Collecting Talk at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

This upcoming weekend our founder, Leila Amineddoleh, will be speaking at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her discussion will be led during a members only “book talk” event for Cynthia Saltzman’s book Old World, New Masters. The talk is part of a series held in conjunction with Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection, an exhibition highlighting works from the astonishing trove of European art gifted to the city of Philadelphia by famed attorney John G. Johnson.    Leila’s sold-out event will delve the the fascinating history of art collecting, and the way in which valuable art and heritage items moved from Europe to the …

Continue Reading

The Return of the Mummy (Parts)!

The new year is off to a great start with another international repatriation. Later this month, fragments of a mummy will be returned to the Arab Republic of Egypt. The skull and two dismembered hands were taken from Egypt in the 1920s in violation of the nation’s antiquities laws. Leila Amineddoleh served as the cultural heritage law expert for the government. Read about the case HERE.

Continue Reading

Nazi Law and Art Looting

Leila Amineddoleh had the honor of contributing to Nazi Law: From Nuremberg to Nuremberg. Her chapter was about the ways in which the Nazi Party enacted laws to seize property and loot art, and ways that courts are now grappling with those laws to restitute property. Read more about the book from Bloomsbury Press.   About Nazi Law A distinguished group of scholars from Germany, Israel and right across the United States are brought together in Nazi Law to investigate the ways in which Hitler and the Nazis used the law as a weapon, mainly against the Jews, to establish …

Continue Reading

Repatriation of Looted Lebanese Antiquities

Today Amineddoleh & Associates was honored to attend the repatriation ceremony for three looted antiquities from the Temple of Eshmun in Sidon, Lebanon. Our founding partner served as the cultural heritage legal expert for the District Attorney’s Office, providing expertise on Lebanon’s cultural heritage laws for the seizure of a marble sculpture formerly on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. During the ceremony, in which the items were returned to the Lebanese Republic, District Attorney Cyrus Vance addressed the need to protect against looting of art. He discussed the importance of due diligence by museums, auction houses, and collectors. He also …

Continue Reading

Authenticity and Leonardo

This season’s record-breaking sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” at Christie’s reveals a great deal about the art market and raises many questions about the fluid nature of authenticity. Our founding partner wrote about the $450 million sale in an editorial in Live Science, available here.      

Continue Reading

Client Spotlight: Pegasus: The Orchestra

Amineddoleh & Associates’ client, Pegasus: The Orchestra, proudly debuted this past month with two triumphant premiere concerts, and has already been showcased by several news outlets for its musicians’ exceptional talent and the orchestra’s bold mission statement. The orchestra’s debut concert premiered on October 13, 2017 at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York City to sold out audiences. The evening featured pieces by Debussy, Komitas, Mendelssohn and an original work, Cras Es Noster (Tomorrow, Be Ours) by the Orchestra’s founder, artistic director and principal conductor, Karén Hakobyan. Original paintings by artist Hakob Hakobyan and Michael Aram’s Pegasus …

Continue Reading

Guest Post: Is Israel Still A “Collector’s Paradise”? The Ottoman Laws Until the Present

In light of stories coming out of Israel about the illicit antiquities trade, we are pleased to share a blog post by Alexia V. Ogden, a law student based in the UK. The Israeli state enacted the Antiquities Law of 1978 to crack down on the illicit trade of antiquities. Given the nature of the Palestine-Israeli conflict, cultural heritage sites across the area have suffered extensive looting. However, dating as far back as the second century, religious pilgrims have long been attracted to the Lands of the Bible and many were encouraged by religious officials to bring back relics (Kersel …

Continue Reading

Lebanese Antiquity Dispute Resolved

It was announced today that the case against the Beierwaltes was dropped today after it was agreed that an purportedly looted item would be repatriated to Lebanon. See the attached letter below. And for more information about the case, see last week’s blog entry. Congratulations on this important return! 2017-10-10 Letter t Judge FitzGerald w-attachments (1)

Continue Reading

Ownership Dispute of Lebanese Antiquity at the Met

Note: All of the information in this blog post is taken from a publicly filed document. No confidential or privileged information was used in preparing this post. On September 22, Matthew Bogdanos submitted an application in NY Supreme Court in a matter involving a stolen antiquity from Lebanon. I served as a cultural heritage law expert on this case. It was an honor to once again work with Bogdanos, a talented trial attorney. His track record for excellence is impressive, and the filing in this case is a tour de force of legal writing, reading like a suspenseful crime narrative …

Continue Reading

“Mysteries in The Museum: Crime And Deception in Art”

Learn more about high-profile art thefts and infamous forgeries in “Mysteries In The Museum: Crime And Deception In Art,” a WNPR episode from Sept. 8, 2017. The recording is available at http://wnpr.org/post/mysteries-museum-crime-and-deception-art  

Continue Reading

Celebrating Our First Anniversary

Amineddoleh & Associates LLC is pleased to celebrate its first anniversary. The litigation and transactional boutique law firm is recognized for its work in the areas of art, cultural heritage, and intellectual property law. Since our inception, we have been involved in numerous high-profile matters. The law firm’s founder Leila Amineddoleh served as a consultant to the Brooklyn United States Attorney’s Office in the civil case brought against Hobby Lobby (information about the case is available here and here), and likewise serves as a cultural heritage law expert to the New York District Attorney’s Office for antiquities investigations. In that …

Continue Reading

Seizure of 2,300-Year-Old Vessel from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Last night, Tom Mashberg of the NY Times broke the story about an ancient vase that was seized from the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“the Met”). The 2,300-year-old object, the “Python Vessel,” had been displayed at the NY institution since 1989, when it was purchased from Sotheby’s for $90,000. Matthew Bogdanos, a celebrated and Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (as well as author and colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserves), seized the work based on evidence that it was looted from Italy in the 1970s. He was presented with evidence from forensics archaeologist Christos …

Continue Reading

The Case Against Hobby Lobby

The owners of Hobby Lobby, a devoutly Christian company, have been profiled during the past few years for their questionable acquisitions of historic artifacts and the lack of reputable provenance research related to those items. The problems related to their purchases were publicly aired years ago, with evidence that the company acquires looted items from the Middle East. However, earlier this year, Hobby Lobby came under government scrutiny, leading to a civil forfeiture of thousands of artifacts. As an advocate for responsible acquisition practices, it was an honor to consult with the Eastern District of New York regarding national and international cultural heritage laws …

Continue Reading

Getty Villa Returns Statue to Italy

The Getty Villa has long been scrutinized for acquiring objects without complete provenance, in turn, supporting the market for looted antiquities. These questionable activities were the focus of Chasing Aphrodite. The book delves into the often hidden world of museum management, exposes some of the unethical practices of museum employees, and examines the purchase of looted items, including the famed Venus of Morgantina (perhaps actually a representation of Persephone) that was eventually returned to Sicily. During the past decade, the Getty has returned dozens of looted items to Mediterranean nations. In 2006, the museum returned or committed to return four looted …

Continue Reading

Amineddoleh & Assoc. at Cultural Heritage Preservation Law Conference

Join Amineddoleh & Associates LLC in Washington, DC next week as our founding partner, Leila Amineddoleh, will speak at the Cultural Heritage Preservation Law Conference hosted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Georgetown University Law Center. The event promises to be a great one, as the conference includes many experts in the heritage field. To attend the conference, register here: http://forum.savingplaces.org/learn/conferences-training/plt/law

Continue Reading