Matthias Weller

The Safeguarding of Foreign Cultural Objects on Loan in Germany



Large exhibitions of works of art and other cultural property depend on loans from abroad. Cross-border loans, however, involve many legal issues: the lender wishes to secure that his loan be returned upon the end of the loan. Many lenders will refuse to loan without specific protection. On the other hand, third party claimants will see a chance to institute proceedings on the occasion of the loan in the host state under another procedural order and possibly under another applicable law and thus perhaps obtain access to justice after a long time. This clash of interest has to be dealt with. Therefore, many states including German have enacted "anti seizure statutes" to the effect that seizure of the foreign loan is excluded under certain conditions. The following text describes the factual background of the enactment of the German statute and analyses the preconditions and the limits of protection including those potentially arising from European and International Public law. Some comparative notes concerning other states' anti-seizure statutes such as the United Kingdom or Switzerland will also be givent


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