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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

Two Schiele Paintings – Grunbaum Heirs v. Richard Nagy

In 1938, the Nazis expropriated the art collection of Fritz Grunbaum while he was detained in Dachau concentration camp. In 2016, the Grunbaum heirs filed suit against Richard Nagy, the art dealer in possession of two of the paintings by Schiele that formed part of Fritz Grunbaum’s collection (“Woman in a Black Pinafore” and “Woman Hiding Her Face”). Eventually, the New York’s Supreme Court directed Nagy to return the artworks to the Grunbaum heirs.

Two Schiele Paintings – Grunbaum Heirs v. Richard Nagy - Read More…

Balangiga Bells – Philippines and United States

The Balangiga Bells were removed in 1901 from the parish church of San Lorenzo de Martir in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, in the Philippines, by soldiers of the United States Armed Forces. The three bells returned to the Philippines in 2018 following the amendment of the law of the United States that originally prevented their return.

Balangiga Bells – Philippines and United States - Read More…

Ancient Coins – Ancient Coin Collectors Guild v. United States

In an attempt to challenge import regulations in force in the United States (US), the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG) imported into the US 23 ancient coins, which were seized by customs officials. The case was litigated from 2007 to 2019, with courts consistently deciding in favour of the US Government and the import restrictions remaining in place.

Ancient Coins – Ancient Coin Collectors Guild v. United States - Read More…

Die Grosse Seestrasse in Wannsee – X. v. Switzerland

The painting “Die Grosse Seestrasse in Wannsee” was bought in 1948 by François de Diesbach. After de Diesbach’s death, the painting was forgotten within the Swiss embassy. When the Swiss embassy decided to donate the painting to the Liebermann Villa, a distant relative of de Diesbach seized a Swiss court and claimed ownership over the painting. The High Court of the Canton of Bern ultimately held that the Swiss Confederation had acquired ownership over the painting.

Die Grosse Seestrasse in Wannsee – X. v. Switzerland - Read More…

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…

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