Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Second Circuit, Nazi Looted Art, and Why Museums Are Letting ISIS Flourish

Camille Pissaro - La Bergere Rentrant des Moutons

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has remanded a case against the University of Oklahoma brought by a Jewish woman seeking the return of a painting by Camille Pissaro that had been stolen by the Nazis from her father.

This case is one of a wave in the United States where museums have asserted statutes of limitations to hold artwork that the museums know to be stolen from Jewish families.  This violates an international agreement that the United States signed in 1998 known as the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art.

I discuss why museum directors who launder stolen art, rather than return it to the families from whom it was stolen should be prosecuted and jailed in a law review article Nazi Looted Art and Cocaine:  When Museum Directors Take It, Call The Cops.

If you are interested in the topic, please check out this 2014 report by the Jewish Claims Conference:  Art and Judaica Looted by Nazis from Jews Still Largely Unidentified; Review of 50 Countries Shows Little Progress Despite International Pacts   It blasts museums for failing to follow their own ethics codes.

U.S. museums are the ultimate repository for billions in stolen art, meaning that the U.S. taxpayer finances looting operations, past and present.  To understand how ISIS finances its operations through looted antiquities, I recommend Col Matthew Bogdanos' lectures and his book The Thieves of Baghdad: One Marine's Passion For Ancient Civilizations and the Journey To Recover The World's Greatest Stolen Treasures.   The Colonel and I recently spoke at the National Arts Club where he described the role of museums and auction houses in laundering antiquities.

When will prosecutors have the courage to take on The American Alliance of Museums?  The National Stolen Property Act has long forbid the transport, possession and concealment of stolen property (as does the law of every state), but prosecutors don't have the gumption to take on rich, powerful and popular museums.  The result is that tax breaks are given out for donations of stolen property.  The U.S. taxpayer is the victim, our museums have been transformed into laundering institutions, and we wonder why organizations like ISIS continue to flourish,.  Prosecutors too dumb to follow the money or too interested in taking easy cases that won't offend anyone wealthy.
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw

Monday, March 09, 2015

Nazi Looted Art: Cases, Ethics and Law - March 24, 2015 Westchester Women's Bar Association

Nazi Looted Art: Cases, Ethics and Law

Presenter: Raymond Dowd, Esq.  
With last year’s film Monuments Men, the upcoming Woman in Gold starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds, and with the documentary The Rape of Europa on PBS, the story of Adolph Hitler’s art looting program is finally gaining Hollywood’s attention. A find of 1,400 artworks in Munich last year in the possession of Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of one of Hitler’s art dealers, raised an international firestorm. But the unfinished business of World War II remains unfinished, with governments and families continuing to trace stolen artworks that are hidden in public and private art collections worldwide. With D.A. Robert Morgenthau’s seizure of Egon Schiele’s Portrait of Wally and Dead City III in 1998, world attention focused on the topic. Speaker Raymond J. Dowd of Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP brought the first federal Holocaust-era Nazi art looting case to trial in the Southern District of New York and argued it twice to the Second Circuit. In an entertaining and art-filled lecture, he will present the law, the history and the ethical concerns that continue to face our courts today.

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Registration and Networking
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Program
Place: Toscana Ristorante
214 Main Street, Eastchester, NY 10707
Fee: $55.00 for WWBA members, $65.00 for non-members.

Dinner; cash bar

RSVP: By March 19h, 2015 to
1.5 CLE Credits (includes 0.5 hr. Ethics)1
Attendance limited to WWBA and WPBA members and their invited guests.
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw

