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Settlement agreement/accord transactionnel

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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Chasuble – Paraguay et Musée d’ethnographie de Neuchâtel et François Machon

Chasuble – Paraguay et Musée d’ethnographie de Neuchâtel et François Machon

En 1889, le Musée d’ethnographie de Neuchâtel (MEN) reçoit en don une chasuble probablement spoliée au Paraguay pendant la guerre de la Triple Alliance (1864-1870). En 1926, le médecin neuchâtelois François Machon, alors Consul du Paraguay à Lausanne, propose au MEN le retour de la chasuble en échange du don de sa collection ethnographique, ce que le MEN accepte.

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Collection Varenne – Héritiers Varenne et Ville de Genève

Collection Varenne –  Héritiers Varenne et Ville de Genève

En 2008, un accord est conclu entre la Ville de Genève et les héritiers Varenne portant sur la collection « Varenne ». La Ville de Genève renonce à la donation « Varenne » initiale en échange notamment de CHF 30.000.000.

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Crâne d’Ataï – France et Nouvelle-Calédonie

Crâne d’Ataï – France et Nouvelle-Calédonie

En 1878, le grand chef Ataï fût tué lors de la rébellion de son clan contre l’accaparement des terres par les colonisateurs français. Devenu le symbole de la lutte contre le colonialisme français en Nouvelle-Calédonie, sa tête a été mise à prix avant de devenir propriété de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris (SAP). Dès les accords de Matignon en 1988, la France a promis le retour du crâne d’Ataï. Toutefois, ce n’est qu’en 2014, après des demandes réitérées, que le crâne fut finalement restitué à ses descendants.

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Cuneiform Tablets and Ancient Clay Bullae – United States v. Hobby Lobby

Cuneiform Tablets and Ancient Clay Bullae – United States v. Hobby Lobby

Approximately 4,000 ancient Iraq artifacts were bought by Hobby Lobby’s president and smuggled into the United States, in violation of federal law. In the settlement, Hobby Lobby agreed to pay $3 million in fines and surrender the artifacts, which have now been returned to Iraq and will most likely be displayed in Iraq’s National Museum.

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Cypriot Icon – Boy George and the Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus

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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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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Deux cavaliers sur la plage – Héritiers Friedmann, Kunstmuseum de Berne, République fédérale d’Allemagne et Etat libre de Bavière

Deux cavaliers sur la plage – Héritiers Friedmann, Kunstmuseum de Berne, République fédérale d’Allemagne et Etat libre de Bavière

En 1942, le marchand d’art Hildebrand Gurlitt reçoit le tableau Deux cavaliers sur la plage de Max Liebermann qui a été spolié au collectionneur juif David Friedmann. Il meurt en 1956 et son fils Cornelius hérite de sa riche collection d’œuvres. La collection est découverte par hasard en 2012 et conservée secrètement par les autorités allemandes afin de déterminer l’origine des objets.

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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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Elmali Hoard – Turkey and OKS Partners

Elmali Hoard – Turkey and OKS Partners

In 1999, OKS Partners, a consortium comprised of, among others, the American businessman William Koch, returned to Turkey nearly 1700 ancient coins. The coins were part of the Elmali Hoard, a precious and rare collection of ancient coins, also called the “Hoard of the Century,” that had been illegally excavated and smuggled out of Turkey in 1984.

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Euphronios Krater and Other Archaeological Objects – Italy and Metropolitan Museum of Art

Euphronios Krater and Other Archaeological Objects – Italy and Metropolitan Museum of Art

In February 2006, the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) of New York entered into a landmark agreement with which the ownership title to the Euphronios Krater and other archaeological artefacts was transferred to the Italian Government.

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Five Schiele Watercolors – Leopold Museum and Eva Zirkl

Five Schiele Watercolors – Leopold Museum and Eva Zirkl

Karl Mayländer, a Jewish businessman and art collector, was deported from Austria to occupied Poland and later killed in the Holocaust. Before leaving, he left his art collection to his partner who later sold it. Five Schiele watercolors from his collection came into the possession of the Leopold Museum. Negotiations between the museum and Eva Zirkl, Mayländer’s heir, concluded with the return of two of the five watercolors to Zirkl.

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Four Old Master Drawings – Feldmann Heirs and the British Museum

Four Old Master Drawings – Feldmann Heirs and the British Museum

In May of 2002, the British Museum was confronted with a restitution claim by the heirs of the Second World War victim, Arthur Feldmann, regarding four Old Master drawings. The Commission of Looted Art Europe, who represented the claimant, and the British Museum, jointly sought guidance from the Spoliation Advisory Panel. After deferral of the Attorney General, the High Court held that under the British Museum Act the Museum could not restitute an object in order to meet a moral obligation without an Act of Parliament. Eventually, the British Museum followed the recommendation of the Spoliation Advisory Panel and compensated the family with an ex gratia payment.

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Fresques de Casenoves – Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de la Ville de Genève et la France

Fresques de Casenoves – Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de la Ville de Genève et la France

Le 1er juillet 1997, le Musée d’art et d’histoire de la Ville de Genève et l'Etat français, representé par son Ministère de la culture, ont signé un accord portant sur le prêt de deux fragments des fresques de Casenoves (Christ en Majesté et Adoration des Mages). Le 19 mars 2003, le Conseil administratif de la Ville de Genève a décidé de transformer ce prêt en donation.

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G’psgolox Totem Pole – Haisla and Sweden and the Stockholm Museum of Ethnography

G’psgolox Totem Pole – Haisla and Sweden and the Stockholm Museum of Ethnography

In 1927, a totem pole belonging to the Haisla tribe in Canada was stolen and brought to the Stockholm Museum of Ethnography. In 1991, the tribe discovered the location of their totem pole, known as the G’psgolox totem pole, and requested that it be returned. After fifteen years of negotiations, the G’psgolox totem pole was formally returned to the tribe in 2006.

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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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Khmer Statue – Cambodia and Sotheby’s and the United States

Khmer Statue – Cambodia and Sotheby’s and the United States

In March 2011, Sotheby’s offered at auction in New York a Khmer statue. The statue was pulled out of the sale as a result of Cambodia’s request for its restitution. Cambodia claimed that it was illegally removed from the site Koh Ker during the 1970s and should be returned to them.

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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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La Seine vue du Pont-Neuf, au fond le Louvre

La Seine vue du Pont-Neuf, au fond le Louvre

Durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, le tableau de Camille Pissarro "La Seine vue du Pont-Neuf, au fond le Louvre" appartenant à Max Heilbronn est spolié par le régime nazi. En 2012, lors d'une perquisition chez Cornelius Gurlitt les autorités allemandes saisissent une collection d'œuvres dont le tableau de Camille Pissaro fait partie. Cornelius Gurlitt décède et lègue sa collection au Kunstmuseum de Berne. Le tableau est finalement restitué à l’héritière de Max Heilbronn.

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Landscape with Smokestacks – Friedrich Gutmann Heirs and Daniel Searle

Landscape with Smokestacks – Friedrich Gutmann Heirs and Daniel Searle

The heirs of Friedrich and Louise Gutmann, filed a claim against the art dealer Daniel Searle, the owner of the painting “Landscape with Smokestacks”. The painting was allegedly looted by the Nazis during the Second World War. After four years of litigation, the parties agreed to share the ownership of the painting.

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