Restitution: Cultural Property
My restitution practice has focused on (1) trade in ancient art and antiquities; (2) Nazi-looted art, and (3) property rights of artists, heirs and related estate issues.
Representative matters include:
Aided client recover paintings from Dutch government seized by Nazis during WWII.
Represented heir of prominent German photographer in trans-national cultural estate matter recovering vintage photographs and compensation.
Represented antiquities dealers in proceedings before U.S. State Department.
As Assistant and Deputy Legal Adviser, Mark Feldman initiated U.S. policy to support international efforts to protect the cultural heritage of mankind by seeking to control illicit trade in objects looted from archeological sites and public monuments. To that end, I negotiated and/or drafted:
Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property 1970 Paris, 14 November 1970, 823 UNTS 231 (1972) TIAS 7008 (Unesco Cultural Property Convention).
U.S. – Mexico Treaty for Recovery and Return of Stolen, Archeological Historical and Cultural Properties, Mexico July 17, 1970, TIAS 7088.
P.L. 92-587, 19 U.S.C. 209 (1972) prohibiting importation pre-Columbian monumental or architectural sculpture and murals removed from the country of origin without its consent.
My Publications and Congressional Testimony:
The UNESCO Convention Regime, Symposium on Reform of Cultural Property Policy: Accountabilty, Transparency and Legal Certainty, Cardozo Law School, April 10, 2014, http://committeeforculturalpolicy.org/commentary/
Letter to New York Times, Nazi-looted Art, July 5, 2013.
The UNESCO Convention on Cultural Property: A Drafter’s Perspective: International Trade in Ancient Art and Archeological Objects, Art & Culture Heritage Law Committee Newsletter, Vol. 11, Issue No. 1, Summer 2010.
Letter to New York Times, Museums and Antiquities, June 4, 2008.
Testimony on Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (CCPIA), Subcomm. Int. Trade, Senate Finance Committee, 95 Cong., 2d, Sess., February 8, 1978.
Testimony on CCPIA, Subcomm. Int. Trade, House Ways and Means Committee, 96 Cong., 1st Sess., September 27, 1979.
International Protection of Cultural Property, 71 ASIL Proceedings 202, April 21, 1977.
Symposium, Legal Aspects of the International Traffic in Stolen Art, Washington D.C., December 28, 1975, 4 SJIL 111 (1976)
Testimony on Treaty with Mexico, Hearing, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, February 8, 1971.