All posts in repatriation

Appellate court upholds ruling by Justice Charles E. Ramos: what this means for Fritz Grünbaum’s heirs, works by Egon Schiele, and the HEAR act

After tediously fighting for two artworks by Egon Schiele, the heirs of Franz Friedrich ‘Fritz’ Grünbaum (1880-1941), a famous cabaret singer from Austria and a vocal critic of the Nazi party, are one step closer to possibly bringing the artworks home. On July 16th, a panel of five judges in a New York Appellate court […]

Egypt will sue Christie’s over the $6 Million sale of a King Tutankhamun bust

Egyptian government officials announced that they will be looking to file a civil suit over the recent $6 million sale of a Tutankhamun bust that took place despite a public outcry as well as the country’s protest over the theft of the ancient artefact. The government and protesters argue that the bust was stolen from […]

Nazi-looted artwork once part of the Gurlitt trove returned

On July 3rd, Germany returned Quai de Clichy. Temps gris by Paul Signac to the family of Gaston Prosper Lévy, the late French art collector and real estate broker. The painting was part of a massive trove of Nazi-looted artworks that were in collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, whose father was an art dealer notorious in […]

US judge rules in favour of the Met concerning a Picasso and allegations of Nazi-era looting

Recently, chief US circuit judge Robert Katzmann upheld a 2018 ruling concerning Pablo Picasso’s The Actor (1904-1905) meaning it will stay in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Actor, now valued at around $100 million, became the subject of a nearly decade-long legal dispute when claims were made that it was sold […]

Germany appeals case over restitution of the Guelph Treasure (worth $275 million) in the US Supreme Court

Returning an artwork that at one time might have been stolen is not a clear-cut process and when you’re dealing with works that were stolen, looted, or simply have a murky provenance during the Nazi era, the process gets even more difficult. This has been the case in an ongoing dispute concerning the Guelph Treasure, […]

One lawyer’s take on returning Nazi-looted artworks: an interview with Orna Artal

Working to get an artwork back into the hands of its rightful owner, whether the rightful owner is a country or an individual, is no clear, easy science – there’s more grey area than what might meet the eye. To discuss some of the difficulties, and triumphs, that come along with repatriation, Art Critique spoke […]

Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savory respond to criticism of their repatriation report

On the heels of a November report suggesting that France immediately return African artefacts and artworks taken during the colonial period, authors Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy have found themselves defending their conclusions. After French president Emmanuel Macron commissioned the report in 2017, Sarr, and economist, and Savoy, an art historian, set to work consolidating information […]