Inaugural lecture Prof. mr. Lars van Vliet - 14 September 2023

Appointed professor of 'Art law, particularly in its private law aspects'

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Title of the lecture: "Restitution of looted art: Seeking just and fair solutions using just and fair proceedings"

In this inaugural lecture which took place on September 14, Lars van Vliet addressed the question of how legal proceedings surrounding Nazi looted art should be shaped in a balanced way to ensure a fair trial. He discussed how legislation was introduced after World War II to enable the restitution of Nazi looted art. Since the 1990s, there has been renewed interest in the problem that far from all Nazi looted art has been restituted. For this reason, restitution committees have been set up in several countries. Van Vliet discussed what standards these commissions should use in their procedures, and what problems have arisen due to the large time lapse. He will also address the problem of some claimants trying to circumvent a fair trial by registering the artwork as looted by the Nazis. The difficult dilemmas surrounding Nazi looted art can teach us valuable lessons about other forms of looting of cultural property, such as looting during earlier wars, during revolutions and colonial rule.

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