Monday, March 02, 2015

List of Law Librarians on Twitter

Baker, Brian L. @brianlbaker
Ahlbrand, Ashley @AshleyAmes
Allison, Jennifer @jenellen1214
Ballard, Terry @terryballard
Bassett, Cindy @Librynth
Beatty, John @johnny42
Beitz, Janelle @jkbeitz
Blackaby, Dan @dblackaby
Blaine, Anna @annacb33
Boone, Tom @tomboone
Brannon, Pam @pcbrannon
Burchfield, Amy @aburchfield
Burriesci, Sara @sarak1015
Carr, Emily @ecarr42
Chase, Annie @annie734
Ciaccio, Amanda @anciaccio
Cosby, Michelle @MC_LawLibrarian
Crosby, Connie @conniecrosby
Davidson, Steph @stephdavidson
Day, Ronald E. @ronaldeday
Dingledy, Fred @ding0036
Doty, Paula @pauladoty
Dumas, Tina @planettina
Eiseman, Jason @jeiseman
Farrell, Elizabeth @elizabethf
Feikert, Clare @itspoppet
Feliu, Vicenc @Sabreur76
Fitz, Kate @katefitz
Frey, Scott @sfreywsu
Garcia, Iris @IrisGarcia
Giammettei, Jo-Anne @jogiammattei
Gierloff, Tami @teegeepdx
Ginsberg, Debbie @debgpi
Glassmeyer, Sarah @sglassmeyer
Goitom, Hanibal @Hanibalgoitom
Hall, Christine @chall6
Halls, Rachel Scott @rachscotthalls
Harrington, R. @rbharrington
Hemmings, Mary @maryhemmings
Henning, Coral @coralh
Hepler, Chrissy @chrissyhepler
Heym, Robert @robertheym
Holmes, Elizabeth @bethgholmes
Hood, Isabel @amusedmusings
Huddleston, Brian @bhuddle
Jenkins, Mary @jenkinsm
Jones, Caroline F. @carolinefjones
Jones, Faye @daisyfjones
Jones, Julie M. @juliemjones
Junghahn, Lisa @ljunghahn
Kaiser, Rita @Rkaiser
Kauffman, Blair @bookedup
Kelsey, Mary Jane @mjkelsey
Khan, Yasmin @yasminmaven
Kribble, Meg @mak506
Krumbine, T. @tkrumbine
Lakatos, Holly @hlakatos
Lambert, Greg @glambert
Laughlin, Riva @laughlir
Lee, Grace @glee212
Lee, Jootaek Juice @juice_lee
Leers, Susanna @sleers
Leiter, Richard @rleiter
Manion, Terrance @tkmanion
Marshall, Stephanie @skmarshall
Martin, Kim @LibMuse
Matthews, Steve @stevematthews
McAlpine, Michael @michaelmcalpine
McCurry, Liz @Liz_McCurry
McKenzie, Betsy @BetsyMcKenzie
Mecklem, Sue @susieredshoes
Melnick, Deb @debemel
Moore, Wendy @wemoore
Mullan, James @jimmy1712
Mulvihill, Abbie @abstracked
Myers, Anne @annemyers
Nann, John @jbnann
Outler, Elizabeth @elizout
Palfrey, John @Jpalfrey
Patel, Margaux @margauxpatel
Pearse, Michelle @aabibliographer
Quist, Amanda @akq_librarian
Reynolds, Bess @bibliobess
Richards, R. @richards1000
Ryan, Lee @LeeRyanSF
Saltz, Ryan @RySaltz
Sampson, Sara @SaraSampson8
Sawatzky, Karen @karensawatzky
Saxon, Sean @seansaxon
Schaffner, Pam @ohioxstitcher
Schander, Deborah @dschander
Schneider, Charlotte @bordnLawGirl
Scibelli, Nancy @nancyscibelli
Sellers, Christine @clsellers
Sherlock, Chris @CJASherlock
Shucha, Bonnie @shucha
Shrager, Debbie @deshrager
Siegel, Kama @kama_sue
Silverman, Mitch @mitcheypoo
Slyhoff, M @mslyhoff
Sommer, Jamie @Jamie_Jamie
Suttell, Laura @lsuttell
Tarr, Christina @readersguide
Tong, Jocelyn S. @JocelynAtWork
Truman, Rob @robtruman
Valentine, Geoff @gtvalentine
Venard, Paul @pvenard
Vine, Scott @iOverlord
Watson, Carol @cwatson290
Wayne, Erika @evwayne
Weber, Andrew @atweber
Wones, Suzanne @onlywones
Woods, Roberta @RobertaWoods
Young, Malea @dcmalea
Zhang, Laney @Chinese_Law
Zook, Genevieve @funnylibrarian
Alan P @atticusX
Annette B @AnnetteBr
bsquared24 @bsquared24
CPDB Librarian @cpdblibn
JC @MdLawLib
Katie N @librarian411
ksmb1465 @ksmb1465
LegalGoddess1 @LegalGoddess1
Montserrat @montserratlj
New Law Librarian @NewLawLibrarian
ontemi @ontemi
ProfLonghair @ProfLonghair
Sansanee @sansanee
sioslo @sioslo
vickispeaks @vickispeaks
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.
Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw

