CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Book on state immunity from seizure of cultural objects on loan presented

Yesterday, in the Hermitage Amsterdam the book State Immunity and Cultural Objects on Loan by Nout van Woudenberg was presented. Since state immunity from seizure is an important factor in the international lending of cultural objects and as such in a great number of exhibitions, the book is of great interest to CODART-members and other museum professionals.

State Immunity and Cultural Objects on Loan
Nout van Woudenberg
492 pp., hardcover
Leiden (Martinus Nijhoff) 2012
ISBN-13: 978 90 04 21704 1

Cultural objects have been on the move for a long time. Yet there has been no comprehensive survey to date of the current state of affairs with regard to immunity from seizure of foreign cultural objects belonging to foreign States that are on loan for temporary exhibition. This study fills that gap by examining whether there is any rule of (customary) international law stipulating that such cultural objects are immune from seizure, or whether such a rule is emerging. It also examines relevant State practice and the reasons behind it. This volume thus provides greater clarity and legal certainty in the field of lending cultural State property and should be of use both to States and to cultural institutions.