About the conference
University of Cambridge, March 23 - 24, 2017
Deadline: Oct 15, 2016
In recent years, the subject of looted art and the restitution of cultural property has come to the fore of historical enquiry and public consciousness alike. While popular recollections of this politically sensitive subject often display a certain lack of historical accuracy, a growing number of historians, art historians and legal scholars have devoted their energy to investigating the nuances and complexities of the phenomenon across time and space. Parallel to this, experts based at local, national and international institutions such as ministries, museums, auction houses, archives, galleries or even private collectors have started adopting measures designed to prompt the art world to adopt fair practices for identifying, recovering and restituting looted art. The field, however, remains rather compartmentalized along national, institutional and professional lines and still displays a marked tendency to focus on specific cases or collections. Instead much could be gained by studying the phenomenon in a broader comparative perspective and by exploring the tangible links to some of the central themes of 20th-century history: revolution, persecution, displacement, war, migration and genocide.
The aim of this conference is to identify and address the historical continuities and specificities of the history of looted art and restitution in the overlapping contexts of 20th- and 21st-century British, European and World history as well as to assess its scope and relevance in light of present-day good practices and restitution policies in place in the UK and beyond. We seek contributions investigating the history of Nazi looted art and its restitution in order to gain a deeper understanding of these processes as political and cultural practices as well as to assess and foster the development of fair practices in art trade and restitution in transnational and global perspective.
The conference language is English. Papers will be pre-circulated in mid-March 2017. Please send a proposal of max 400 words, accompanied by a short CV, to Bianca Gaudenzi and Julia Rickmeyer (thelootedartconference at gmail.com) by 15 October 2016.
Organisers: Bianca Gaudenzi (University of Cambridge/University of Konstanz)
Julia Rickmeyer (Sotheby’s London)
Dates: Thursday 23 – Friday 24 March 2017
Location: Newnham College, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9DF
For more information click "Further official information" below.