago afin d’obtenir la restitution d’un buste de Francesco Mochi (« Buste d’un jeune garçon »). Ce buste avait été vendu en France lors d’une vente par la suite annulée par les juges français car constitutive de spoliation.

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Buste de Diane – Pologne et Auktionshaus im Kinsky

Buste de Diane – Pologne et Auktionshaus im Kinsky

En juin 2015, le Ministère de la culture polonais apprend qu’un buste de Diane, spolié durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale et disparu depuis, va prochainement être vendu à Vienne par la maison de vente Auktionshaus im Kinsky. Le Ministère contacte alors la société Art Recovery International. Avec l’aide de cette dernière et de l’Ambassadeur ainsi que du Consul général de Pologne en Autriche, le buste est restitué à la Pologne le 18 décembre 2015.

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Chagall Gouache – Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Lubell

Chagall Gouache – Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Lubell

In 1993, the Guggenheim Foundation, Mrs. Rachel Lubell, and other interested parties reached a settlement regarding a Marc Chagall painting that had been stolen from the Museum and purchased by Mrs. Lubell almost thirty years prior. Though a trial court had originally held the Guggenheim’s suit seeking recovery was time-barred, the Appellate Division reversed the lower court’s decision and clarified New York’s “demand and refusal” rule. On remand, the parties settled just one day after the new trial began.

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Dancing Shiva Statue – India and National Gallery of Australia

Dancing Shiva Statue – India and National Gallery of Australia

In 2006, New York art dealer Subhash Kapoor arranged the theft and illegal exportation of a 900-year old bronze statue of the Dancing Shiva from a small temple in Southern India. In 2008, the National Gallery of Australia bought the statue for AUD$5.6 million.

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Durga Idol – India and Germany

Durga Idol – India and Germany

In the 1990s, a 10th century idol representing the Indian Goddess Durga was reported as stolen from a temple in Tengpora, Pulwana in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. The idol was found at the Linden Museum in Stuttgart in 2012. After presenting the evidence of its provenance, the idol was returned to India on “ethical grounds”.

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Icklingham Bronzes – John Browning and Leon Levy and Shelby White

A group of antiquities known as the “Icklingham Bronzes” were illicitly excavated from the farm of John Browning sometime in the early 1980s. By 1989 they were on sale in New York. John Browning formally demanded the restitution of the Bronzes from Leon Levy and Shelby White, the good faith purchasers, but the request was rejected.

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Kanakaria Mosaics – Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus and Cyprus v. Goldberg

Kanakaria Mosaics – Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus and Cyprus v. Goldberg

Four mosaics were stolen from the Cypriot Church of the Panagia Kanakaria in Lythrankomi, following the Turkish military intervention in Cyprus of 1974. Afterwards, they were purchased by an American art dealer, Peg Goldberg. In 1989, the Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus traced the mosaics to Indiana and filed a judicial claim to obtain restitution.

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

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.

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Le Grand Pont – Weinmann Heirs and Yale University Art Gallery

Le Grand Pont – Weinmann Heirs and Yale University Art Gallery

The painting “Le Grand Pont”, by Gustave Courbet, was owned by Josephine Weinmann and her family, but after they were forced to flee Germany from Nazi persecution, the painting was purchased by Herbert Schaefer, a Nazi militant. When Schaefer later loaned the painting to the Yale University Art Gallery, Weinmann’s heirs sued for its return.

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Lebanese Archives – Lebanon and University of Geneva

Lebanese Archives – Lebanon and University of Geneva

In 2010, the University of Geneva sent to Lebanon the archives concerning the excavations conducted at Byblos, an archaeological site located in the northern part of Beirut, by the French archaeologist Maurice Dunand. The University had acquired the archives from Dunand in 1984.

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Lydian Hoard – Turkey and Metropolitan Museum of Art

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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Manuscrit du Marquis de Sade – Héritier Nordmann et héritier de Noailles et Gérard Lhéritier

Manuscrit du Marquis de Sade – Héritier Nordmann et héritier de Noailles et Gérard Lhéritier

Les « Cent Vingt Journées de Sodome » du Marquis de Sade avait été dérobé à la famille de Nouailles puis acquis par un collectionneur suisse – Gérard Nordmann – qui a toujours refusé de la rendre. C’est grâce à un accord entre l’héritier des Nouailles et l’héritier Nordmann que le manuscrit a pu retourner en France, où il a été classé trésor national en 2017.

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Masque Nalindele – Zambie et Personne privée

Masque Nalindele – Zambie et Personne privée

En juin 1989 le Masque Nalindele est volé au Musée national de Livingston en Zambie. En 1996 un antiquaire l’acquière à Paris. Apprenant qu’il s’agit d’un objet volé, il décide de le restituer aux autorités belges que le restitueront par la suite à la Zambie.

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Mosaïques de Kanakaria – Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus et Chypre c. Goldberg

Mosaïques de Kanakaria – Autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus et Chypre c. Goldberg

Quatre mosaïques sont volées dans l’Eglise chypriote du village de Lythrankomi. Une dizaine d’années plus tard, elles sont achetées par Goldberg, une commerçante d’art américaine. L’Eglise chypriote finit par apprendre le lieu où se trouvent les mosaïques et la personne en possession de celles-ci. Peu après, l’Eglise chypriote et la République de Chypre introduisent une action en justice auprès des tribunaux de l’Etat de l’Indiana aux Etats-Unis.

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