Thomas R. Kline
Thomas R. Kline, Of Counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Andrews Kurth LLP, and Assistant Professorial Lecturer at George Washington University, Museum Studies Program, has practiced law in the District of Columbia for more than thirty-five years, specializing generally in litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution and has, since 1989, represented governments, museums, churches, foundations, and families, in recovering stolen art and cultural property appearing in the United States. He also represents American museums and collectors in responding to claims and generally handles a wide variety of art and cultural property litigation and advice matters for a diverse group of clients.
Mr. Kline began his work in the recovery of stolen art and cultural property in 1989 with the representation of the Autocephalous Greek-Orthodox Church of Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus in litigation against an art dealer in Indianapolis that led to the recovery of Byzantine mosaics that had been stolen from a Church in the Turkish-occupied area of Cyprus. Since then, Mr. Kline has represented the Church of Cyprus in recovering other cultural objects looted from the occupied area. He also represented the Church of St. Servatii, Quedlinburg, Germany, in recovering world-famous medieval religious treasures stolen in Allied-occupied Germany by an American Army officer and mailed home to Texas in the aftermath of World War II. Many of Mr. Kline’s cases involved art objects that were looted in wartime, but he has also worked and consulted on thefts from archeological sites and on the illegal removal, export and import of cultural artifacts. Mr. Kline has also handled matters concerning art claimed to have been taken by the Nazis during World War II in the systematic looting of art owned by Jews and others.
Mr. Kline serves on the Board of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation; as Assistant Professorial Lecturer, he co-teaches a seminar on Cultural Property at The George Washington University, Museum Studies Program. He also writes and speaks on art, museum and cultural property issues and serves on the Advisory Board of the German/English publication KUNST UND RECHT. In 1999, Mr. Kline appeared before the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States. For his work on behalf of the Quedlinburg Church and other German Cultural institutions, Mr. Kline was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Mr. Kline also received the medal of Cyprus Technical University for protecting the cultural heritage of Cyprus.