Seminar: New Dimensions in Art Recovery

November 16, 2011
Herrick, Feinstein LLP

2 Park Avenue

New York City

Claims against possessors of art continue to proliferate. The impulse to unravel transactions in stolen art has inspired new legal maneuvers and defenses. While museums are obvious front-line defendants, the legal risks and ethical pressures also affect private collectors, governments, recovery agencies and insurers. They also provide unprecedented opportunities for claimants.

The aim of this seminar was to inform practicing lawyers and museum staff about initiatives that are being taken to diversify the practice of art recovery in a trans-Atlantic context. Eminent practitioners from the US and the UK will report on approaches to litigation within each jurisdiction to highlight the differences and similarities between them.


8:30: Breakfast and Registration

9:00: Welcome, Introduction and Overview of Program
- Lawrence M. Kaye and Howard N. Spiegler, Herrick, Feinstein LLP

9:30: Old wine, new battles: developing the common law of museum liability
- Professor Norman Palmer QC CBE, 3 Stone Buildings

10:15: Absorbing conflict: the knock-on effects of innovative art claims- Luke Harris, English Bar, 3 Stone Buildings

10:45: Break

11:00: Self-imposition by museums of “public trusteeship” and its influence on the response to restitution claims: a self-serving or a self-denying strategy?

11:15: New weapons and new targets: criminal sanctions and redress against museum workers under US law
- Yael M. Weitz, Herrick, Feinstein LLP

11:45: Break

12:00: Holocaust-related litigation and the institutional conscience: do museum ethics preclude resorting to technical defenses such as the statute of limitations?

12:30: Anti-Seizure and the public conscience: liberty, liability or lost opportunity?
- Professor Norman Palmer, QC CBE, 3 Stone Buildings- Comments by Gilead Cooper QC, 3 Stone Buildings Lincoln’s Inn London- Lawrence M. Kaye and Howard N. Spiegler, Herrick, Feinstein LLP

1:15: Lunch and Informal Discussions

2:15: Modern developments in the pursuit of art claims: the experience in the American courts
- Darlene Fairman, Herrick, Feinstein LLP

2:45: The future - Restituting looted Cuban art: utilizing the legacy of Nazi-looted art recovery

3:15: Questions and Conclusion
- Lawrence M. Kaye, Professor Norman Palmer and Howard N. Spiegler

4.00: Close of Conference