[Ancientartifacts] July seminars in London

Good faith, Due Diligence and Ethical Imperatives in Art and Antiquities
A half-day study forum with the generous support of Hunters Solicitors

London, Thursday 3rd July 2008

to reserve a place click here


In art law, as in other fields, it is always tempting to recite words
without rigorous thought as to what they mean. One such phrase is 'due
diligence' which, like 'good faith' and related concepts, is often cited in
regard to art dealings but not always understood.

Lawyers and museum officials alike could profit from a searching and
practical analysis of the legal situations in which due diligence and good
faith are relevant, or as to the relationship between them, or as the effect
of their presence of absence, or as to the precise standards of conduct they
import, or as to the burden of proof, as to the means for ensuring that they
are observed.

This afternoon study forum seeks to remedy these gaps and to investigate
what good faith and due diligence really mean to the art world.

Drawing on a wealth of modern case law, from both within and beyond the art
world, and using a wealth of practical examples, the seminar will provide
valuable practical guidance on proper standards of behaviour for museums,
private collectors and trading bodies in modern art and antiquities
transactions, and suggest solutions to the challenge of illicit markets in
today's atmosphere of cross-border art mobility.

Speakers include Marc-Andre Renold (avocat, Geneva) Gilead Cooper QC (3
Stone Buildings), Professor Norman Palmer CBE (Treasure Valuation Committee
and 3 Stone Buildings), Joseph Carney (3 Stone Buildings), Freda Matassa
(independent museums consultant) and Richard Ellis (the Art Management


State Immunity, Anti-Seizure and Customary International Law: Transparency,
Integrity, Mobility and Security under Cross-Border Loans and other Sharing
Transactions affecting Cultural Objects
A two-day conference in London in association with the Foundation for
International Cultural Diplomacy with the generous support of Blackwall
ID=599&ObjectTypeID=3&ObjectID=332&ArchiveExpanded=1&LoadMid=Child> and
Withers LLP <http://withersworldwide.com>

London 17th-18th July 2008

Reserve a place
<http://www.ial.uk.com/Anti-Seizure%20July%2008%20reserve.php> or request
further particulars <mailto:rrc@ial.uk.com>


Great pressure exists on museums to maximise public access to their
collections, rationalise collecting policies, craft new ways of sharing
their resources and explore international commercial opportunities. Art
collections have become diplomatic and economic assets as well as scholarly
resources, and are expected to fulfil an ambassadorial role in international
conditions where competition is mounting and "loan fees" offer seductive
inducements. These developments are reflected in the rise of anti-seizure
or immunity statutes that seek to protect cultural objects from entanglement
in legal proceedings while on loan to foreign states. The United Kingdom
statute, Part 6 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, is an
inventive but controversial contribution to this trend.

But concurrently with its response to an increased demand for circulation,
the museum world is developing a heightened appreciation of the perils of
illicit material and of the need to refrain from all taint of profiting from
prior dubious transactions. Museums that value their reputation need to
devise ways of isolating such material from the ethical sphere of art
lending and exchange and of securing the return of unlawfully removed
objects to their dispossessed owners. Does legal immunity support or
subvert that need?

Regrettably not every object in a museum collection, or accepted on loan by
a museum from a private collector, will have an impeccable lineage. Some
museums are for historical reasons reluctant even to exhibit material on
their own premises, let alone to expose it to international scrutiny.
Sometimes it may be obvious that an object has been illegally removed from a
country of origin but impossible to determine that country.

The main object of the conference is to explore the balance between two
paramount modern imperatives in the field of art and antiquities:

the unhindered cross-border movement of cultural material by way of loan,
exchange, joint ownership schemes and other means, and

the vindication of legal and other interests in cultural objects so that
legitimate principles supporting legal title and national heritage are

In pursuit of this objective, the conference will look in detail at the
policies demanding cross-border mobility, the legal vehicles for achieving
such mobility, the risks that threaten the itinerant work of art and the
devices that exist to afford legal immunity or other protection. On the
latter point particular focus will be placed on the practical application
and value of modern anti-seizure statutes, looking critically at their
pragmatic workability and functional differences, as well as the searching
questions of principle that they provoke.


Dave Welsh
Unidroit-L Listowner


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