Publication : “A Common Standard of Due Diligence in Art Practice: towards a harmonization of restitution claims”

By Dr. Jean-Jacques Neuer and Clea Hance (JSM, Stanford Law School)

Cabinet Neuer: Avocats Paris – Solicitors London

This article proposes a concrete analysis of the evolution of practices in the international art market regarding the issue of provenance over the past decades and how it affects the fight against illicit traffic. The chore idea is that a viable fight against illicit traffic of artistic properties can only be sustained today if an international official endorsement of a common notion of good faith allows a better art market predictability in restitution cases across jurisdictions. Notably, we advocate for the development of a standard of due diligence that recognizes the responsibility of both the acquirer and the original owner to use art loss databases either to ensure the provenance of an artefact or to publicize their loss. Given that the consultation of art loss databases is a well-established and almost systematic practice used to investigate the dubious provenance of artistic properties, it seems appropriate to extend the concept of due diligence to original owners, requiring that registration of a loss to meet this standard. With the intensification of restitution cases that we have witnessed over the past few decades and the growth of the art market into a financial power, this issue is of high priority and should gain a better public awareness.

The complete article is available at

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