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The Long Journey: Establishing Repatriation of Indigenous Human Remains and Cultural Items as an International Norm.

On November 14, 2013, at the symposium, "Restitution and Repatriation: The Return of Cultural Objects," Jack Trope, Executive Director of the Association on American Indian Affairs, delivered the featured lecture, entitled "The Long Journey: Establishing Repatriation of Indigenous Human Remains and Cultural Items as an International Norm." Mr. Trope has focused much of his legal work in the areas of native cultural preservation, including the protection of sacred lands and repatriation issues, and Indian child welfare. He played an instrumental role in obtaining the enactment of, and working to implement, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.


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.
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Restitution and Repatriation: Expectations and Reality

World-renowned historian Lynn Nicholas delivered the keynote address entitled “Restitution and Repatriation: Expectations and Reality." Mrs. Nicholas is the author of The Rape of Europa, a groundbreaking history of the looting of art works during World War II that has become the fundamental account of this era. Her work exemplifies the best of historical research with relevance to restitutionary justice for victims of the Holocaust.


Beyond the Iraq Museum: Protecting our Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis

The 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 Compliance

On September 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 litigation

This 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.

Center for Art, Museum, and Cultural Heritage Law