Art Law Report

Immunity from Seizure in Focus—Loans from Cuba for Exhibitions on Hold

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on March 5, 2015 at 6:39 AM

A recent story in The Art Newspaper spotlights a number of lingering issues related to stolen art, the power of U.S. courts to seize property to satisfy liability, and the role of the Immunity from Seizure Act, 22 U.S.C. § 2459 (IFSA). As we discussed recently, the prospect of a material change in U.S.-Cuba relations, which as a commercial matter haven’t existed for more than 50 years, has broad implications for the art market. Just as importantly, there are many, many unanswered questions about the fate of property in Cuba that changed hands or was nationalized as part of the Cuban Revolution in the late 1950s and onward. Simply put, there are thousands of claims worth billions of dollars for all sorts of property that exiles left behind or had taken from them. While it is still a long way off, one impact of potentially normalized relations is the prospect of sorting through those claims.

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Topics: Legislation, Malevich, Atlanta, Boston College Law School, The Art Newspaper, Immunity from Seizure, Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds, 22 U.S.C. § 2459, City of Amsterdam, High Museum, McMullen Museum at Boston College, IFSA, Foreign Sovereign Immunities, Portrait of Wally, Immunity from Seizure Act, Museums, Chabad, Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity, State Department, Cuba

Happy (early) Birthday to the Art Law Report!

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on September 14, 2012 at 6:18 AM

We launched the Art Law Report one year ago tomorrow. Several dozen posts, thousands of visitors and many more views later, a very special thank you to everyone who has read and followed the blog. The connections made literally all around the world are humbling and enlightening. We continue to strive to provide an interesting selection of legal updates and issues, while offering an opinion and perspective that tries to improve the understanding both of those familiar with legal concepts, and those less so. The continuing developments in copyright, FSIA, immunity from seizure, and other resitution issues in particular are certainly keeping us on our toes, and collections issues like the Barnes case are never too far away either. Your links and comments are appriated, and we will keep linking to all those viewpoints from which we are learning too. Here's to another year of substantive conversation.

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Topics: cultural property, Immunity from Seizure, Collections, FSIA, Restitution, Foreign Sovereign Immunities, Copyright, Immunity from Seizure Act, Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity, Art Law Report, Barnes Foundation

Best Case for Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act (S.B. 2212) May Have been Made by its Sponsors

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on June 5, 2012 at 5:23 AM

Perhaps lost in the coverage about Senate Bill 2212 (the Art Law Report no less than anyone else) to amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act to preclude claims against defendants whose “commercial activity” is limited to the loan of artwork whose ownership is in dispute, is the case made by the sponsors of the bill themselves, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D, CA) and Orrin Hatch (R, UT).

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Topics: Nazi stolen art, Malewicz v. City of Amsterdam, Dianne Feinstein, Immunity from Seizure, 28 U.S.C. 1605(a)(3), FSIA, SB 2212, Restitution, 22 U.S.C. 2459, Orrin Hatch, Senate Bill 2212, World War II, IFSA, Foreign Sovereign Immunities, Immunity from Seizure Act, Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity

Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act: House Votes to Amend FSIA to Exclude Artwork Loan as Basis for Jurisdiction

Posted by Nicholas O'Donnell on March 22, 2012 at 9:15 AM

The House of Representatives approved the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act on March 19, 2012, to remove the display of a work of art in the United States as basis to sue a foreign sovereign here. The law touches on important distinctions between immunity from suit—when a party cannot be sued at all—from immunity from seizure—when a particular object or asset cannot be seized.

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Topics: Legislation, 22 USC 2459, Immunity from Seizure, FSIA, Restitution, Senate Bill 2212, World War II, Foreign Sovereign Immunities, Portrait of Waly, House of Representatives, Immunity from Suit, Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity, State Department

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