No Posting This Week

No posting until next week. We’ll be in Istanbul for the next five days at the International Law and Trade Conference. It should be a good time. I’ll be giving a short talk on my research, and talking about some of the new ideas which have been floated as alternatives to export restrictions in source nations. I’ll post my notes here when I get back.

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A Few Notes

Sorry for the lack of posts last week. I’ve been rushing to finish up a couple of articles for publication. The first, is a case note on Iran v. Berend which should appear in the next issue of the International Journal of Cultural Property. The second is a much longer article which is tentatively titled: Why US Federal Criminal Penalities for Dealing in Illicit Cultural Property are Ineffective, and a Pragmatic Approach. That should be published sometime next fall. I’ll try to post a copy of it on SSRN in the next few months.

In the links section at the left, I’ve added a link to the Museum Security Network, which is an outstanding service that sends daily emails on this topic. Also, I’ve included a link to Joanna Cobley’s Museumdetective site, which includes a lot of great information and podcasts.

Questions or Comments? Email me at

New Template

Sorry for the confusion, but in order to accommodate higher monitor resolution rates, I’ve decided to switch to a different template. Everything is still here. This new format should be a bit more user-friendly.

If you’d like to subscribe to my posts, I’ve included an easy RSS feed at the left. I’ve also included a new link to things I’m reading which may be relevant.

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Export Restrictions, The Waverley Criteria and Philadelphia

A recently attributed work by English landscape painter John Constable has been temporarily denied export under the UK’s Waverley Criteria. The work, “Flatford Lock from the Mill House” (~1814) which was only attributed to Constable in 2004, has been sold to a foreign buyer, whose identity is unknown. The UK has a limited export restriction scheme, which temporarily halst the export of a work if it falls under one of the three Waverley Criteria. The criteria are:

  1. Is it so closely connected with our history and national life that its departure would be a misfortune?
  2. Is it of outstanding aesthetic importance?
  3. Is it of outstanding significance for the study of some particular branch of art, learning or history?

If a work can fall under any one of these three categories, export will be temporarily restricted by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) so a UK buyer can raise enough money to keep the work in the UK. The export license for this work may be delayed until 11, May 2007. I am not sure who owns the work, or if it is even publicly displayed. It was part of an exhibition at the Tate Gallery from June – August of this year. The restriction begs the question though, if the work is not generally on display to the public, do UK residents get some kind of inherent benefit out of having the work in private hands?

Such is not the argument over the