Derek Fincham interviews Legal Counsel in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Nout van Woudenberg is an author of the newly published volume entitled “State Immunity and Cultural Objects on Loan.” He was recently interviewed by Derek Fincham, who reports that  immunizing art from potential suit is an important but criticized step which assures lenders that their property is safe from seizure and will be returned post exhibition. First question:

Setting down to write, what was your aim with ‘State Immunity and Cultural Objects on Loan’?

Some years ago, it occurred to me that it was not clear whether States actually knew what the current state of affairs was with regard to immunity from seizure of cultural objects belonging to foreign States while on loan abroad. In 2004 the convention on jurisdictional immunities of States and their property had been established under auspices of the United Nations, addressing, among other things, immunity for cultural State property on loan. But that convention has not yet entered into force. I thus considered it necessary to investigate whether another rule of international law was already applicable: a rule of customary international law. After all, that rule would be binding upon States, without necessarily becoming a party to a convention.

For the full interview, visit Illicit Cultural Property Blog.

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