Monday, February 23, 2015

List of Law Libraries On Twitter

 Library/Twitter Handle

Appalachian School of Law Library @ASL_Library
Cleveland-Marshall Law Library @CMLawLibrary
George Mason Law Library @GMULawLibrary
Georgetown Law Library @GtownLawLib
Georgia State University Law Library @gsulawlib
Harvard Law School Library @hlslib
IIT Downtown Campus Library (Chicago-Kent) @DTCLibrary
IU Maurer Law Library @IUMaurerLawLib
Law Library of Congress @LawLibCongress
Lewis & Clark Law School - Boley Law Library @lawlib
Louisiana State University - Law Ed Tech @LSULawEdTech
Maryland State Law Library @mdstatelawlib
Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries @masslawlib
Minnesota State Law Library @StateLawLibrary
Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center Law Library @nsulltc  
Oxford University - Bodleian Law Library @thelawbod
Pace Law Library @pacelawlibrary
Rutgers-Camden Law Library @RutgrsCamLawLib
Sacramento Co. Law Library @saclawlibrarian
Santa Clara University - Heafey Law Library @heafeylibrary
Seattle University School of Law Library @sulawlib
Stanford Law Library @stanfordlawlib
Thomas Jefferson School of Law Library @TJSL_Library
Touro College - Gould Law Library @TouroLawLibrary
University at Buffalo Law Library @UBLawLib
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Library @ualrlawlibrary
University of British Columbia Law Library @UBCLawLib
University of Calgary Law Library @UCalgaryLawLib
University of Chicago - D'Angelo Law Library @dangelolaw
University of Colorado - Wise Law Library @wiselawlibrary
University of Connecticut @UConnLawLib
University of Hawai'I Law Library @UHLawLibrary
University of Maine Law Library @UMELawLibrary
University of Missouri Law School Library @MULawLibrary
University of Nebraska Law Library @schmidlibrary
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Law Library @uiuclawlib
University of Texas @tarltonlawlib
Yale Law Library @yalelawlibrary


Note: updated with a tweet from @tarltonlawlib!
Note 2: updated with a tweet from @lawlibcongress
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.
Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw

Sunday, February 22, 2015

This Thursday! Looting and the Plunder of Cultural Heritage at the National Arts Club - NYC

Girl With Black Hair (Egon Schiele 1911) - Stolen From Fritz Grunbaum, Now at Oberlin College

Thanks to the Archaeology Committee of the National Arts Club, I will be speaking at this wonderful event on Thursday with two esteemed colleagues, I hope that you will brave the weather to attend!  Free and open to the public.


Looting and the Plunder of Cultural Heritage

Thursday, February 26
6:15 PM
Looting is one of the major problems encountered throughout the art world.   We present a panel composed of three eminent attorneys discussing this topic from a variety of perspectives. They include Professor Lucille A. Roussin of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Colonel Matthew Bogdanos of the New York District Attorney’s Office, and National Arts Club Board member Raymond Dowd.   Treated will be the unique problems faced by source nations in reclaiming their glorious treasures, the United Nations 1970 Convention governing ownership of excavated finds, determination of provenance when required information remains lacking, Holocaust restitution in relationship to the international arena in which politics often intervene, continuing cultural catastrophe represented by the illegal trade in purloined artifacts which fund terrorism and support ISIS, and whether or not excessive tax breaks accorded to individuals donating stolen antiquities without any meaningful oversight be necessarily warranted.   
   The question of looting, its concomitant consequences, and oftentimes difficult resolution are complex.   Join us and become enlightened about these subjects with a better understanding of the diverse issues involved. 

A reception will follow at 7:30, at which “Thieves of Baghdad” by Colonel Bogdanos will be available for purchase.
For more information:
Looting and the Plunder of Cultural Heritage
Thursday, February 26, 2015 6:15 PM
 Copyright law, fine art and navigating the courts. All practice, no theory.Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson Reuters Westlaw 2014-2015) by Raymond J. Dowd
 Copyright Litigation Handbook on Westlaw