American Bar Association
Art & Cultural Heritage Law Committee

Art & Cultural Heritage Law Committee

About the Committee

This committee is composed of attorneys and students with an interest in the legal aspects of art and cultural heritage. Committee members work in settings including private practice, museums, government and academia. Cultural heritage law is concerned with both movable and immovable property of artistic, cultural, religious and historic interest. Through its quarterly newsletter, Year in Review summary, CLE courses and panel discussions, the committee endeavors to represent a variety of perspectives and has recently addressed a variety of legal topics including underwater cultural heritage, art works stolen during the Holocaust, ratification of the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, the impact of war on the cultural heritage in countries experiencing conflict, issues relating to repatriation of cultural heritage improperly removed from its country of origin, implications of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 in cultural property litigation and legal issues relating to artists' authentication boards. Within a diverse field with often sharply differing opinions, the committee welcomes all with an interest in this timely and fascinating subject.

Articles, Programs, Meetings and Events

Committee Events

EVENT: The Tulane-Siena Institute for International Law, Cultural Heritage & the Arts

June 3, 2014 - June 27, 2014
The DePaul University College of Law Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law, Tulane University Law School, and the Università di Siena are partnering to offer the 2014 Summer Study Abroad Program at the Tulane-Siena Institute for International Law, Cultural Heritage, and the Arts. The 2014 program will take place in Siena, Italy from June 3 – 27, 2014, and is open to law students and graduates, graduate students in other disciplines, and practicing attorneys. CLE credit is available for attorneys who wish to participate in the program. The program is fully accredited by the ABA.

This program offers students the unique opportunity to study the complex relationship between international law, art and cultural heritage. It provides students with the only opportunity in the world to study in depth the relationship between international law and art itself, as both physical and intellectual property. Lectures are supplemented extensively with field trips, presentations by guest speakers, and visits to museums, private collections, and looted sites. Additionally, after finishing the academic component, interested students will then have the opportunity to put their new knowledge to use, working on the ground in either the U.S. or Southeast Asia.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until the program is full. For more information, visit the link above.

EVENT: Legal Issues in Art Restitution: Historic Looting, the Monuments Men, and Nazi Looted Art

April 14, 2014
Committee Vice Chair and Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation (LCCHP) Executive Director, Leila Amineddoleh, will be presenting a public lecture on legal issues related to looting and art restitution. For more information, please visit the link above.

EVENT: The Economics of Authenticity: How US Cities Have Reversed Decline through Historic Preservation Programs

April 16, 2014 - April 17, 2014
Tulane University School of Architecture's Preservation Matters III in partnership with Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans celebrating its 40th anniversary present this program on "The Economics of Authenticity: How US Cities Have Reversed Decline through Historic Preservation Programs". An evening keynote and reception will be held on Wednesday April 16, followed by a day long symposium on Thursday April 17.

Internationally heralded speakers unite to discuss dynamic economic development through historic preservation and paths forward: Charles Birnbaum, Mayor Thomas Menino, Donovan Rypkema, David Throsby, Anthony Tung, Arthur Ziegler.

EVENT: Mining and Archaeology: Afghanistan's Past, Present and Future

April 22, 2014
Mes Aynak, the world's second largest copper mine and one of the most splendid Buddhist site ever discovered, came to the world's attention several years ago when plans for large scale mining began to be implemented. Philippe Marquise, director DAFA coordinator of the international archaeological team at the site, will report on the latest findings, the role of the National Museum of Afghanistan, and future plans (research and exhibition) for the preservation of the materials from the site. The talk will also touch upon larger questions of the future of archaeology in Afghanistan.

EVENT: Roundtable on the Reform of US Cultural Property Policy, Law and the Public Interest

April 30, 2014
The Committee for Cultural Policy Inc. is convening a roundtable to discuss practical steps to harmonize conflicting laws that create uncertainty for museums and private collectors.

The panel discussion will take place at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, 30 April.

For more information, visit the link above.

EVENT: Book 'Em: Insider Theft from Libraries and Archives

May 7, 2014
The Archivist Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (A.R.T.) is hosting this event, co-sponsored by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice's Department of Art and Music and Lloyd Sealy Library from 6:00-8:00PM at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Insider theft is a particularly difficult problem for libraries and archives. Speakers will discuss their experiences discovering and investigating insider thefts from governmental, university, and private libraries and archives. They will analyze the security measures that failed in these situations and describe subsequent policy and technological changes designed to prevent further insider theft within a limited security budget.

ARTICLE: Taking on Art Looters on Twitter

April 9, 2014
NYTimes Article, by Tom Mashberg

ARTICLE: Portugal’s Move to Sell Miró Works Raises Debate of Preservation vs. Privatization

March 27, 2014
NYTimes Article, by Raphael Minder

ARTICLE: Among the Wounded in Syria’s War: Ancient History

March 11, 2014
NYTimes Article, by Alissa Rubin
Section Events

    Understanding Necessary Regulatory and Legal Frame


    Please Note: This is a non-CLE program The timing for this program is listed in US Eastern Daylight Time This is the first of six programs on this topic. If you select one of the Package Pass rates, you will automatically gain access to all six teleconferences for the price of five. The dial in information ...

    2014 Section of International Leadership Retreat


    Harvard Club of Boston, MassachusettsYour registration fee includes: Wednesday's Networking Luncheon with the Division Chairs, Teambuilding Reception and Welcome Dinner, Thursday's Breakfast and Committee Awards Luncheon and Friday's Breakfast.Thursday's Division Clambake and afternoon excursions are ...

    Law and Economy: China America Legal Forum —Management of Legal Risk for International Business


    The event will be held on 09/04/2014 - 09/05/2014. The format is In-Person. The event sponsor(s) are Section of International Law.

Helpful Internet Resources

The following is a list of internet resources concerning the protection of art and cultural heritage property.

Other organizations

This is a list of other organizations that address issues relevant to art law and cultural property protection

Young Lawyers/Law students

This page offers information about organizations for young lawyers/law students, in addition to opportunities for those members of the legal community.



Farinella, Jacqueline
Norman, Channah


Amineddoleh, Leila
Giansanti Cag, Madeleine
McCullough, Michael
Ray, Kevin

Committee Roster  

Modified by Jacqueline D Farinella on April 19, 2014

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