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School of Law Symposium To Examine Cultural Property Rights (Released: 9/18/00)

By Alison Thompson, Office of University Communications

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Who is the rightful owner of a stolen painting, the person who bought it or the thief? Though the question may seem simple, scores of people have spent decades struggling to answer it.

Descendants of Jewish people whose art was looted by the Nazis often find themselves fighting to recover the stolen property from museums, while indigenous people worldwide have become embroiled in battles about who owns their culture's artwork.

On Friday, Sept. 22, speakers at a symposium at the University of Connecticut School of Law, 55 Elizabeth St., Hartford, will explore cultural property rights from a variety of perspectives and discuss concerns facing the global community. The daylong event, "Ownership and Protection of Heritage: Cultural Property Rights for the 21st Century," is being sponsored by the Hellenic Association, the Latino Law Students Association, the Jewish Law Students Association, the Black Law Students Association and the Connecticut Journal of International Law.

"The safe keeping of cultural property is fundamental to the future enjoyment of such unique and historically important objects. It is the role of justice to manage the plunder and appropriation of art and cultural artifacts and thus promote uniform cultural property rights," says William Kambas, past president of the Hellenic Association. "Because of the importance that cultural property holds for each of the cultures in which it was created, it is imperative that our legal system contemplate the property rights that surround these objects and promote their well being for future generations."

Speakers at the symposium include James Cuno, director of the Harvard Art Museums and a professor at Harvard University; Maria Papageorge Kouroupas, executive director of the United States Information Agency's Cultural Property Advisory Committee; and Lawrence Kaye, an attorney with Herrick, Feinstein LLP and head of the firm's art practice group.

The program will include sessions on cultural property and ownership, repatriation, private acquisition versus governmental protection, and future cultural property rights issues. A schedule of the event is attached.

Any media interested in attending the symposium should call Allison Thompson at (860) 486-3530 by Thursday, Sept. 21.

Ownership and Protection of Heritage: Cultural Property Rights for the 21st Century

Friday, September 22, 2000
8:15-8:45 Registration/Complimentary Breakfast

8:45-9:00 Welcome

9:00-9:15 Introduction of Speakers

9:15-9:30 Introduction of Topics

Cultural Property and Ownership

9:30-10:00 Art - Lawrence Kaye, attorney at Herrick, Feinstein, LLP

10:00-10:30 Antiquities - Clemency Coggins, professor at Boston University

10:30-11:00 Indigenous Peoples - Robert Paterson, professor and acting Dean of the British Columbia School of Law

11:00-11:30 Panel Discussion/Question and Answer Forum

11:30-11:45 Break

Repatriation

11:45-12:15 Patty Gerstenblith, professor at DePaul University College of Law

12:15-12:45 James Cuno, director of the Harvard Art Museums

12:45-1:15 Panel Discussion/Question and Answer Forum

1:15-2:15 Complimentary Lunch

Private Acquisition vs. Governmental Protection

2:15-2:45 Private Collector/Museum - Torkom Demirjian, president of Ariadne Galleries

2:45-3:15 Government/International - Maria Papageorge Kouroupas, executive director of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee

3:15-3:45 Panel Discussion/Question and Answer Forum

3:45-4:00 Break/Complimentary Refreshments

Future Cultural Property Rights Issues

4:00-4:30 Round-table forum

4:30-5:00 Panel Discussion/Question and Answer Forum

5:00 Closing Comments

September 2000 Releases
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