CONF: European Parliament JURI Committee Hearing on Cross-Border Restitution of Looted Art, Brussels 3 Dec 2019

On 3 December 2019, the JURI Committee will host a public hearing on “Cross-border restitution claims of works of art and cultural goods looted in armed conflicts and wars”. The event is organized as a follow-up to the European Parliament resolution of 17 January 2019 on cross-border restitution claims of works of art and cultural goods looted in armed conflicts and wars (2017/2023 (INI)).

Leading experts from a variety of national contexts from within and beyond Europe will discuss various aspects of restitution of cultural property with the aim to look at ways to ensure fair and just solutions for the return of looted art. They will provide opinions on the future actions required to ensure standard processes for making and pursuing claims, due diligence standards, and shared definitions of what constitutes loss both between and even within countries. Members will have the opportunity to ask questions to renowned experts in the area. 

3 December 2019, 9am-12.30pm – Location: Brussels, European Parliament, Room: József Antall JAN 6Q2

The hearing is open to the public (free of charge, registration required). For further details and registration:


Welcome by the Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs

Remarks by Mr Pavel Svoboda, former Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee and rapporteur for the Committee’s report on cross-border restitution claims of works of art and cultural goods

Keynote: Ambassador Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, New York City, (USA), President of the World Jewish Restitution Organization, Jerusalem (Israel), Restitution of Nazi looted art

Panel I : Restitution of World War II-looted art1 Chaired by [MEP]

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Matthias Weller, Mag.rer.publ. Department of Law, Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Professorship for Civil Law, Art and Cultural Property Protection Law, University of Bonn (Germany)
• Ms Pauline Baer de Perignon, claimant, “The case of the ‘Portrait of a Lady Posing As Pomona’ by Nicolas de Largillière”
• Ms Anne Webber, Chair, Commission for Looted art in Europe, London (United Kingdom): “’Restitution:’ The Difficulties and Realities: The Experience of the Claimants”• Mr Taco Dibits, Director, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (The Netherlands): “A perspective from the museums”• Mr Richard Aronowitz-Mercer, Sotheby’s London, European Head of Restitution (United Kingdom): “A perspective from the consignor/ current owner of a potentially looted artwork”• Mr Jerome Benezech, Head of the Commission for the Compensation of Victims of Spoliation (CIVS), Paris (France): “European panels on looted art network: an assessment”• Ms Agnes Peresztegi, Art restitution expert, President of the Commission for Art Recovery, New York (USA): “Improving the legislation on looted art in Member States”

10.00-10.30 Q&A

Panel II: Standardization: provenance research, due diligence and other tools as facilitators in looted-art restitution claims
Chaired by [MEP]

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Meike Hopp, Art Historian, Junior Professor for Digital Provenance Research at the Institute for Art History and Historical Urbanism, Department of Art History, TU Berlin and Chairwoman of the Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung e.V. (Germany)
• Dr. Wesley Fisher, Director of Research, Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO), Head of Claims Conference- WJRO Looted Art and Cultural Property Initiative: “Regulating for the future: The case for the standardization of provenance research in cross-border restitution claims”
• Ms Kristin Hausler, Institute of International and Comparative Law, London (United Kingdom): “Restitution claims and the existing minimum legal standards in EU and international law for provenance and due diligence”
• Mr James Ratcliffe, General Counsel, the Art Loss Register, London (United Kingdom): “An international database as a tool for due diligence and restitution of looted art”• Ms Monica Dugot, International Director of Restitution, Christie’s , New York (USA): “The challenges of due diligence and private international law when dealing with restitution of Nazi looted art”
• PD Dr. Christian Fuhrmeister, Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Head of the TransCultAA Project, Munich (Germany): “Researching looted art in the EU. Jurisprudence and conclusions from the EU project TransCultAA”
11.00-11.30 Q&A

Panel III. How to find common ground for regulation? Chaired by [MEP]
Moderator: Prof. Dr. Guido Carducci, Law Professor, Attorney, Arbitrator, Former Chief, International Standards Section, and Parthenon Marbles Mediator, UNESCO (Paris, London, Rome)
• Dr. Johannes Nathan, Nathan Fine Art, Berlin (Germany) & Zürich (Switzerland): “Arbitration and compensation for claimants and owners through an international fund? A proposal inspired by insurance models”• Ms Agnes Peresztegi, Counsel, Commission for Art Recovery, New York (USA): “Criteria for registration and definition of the term looted”
• Mr Leonhard Weidinger, Austrian Commission for Provenance Research (Austria): “How to regulate the profession of provenance research.”
• Prof. Dr. Meike Hopp, Chairwoman of the Arbeitskreis Provenienzforschung e.V. (Germany): ): “Developing, connecting and professionalizing provenance research”
• Dr. Gail Feigenbaum, Associate Director Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (USA): “The American approach to looted art, the Getty Provenance Index”
• Ms Evelien Campfens, former General Secretary of the Dutch Restitutions Committee for Holocaust related art claims 2002-2016, PhD researcher at the Grotius Institute for International Legal Studies, Leiden University (The Netherlands): “Regulation of due diligence standards and the creation of a public/private European Agency for looted art”
11.55-12.20 Q&A

Closing remarks by the Vice-president of the European Parliament in charge of Human Rights Heidi Hautala (tbc)

Press point by the Chair and MEPs chairing the panels

Lunch hosted by the Chair of the JURI Committee
Venue: Members’ Restaurant (La Brasserie), ASP 00 G