Tarnished Treasures: Provenance and the UK’s Waverley Criteria

Charlotte Woodhead

Abstrakt

The United Kingdom (UK), like other countries, has made strong commitments to tackling the illicit trade in objects and those that were taken during the Nazi Era. Yet, admitting objects with such questionable provenance into the category of UK national treasures and attempting to keep them in the UK by seeking institutional support to make them available to the public would be at odds with these worthy policies. The main analysis in this paper is focused on the issues raised by the 2017 decision in the UK to designate as a national treasure a Meissen figure that was formerly owned by Emma Budge, whose heirs lost possession of her collection  during the Nazi Era in a forced sale. Using the trope of “tarnished treasures” this paper argues that admitting objects with tainted provenance into the category of national treasures tarnishes the entire category of national treasures. Recognizing the need to retain the integrity of this special category, this paper sets out ways in which the UK export licensing process can more fully take into account provenance before admitting tainted cultural objects into the canon of national treasures, and thus avoiding tarnishing the entire category.

Słowa kluczowe: UK, national treasures, Nazi Era spoliation, tainted cultural objects
References

Appadurai A., Introduction: Commodities and the Politics of Value, in: A. Appadurai (ed.), The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1986.

Arts Council England, Guidance on the Provision of Import, Proof, Declarations and Provenance (updated 29 August 2017).

Arts Council England, UK Export Licensing for Cultural Goods: Procedures and Guidance for Exporters of Works of Art and Other Cultural Goods, 2019.

Bailey M., UK Permits Nazi-Looted Meissen Figure to Leave for Japan Despite Spoliation Claim, “The Art Newspaper”, 5 June 2018.

Britainthinks, Public Perceptions of – and Attitudes to – the Purposes of Museums in Society, March 2013.

British Museum Act 1963.

Brodie N., Provenance and Price: Autoregulation of the Antiquities Market?, “European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research” 2014, Vol. 20.

Campfens E., Introduction, in: E. Campfens (ed.), Fair and Just Solutions? Alternatives to Litigation in Nazi-Looted Art Disputes: Status Quo and New Developments, Eleven Publishing, The Hague 2015.

Commission v. Italy, ECR, 1968, 423.

Chancery Division (United Kingdom), AG v Trustees of the British Museum, Judgment of 27 May 2005, [2005] Ch 397 (Ch).

Chesters L., Budge Estate Seeks Return of Böttger Figure, “Antiques Trade Gazette”, 3 June 2017.

Council Regulation (EC) No. 116/2009 of 18 December 2008 on the export of cultural goods (codified version), OJ L 39, 10.02.2009, p. 1.

Court of Appeal (United Kingdom), R (on the application of J Paul Getty Trust) v. The Secretary of State for National Heritage and the Trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, 27 October 1994, 1994 WL 1060613.

Department for Culture, Media & Sport, Combating Illicit Trade: Due Diligence Guidelines for

Museums, Libraries and Archives on Collecting and Borrowing Cultural Material, October 2005.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Export of Objects of Cultural Interest 2016-17, April 2018.

Department for Culture, Media & Sport, Statutory Guidance on Export Controls on Objects of Cultural Interest, March 2015.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Arts Council England, Rare Meissen Figure at Risk of Leaving the UK, 2 May 2017, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/raremeissen-figure-at-risk-of-leaving-the-uk [accessed: 14.10.2018].

European Court of Human Rights, Beyeler v. Italy, Application No. 33202/96, Judgment of 5 January 2000.

Export of Works of Art 1962-63. Tenth Report of the Reviewing Committee Appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in December, 1952, HMSO, London 1963.

Export of Works of Art 1978-79. Twenty-Fifth Report of the Reviewing Committee Appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in December, 1952, HMSO, London 1980

Export of Works of Art 1979-80. Twenty-Sixth Report of the Reviewing Committee Appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in December, 1952, HMSO, London 1981.

Export of Works of Art 1980-81. Twenty-Seventh Report of the Reviewing Committee Appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in December, 1952, HMSO, London 1982.

Export of Works of Art 1982-83. Twenty-Ninth Report of the Reviewing Committee Appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in December, 1952, HMSO, London 1984.

Gillman D., The Idea of Cultural Heritage, revised ed., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2010.

Greenfield J., The Return of Cultural Treasures, 3rd ed., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2007.

Hansard, Spoliation Advisory Panel Constitution and Terms of Reference, Hansard HC vol. 348, col. 255W (13 April 2000).

Historical Manuscripts Commission, Calendar of the Manuscripts of the Most Hon. the Marquis of Salisbury, K.G., preserved at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, HMSO, London 1883.

Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act 2009.

House of Commons, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Cultural Property: Return and Illicit Trade, HC (1999-2000) 371-I. 

Human Tissue Act 2004.

ICOM, Code of Ethics for Museums, 2017.

Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, Collections Development Policy, August 2018.

Maurice C., Turnor R., The Export Licensing Rules in the United Kingdom and the Waverley Criteria, “International Journal of Cultural Property” 1992, Vol. 1. Museums and Galleries Act 1992.

Museums and Galleries Commission, Statement of Principles on Spoliation of Works of Art during the Nazi, Holocaust and World War II Period, 1999.

National Heritage Act 1983.

National Museum Directors’ Conference, Spoliation of Works of Art during the Holocaust and World War II Period: Statement of Principles and Proposed Actions, 1998.

Open General Export Licence (Objects of Cultural Interest) dated 12 March 2015 granted by the Secretary of State.

Palmer N., Museums and the Holocaust, IAL Publishing, Leicester 2000.

Prott L.V., The History and Development of Return of Cultural Objects, in: L.V. Prott (ed.), Witnesses to History: A Compendium of Documents and Writings on the Return of Cultural Objects, UNESCO Publishing, Paris 2009.

Quinquennial Review of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art, DCMS, London 2003.

Report of the Committee of Trustees of the National Gallery, Appointed by the Trustees to Enquire into the Retention of Important Pictures in this Country, and Other Matters Connected with the National Art Collections, HMSO, London 1915.

Resolution 1205 of the Council of Europe “Looted Jewish Cultural Property”, 5 November 1999.

Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, Note of Case Hearing on Meissen Figure of ‘Pulcinell’ (Case 19, 2016-17).

Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, Note of Case Hearing on 4 June 2008: Papers of James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, as Governor of British North America (Case 2, 2008-09).

Terezin Declaration on Holocaust Assets and Related Issues, 30 June 2009.

The Export of Objects of Cultural Interest (Control) Order 2003, SI 2003/2759.

The Stationery Office, Report of the Spoliation Advisory Panel in Respect of a Tapestry Fragment in the Possession of Glasgow City Council, 27 November 2014 (2014 HC 776).

The Stationery Office, Report of the Spoliation Advisory Panel in Respect of Four Nymphenburg Porcelain Figures in the Possession of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery, Bedford, 20 November 2014 (2014 HC 775).

The Stationery Office, Report of the Spoliation Advisory Panel in Respect of Three Meissen Figures in the Victoria and Albert Museum, 10 June 2014 (2014 HC 208).

Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (consolidated version), OJ C 202, 7.06.2016, p. 47.

UK Museums Association, Code of Ethics, November 2015.

US State Department, Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, 3 December 1998.

Vilnius Forum Declaration, 5 October 2000.

Wang V.F., Whose Responsibility? The Waverley System, Past and Present, “International Journal of Cultural Property” 2008, Vol. 15.

Woodhead C., Cultural Heritage Principles and Interference with Property Rights, “Cambrian Law Review” 2011, Vol. 42.

Czasopismo ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line.

Pierwotną formą czasopisma jest wersja papierowa.