Zabezpieczenie przed konfiskatą – ochrona prawna dla muzeów organizujących wystawy międzynarodowe

Dorota Folga-Januszewska


Anti-seizure legislation for museums organizing international exhibitions

„International exhibitions are playing an increasingly important part in the life of our museums and galleries. Such exhibitions draw together items from collections in many different countries, introducing visitors to different cultures and civilisations, and increasing their understanding of other countries. They make it possible for visitors to study works of a particular movement or artist which are usually scattered across the world, and encourage them to visit the museums or galleries’ permanent collections” – wrote Anne O’Connell in one of the fi rst studies devoted to the process of implementation of the immunity from seizure to museum’s legal practice.
The immunity of seizure is „the legal guarantee that cultural objects on temporary loan from another State will be protected against any form of seizure during the loan period”. There are three main reasons for which the lenders ask for: protection against application for pre-judgment relief. This would cover the situation when someone wishes to claim ownership of a work of art and brings legal proceedings to do so; protection against applications to enforce any judgment or arbitration award. This is the situation where an individual or company is owed money by the owner of the works of art, and wishes to seize the works of art so that it can be sold to pay the debt due; protection against criminal seizure. This category would grant protection against any seizure by police or customs or any other enforcement authority in the exercise of their powers.
Since the 1960.ties, the notion of ‘immunity from seizure’ became one of the main subjects of international exchange of museum items and problem of intercultural policy. The first solutions were proposed and adopted in U.S. In 1994 the anti-seizure legislation was introduced in France. In the years 2003/2004, an extensive study was carried out on State indemnity systems at the request of the European Commission. On the subject of immunity from seizure, the study group stated that „it is better for both borrowers and lenders to be protected from any third party action. It therefore seems wise for each country to introduce a law ensuring immunity from seizure. In result of this conclusion the Working Group on Immunity of Seizure, co-chaired by Poland and Germany, was established by the EU Program Mobility of Collection and worked 2008–2010. The first result of the research was ascertain that 6 of 27 Member States (MS) implemented Immunity from Seizure to practice (Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, UK), either as a separate regulation or as paragraphs in civil codes, 2 MS have regulation that are related to the subject (Lithuania and Romania), 2 MS have almost finalized its legislation (Finland, Italy), 7 MS are considering to enacting anti- seizure legislation at some point in the future (Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia). It means that 17 of 27 MS are on the way toward reciprocity of anti-seizure cover in exhibition and museums items’ exchange. It was also observed that 14 MS (Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and previously UK) have practiced letters of comfort, when this form of legal guaranty was a condition of loan (usually asked by Russia). The amount of Members States of EU implementing the anti-seizure legislation in service of public cultural activity is still growing up. 63% of countries decided to introduce or are on the way to introducing Immunity for Seizure regulation for museums’ purposes. Having analyzed legal basements, the group concluded that there are still existing but decreasing group of countries where the letters of comfort play the role of anti-seizure legislation.
The final conclusion at the moment might be that different States follow different approaches, which may work best for them. This all depends on their respective legal tradition and system, but also on the amount of international art loans they are conducting, temporary exhibitions they are hosting, or the demands of lending States or museums. When considering immunity from seizure guarantees (including legislations) States assess which approach would fit them best.

Słowa kluczowe: museums, university museums, university collections

Stephen J. Knerly, Jr., International Loans, State Immunity and Anti-Seizure Laws, 37th Annual Ali-Aba Cours of Study, „Legal Issues in Museum Administration”, 2009, April 1–3, Boston, Massachusetts.

Dorota Folga-Januszewska, Muzea w Polsce – jakich ustaw potrzebujemy pilnie? Zmiana zasad gwarancji i wdrożenie prac nad ustawą o zabezpieczeniu przed konfi skatą poprzedzone ustawą o badaniu pochodzenia [w:] Prawna ochrona dziedzictwa kulturowego, red. W. Szafrański i K. Zalasińska, t. III, Poznań [Wydawnictwo Poznańskie], 2009, s. 93–103.

Anne O’Connell, The United Kingdom’s Immunity from Seizure Legislation, LSE Law, „Society and Economy Working Papers”, 2008, No. 20, London School of Economics and Political Science, Law Department. Yin-Shuan Lue, Polly Clark and Marion R. Fremont-Smith, Countering a Legal Threat to Cultural Exchanges of Works of Art: The Malewicz Case and Proposed Remedies, „Working Paper”, December 2007, No. 42, The Hauser Center for Nonprofi t Organizations.

Stephen J. Knerly Jr., Overview of laws concerning immunity from seizure of works of art on loan, 35th Annual Ali-Aba Course of Study, „Legal Issues in Museum Administration”, 2007, March 14–16, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Marco Grassi, Who Owns the Past?, „New Criterion”, December 2006, Vol. 25. Issue: 4.

Erica C. Pieler, L. Reis, Die Leihe von Kulturgut nach der österreichischen Rechtsordnung, „Kunst und Recht. Journal für Kunstrecht, Urheberrecht und Kulturpolitik” 2007, No. 37, s. 37–41.

Nout van Woudenberg, Declarations of Immunity from Seizure of Foreign Artworks and the Legal Position of Sovereign Art Lenders before U.S. Courts: the Malewicz Case [w:] The Netherlands in court; essays in honour of Johan G. Lammers, red. N.M. Blokker, I. Van Bladel, R.J.M.Lefeber, L. Lijnzaad, L. [Martinus Nijhoff Publishers/ Brill Academic], 2006, s. 223–245.

Sabine Boos, Kulturgut als Gegenstand des grenzüberschreitenden Leihverkehrs (Cultural Property as Objects of Transnational Loans), [Duncker & Humblot], Berlin 2006.

Matthias Weller, Das Verhältnis zwischen „Freiem Geleit” und gemeinschaftsrechtlicher Rückgabeklage, Immunity for Artworks on Loan? A Review on Customary Law and Municipal Anti-Seizure Statutes in Light Liechtenstein Litigation, „Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law”, Vol. 38, Issue 4, 2005.

Anne O’Connell, Immunity from Seizure Study, 2005 [Raport zamówiony przez Przewodniczącego Rady Museum of Modern Art w Nowym Jorku].

Julia El-Bitar, Das Verhältnis zwischen „Freiem Geleit” und gemeinschaftsrechtliche Rückgabeklage, „Europäische Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftrecht” 2005, 173.

Erik Jayme, Das Freie Geleit für Kunstwerke, w: Vorlesungen und Vorträge des Ludwig Boltzmann Institutes für Europarecht , hrsg. G. Reichelt, 2001, z. 11.

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