Members of the Case Western Reserve University community are invited to join the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program for an upcoming lecture titled “Art and Antiquities in the News: Provenance and Illicit Trade in Antiquities.” Given by Brian A. Glassman, legal writing professor emeritus at Cleveland State University, this lecture will be held Tuesday, Nov. 28, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Landmark Centre Building (25700 Science Park Dr.).
Art is always on the move, often for reasons that are both legitimate and beneficial to society: for example, loans between art museums that enable them to host blockbuster exhibitions. While antiquities exhibited by museums inform and educate the public, there is also a dark side to the movement of art in peacetime, a major concern of which is the significant and worldwide illicit trade in antiquities.
This presentation will examine the role that provenance (ownership history)—or lack thereof—plays in the black market. It also will consider the relationship of museums, dealers, auction houses, and collectors to such illicit trade, and the successes (and failures) of the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property in curbing the illegal sale of antiquities. The presentation will conclude with an examination of the circumstances surrounding the Manhattan District Attorney’s recent seizure of a statue of a Roman emperor from the Cleveland Museum of Art.