Universiteit Maastricht

Faculty of Law

Art and Heritage Disputes

Dr. Valentina Vadi and Professor Dr. Hildegard Schneider
The conference aims to identify, map and critically assess the number of art and heritage disputes which have arisen in the past decades. The return of cultural artifacts to their legitimate owners, the recovery of underwater cultural heritage, the governance of sites of outstanding and universal value, the protection and promotion of artistic expressions, and the protection of cultural sites in time of war are just some of the issues which have given rise to art and heritage related disputes. Such disputes have involved a number of different actors arising among states, states and private individuals and individuals. As the regulation of cultural goods constitutes a good example of multilevel governance and legal pluralism, art and heritage related disputes have been brought before national fora, human rights courts and tribunals, international economic law fora and even before the International Court of Justice. Such disputes have certainly made headlines and attracted the varied interests of academics and policy-makers, museum curators and collectors, human rights activists and investment lawyers, thieves and guards, and artists and economists to mention a few. It is now time to take these unchartered developments into account, and to assess the contribution that these cases are offering to the development of international law in both its public and private dimensions. Are there common threads or features that characterize such disputes?

The conference is co-organized by Professor Hildegard Schneider and Dr. Valentina Vadi. Professor Dr. Hildegard Schneider is the Dean of the Faculty of Law at Maastricht University. She has lectured in art law for more than twenty years and has regularly convened international workshops and conferences on cultural law on an almost yearly basis. She has published a number of contributions in this field, and has co-edited (with Peter Van den Bossche) Protection of Cultural Diversity from a European and International Law Perspective (Intersentia 2008), and (with Valentina Vadi) Art, Cultural Heritage and the Market (Springer, forthcoming 2013). Dr. Valentina Vadi is a Marie Curie postdoctoral Fellow of the Faculty of Law at Maastricht University. She has been awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship by the European Commission for the years 2011-2013 concerning cultural heritage in international and European law. She has published a number of contributions on international cultural law and has co-edited (with Hildegard Schneider) Art, Cultural Heritage and the Market (Springer, forthcoming 2013). 
The conference will be held on 24-25 March at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.