THE LAWYERS' COMMITTEE IN THE NEWS


LCCHP Board Member, Tom Kline, Litigating a Case Involving Looted Art in Communist Germany 

While the loss and anguish of Nazi art looting is well known, a second series of German art seizures, decades after World War II, has largely gone unnoticed. Between 1973 and 1989 the East German police, known as the Stasi, seized more than 200,000 objects in hundreds of raids, according to experts and official archives. As part of a broader government program to secure Western currency through the sale of the art, the police went after collectors like Mr. Meissner, who, when he objected, was sent, at 79, to a psychiatric hospital and portrayed as an enemy of the state.

Read the article here, and read about Tom Kline's practice on the Andrews Kurth website


LCCHP Board Member and Secretary Quoted in ArtNews

LCCHP's Board Member and Secretary, Rick St. Hilaire, quoted in an ArtNews report about cultural heritage looting (http://news.artnet.com/art-world/could-us-cultural-protection-czar-stop-rampant-isis-looting-173972). Mr. St. Hilaire was also recently named the 2014 Daniel Webster International Lawyer by the New Hampshire Bar Association. Congratulations Rick!

 

LCCHP's Executive Director Quoted in Article about ISIS

LCCHP's Executive Director, Leila Amineddoleh, discusses the growing market of illicit antiquities entering the art market due to ISIS looting: http://www.ibtimes.com/islamic-state-antiquities-trade-stretches-europe-united-states-1724733

   

LCCHP's President Attends Museum Conference in Russia

LCCHP was proud to have its president attend the International Council of Museums’ “Museum & Politics International Conference” last month in St. Petersburg, Russia. http://www.museumandpolitics.ru/en/

 

LCCHP Board Members Speak at U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program on "Mining and Cultural Heritage Preservation"  

Representatives from LCCHP met with a delegation from Afghanistan on August 19 to provide an overview of US cultural heritage law and how US addresses issues of historic preservation in the context of mining and exploitation of natural resources. Afghanistan is in the midst of addressing the opportunity for significant economic development and preserving its rich cultural heritage. In particular the Mes Aynak archaeological site, where a 1,800-year-old extensive Kushan Period (Buddhist) settlement, urban, and religious center in Logar Province is believed to sit atop of the largest copper reserve in the country. In 2007 the Chinese state-owned company MCC siegned a $3 billion bid to lease and operationalize copper mining at Mes Aynak for 30 years; MCC plans to extract over $100 billion worth of copper co-located with the numerous archaeological sites that comprise Mes Aynak. Most of the archaeological excavation work has not been completed and has faced significant challenges, due both to inadequate funding and the incredible richness and complexity of the site. While laws governing cultural heritage protection in relation to mining development do exist in Afghanistan, GIRoA (Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) has had significant problems due to lack of experience balancing the preservation of historic and archaeological sites with developing natural resources and a lack of capacity in enforcing existing laws. The project and meeting funded by DOS is designed to provide awareness and develop capacities for Afghan government and advisory officials who are responsible for the Solomon’s task of balancing these twin priorities: promoting critically necessary economic development opportunities and protecting one of the most significant cultural heritage sites in the world.

LCCHP provided information on US law, process and practincluding lessons learned by the adverse impacts to natural and cultural heritage from copper mining in the US prior to the consultation and process established under the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Policy Act that may be helpful to the Delegation as they deal with the challenges they face in preserving this heritage that is so important to Afghanistan and the world.

 

National Cultural Heritage Moot Court Competition Champions Named

Chicago-Kent College of Law won the Fifth Annual National Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition held at the Dirksen federal courthouse in Chicago. The annual competition is sponsored by the Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation and DePaul University College of Law. Read more about the competition here: http://culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com/2014/02/cultural-heritage-moot-court-champions.html

Some members of the LCCHP Board of Directors and Executive Director in Chicago

 

Archaeological Institute of America's Statement on Egyptian Heritage 

Several cultural heritage organizations, including the LCCHP, issued a joint statement today regarding the loss of life and threat to heritage in Egypt. The statement is available at http://archaeological.org/news/14907

 

LCCHP Executive Director Leila Amineddoleh Quoted in the Wall Street Journal

The article discussses the problems that arise after importing cultural heritage items into the United States. The article is available here

LCCHP board member William Cook presented the oral argument in favor of preservation.

The New Mexico Supreme Court found that Mt. Taylor was properly designated a cultural property by the New Mexico Cultural Properties Review Committee. The National Trust participated in the litigation and presented oral argument as friend of the court in support of the tribes and the Cultural Properties Review Committee.


New York Times: Suit Against MoMA Hinges on Technical Time Limits


Jennifer Anglim Kreder, co-chairwoman of the American Society of International Law's Interest Group on Cultural Heritage & the Arts and member of LCCHP, discusses the role timing technicalities play in Nazi-era art claims.

Read the full story here


Museums Advised to Remove Rhinoceros Horns from Display

PR Newswire published the joint statement issued by LCCHP, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Save the Rhino International, and Saving Rhinos LLC on the rise of antique rhinoceros horn thefts and the threat it poses to the world's natural and cultural heritage.  The statement urges museums worldwide to take active measures to protect rhino horns. More information about the connection between antiques, artifacts, and the illicit rhino horn trade is available here

Read the full statement


Animal Nature: Museum Heists Target Rhinoceros Horns

The Lawyers' Committee, along with several other animal welfare groups, issued an alert warning of the threat of rhino horn thefts in museum heists.  Executive Director Terressa Davis comments on the serious threat these heists pose to the species as well as to the public. 

Read the full story

Forum UNESCO Distributes LCCHP Statement

LCCHP's statement drawing attention to the emergency in Egypt has been distributed by Forum UNESCO - University and Heritage (FUUH), a UNESCO project for undertaking activities to protect and safeguard the cultural and natural heritage, through an informal network of higher education institutions.

National Public Radio: Egypt Called; It Wants Its Rosetta Stone Back

In an interview on National Public Radio, Patty Gerstenblith - Founder and the President of the Lawyers' Committee - comments on Egypt's efforts to recover the Rosetta Stone.

Listen to the interview

The Wall Street Journal: Portrait of Notoriety

In this Wall Street Journal editorial, Lawyers' Committee Board Member Thomas Kline reflects on the historic settlement of "United States v. Portrait of Wally," on the eve of its trial in U.S. federal court.

Read the editorial

The Art Newspaper: Greek Bronze Will Stay in the Getty Villa

Lawyers' Committee President Patty Gerstenblith comments on U.S. law as it applies to the ongoing legal dispute between Italy and the Getty Museum over who owns the ancient Greek bronze statute known as the Victorious Youth.

Read the full story

Voice of America: Officials Debate Ancient Artifacts' Rightful Owners

Tess Davis - Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee - explains key terms and concepts in the debate over who owns the past.

Read the full story

Chicago Public Radio: Geopolitics of Archaeology

In an interview on Chicago Public Radio, Patty Gerstenblith explains the relationship between stolen antiquities and the law.

Listen to the interview

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