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Protecting Cultural Heritage From DisasterOn September 22, 2014, as part of the Arts Law Colloquium series, Professor Ryan Rowberry, Georgia State University College of Law, gave a special lecture on historic preservation in urban areas. Cultural heritage around the world, particularly in urban areas, faces numerous and diverse disasters ranging from sudden cataclysmic natural events to more attenuated climate change to prolonged economic catastrophe. Professor Rowberry's presentation set forth concrete suggestions for effective strategies that municipal and local governments may use to better protect their cultural and historic resources in these times of resource scarcity. To illustrate this discussion, Professor Rowberry drew on his recent work in Istanbul, where he is helping to safeguard and preserve the city's historic urban core, and in Barcelona, in which he, along with several other academics and policy makers, is fashioning a workable Affordable Housing program using the city's historic but underutilized structures.
Secured Transactions in Cultural PropertyOn September 15, 2014, Kevin Ray, Of Counsel at Greenberg Traurig, gave a special lecture on secured transactions in cultural property. Mr. Ray focuses his practice on the intersection between financial services and art and cultural heritage law. He represents and advises artists, art galleries, art collectors, and museums and cultural institutions in a variety of transactions, including consignments, questions of title, provenance, and compliance with national and international law.
Operational Law: Applying Law on the BattlefieldOn March 17, 2014, the
Arts Law Colloquium continued with Colonel (Retired) Richard B. "Dick" Jackson, who has served as the Special Assistant to the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General for Law of War Matters since 2005. Col. Jackson has extensive experience in the law of war and international and operational law, in general, and has represented the U.S. government in several international conferences and negotiations regarding arms control, the law of war, and protection of cultural property. His lecture on March 17th addressed a range of topics, including the challenges of a Brigade Legal Advisor in Combat.
IFAR: Art for Sale? Bankruptcy and the Detroit Institute of Arts The City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2013, putting the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), owned by the city, at possible risk. Would the sale of the art be legal, let alone wise or moral; would it put more than a dent in the city's debt? On October 24, 2013, the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) brought together the current director of the DIA, two former museum directors, and a legal advisor to the DIA to address the issues surrounding this alarming situation.
Beyond the Iraq Museum: Protecting our Cultural Heritage in Times of CrisisThe tragic looting of the Iraq National Museum in 2003 shocked cultural heritage professionals into action and led to the U.S. ratification of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict in 2009. Natural disasters, global climate change, and political instability also continue to place our cultural heritage at risk around the globe. As a response to these events, Minneapolis Institute of Arts curator and former military officer Cori Wegener founded the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield in 2006. Part of an international network, USCBS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting cultural property during armed conflict and natural disasters. Wegener will provide a slide presentation about her experience with the Iraq National Museum and describe the current state of efforts to protect our shared cultural heritage in times of crisis.
Sotheby's Director Of ComplianceSeptember 21, 2011 Jane A. Levine spoke to students and attorneys at DePaul University College of Law and discussed her typical day as the Director of Compliance and Senior Vice President for Sotheby's. Ms. Levine shared her experience with issues of regulatory enforcement, breach investigation, compliance monitoring, and substantive policy areas including, anti-corruption and anti-bribery, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing; data protection and information privacy and security, identity theft prevention, due diligence with respect to provenance, cultural heritage issues, authenticity and title, and the auction process.
DePaul University College of Law professor appointed as chairperson of the United States Cultural Property Advisory Committee DePaul College of Law Distinguished Research Professor Patty Gerstenblith, director of the Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law, has been selected to chair President Barack Obama's Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC). The committee, which falls under the U.S. Department of State, assists the United States in implementing the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.
Judicial Amnesia and the Historical Record in Nazi-looted art litigationThis presentation will demonstrate the wave of dismissals of claims to Nazi-looted art on technical grounds such that, with few praiseworthy exceptions, the courts of the United States no longer act as beacons of justice for the Holocaust restitution movement. In fact, they are being used by some museums to circumvent federal executive policy and distort the historical record. Tales of our most respected institutions acquiring what they knew or should have known was trafficked and laundered art likely seem outrageous and counter to common sense to those unaccustomed to hearing about the widespread infection of the market with art that had been stolen or extorted from Jews between 1933 and 1945. The truth, however, is that the modern claims are legally viable when viewed within the true historical context of the Holocaust and U.S. executive policy during the War, through the Cold War period and now.