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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

Pulcinell Sculpture – Budge Heirs v. Anonymous Purchaser

A sculpture of Pulcinell was purchased by an anonymous buyer at auction in London in 2016. The buyer applied for an export license and the case came before the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest of the United Kingdom. During the review, it was discovered that the sculpture had been subject to forced sale by Nazis in 1937. The heirs of Emma Budge, the dispossessed owner of the sculpture, discovering what had become of the sculpture, attempted to secure its restitution.

Pulcinell Sculpture – Budge Heirs v. Anonymous Purchaser - Read More…

Portrait of Greta Moll – Moll Heirs v. National Gallery of London

The “Portrait of Greta Moll” has been subject to a claim for return. The heirs of the painting’s subject argued the painting was stolen in the aftermath of the Second World War and claimed that the National Gallery of London did not purchase the work in good faith. The case has been heard in two courts of the United States.

Portrait of Greta Moll – Moll Heirs v. National Gallery of London - Read More…

Biccherna Panel – Anonymous Heirs and British Library

In 2013, the British Library was contacted by the heirs of A.S. Drey, a Munich firm whose assets were sold off by Nazis in 1936. The heirs requested the return of the “Biccherna Panel” and lodged a claim with the UK Spoliation Advisory Panel, which found in favour of the claimants. However, following negotiations, the heirs accepted compensation in lieu of return, allowing the Biccherna Panel to remain in the British Library.

Biccherna Panel – Anonymous Heirs and British Library - Read More…

La Frise Beethoven – Héritiers Lederer c. Autriche

En 2013, les héritiers du collectionneur Enrich Lederer demandent la restitution de la « Frise Beethoven » de Klimt à l’État autrichien. Cette Frise avait été spoliée à Vienne à la famille Lederer par les nazis avant d’être restituée à Enrich Lederer à la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Par la suite, Enrich Lederer l’avait vendue à l’État autrichien tout en clamant qu’il n’avait pas d’autre choix.

La Frise Beethoven – Héritiers Lederer c. Autriche - Read More…

Nedjemankh and His Gilded Coffin – Metropolitan Museum of Art and Egypt

The gilded Coffin of Nedjemankh, a priest of the ram-god Heryshef, was purchased in 2017 and exhibited in 2018 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Following an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, the Met learned that the Coffin had been looted in 2011, during the Egyptian revolution. It also learned that it had received upon its purchase a false ownership history, fraudulent statements and fake documentation, including a forged 1971 Egyptian export license for the coffin. As such, the Met unconditionally returned the coffin to the Government of Egypt.

Nedjemankh and His Gilded Coffin – Metropolitan Museum of Art and Egypt - Read More…

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