Join us for a discussion on the topic of Restitution of Colonially Looted Art, with perspectives from law and practice with Patricia Allan (Glasgow Museums), Prof Matthias Goldmann (EBS University), and Dr Christa Roodt (University of Glasgow).

The session will include the following presentations:

‘Morally Repulsive but Legally Fine? Public International Law and the Non-Restitution of Colonial Objects’, by Prof Matthias Goldmann

‘Restitutionary Private International Law Claims to Sacred Heritage Looted or Trafficked during the Colonial Era’, by Dr Christa Roodt

‘Glasgow Museums’ Approaches to Repatriation: Practical Experiences’, by Patricia Allan

These will be followed by an audience Q&A chaired by Ms Therese O’Donnell (University of Strathclyde), and a drinks reception from 6.30pm. 

Location: Wolfson Medical School, Yudowitz Seminar Room 253. 

Time: 5- 7.30PM, Thursday 16th November 2023

Registration: In-person attendance only. To attend, please register via Bookitbee.

Panel Members

Patricia Allan has been Curator of World Cultures at Glasgow Museums since 2002. Her research interests include international repatriation, indigenous cultures and heritage, post and pre-colonial art and history, and contemporary folk and tribal art of Northern India and South America. Patricia has undertaken field research for Glasgow Museums on projects in Northern India, Australia and Ecuador. She has supervised international repatriations and was a member of the Museums Galleries Scotland’s working group that produced the current guidelines on the Care of Human Remains in Scottish Museums.

Prof Matthias Goldmann holds the Chair of International Law at EBS University. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. Previously, he worked as a Junior Professor at Goethe University Frankfurt from 2016 to 2021. In 2015, he was awarded a Freigeist Fellowship of Volkswagen Foundation. He holds a doctorate in law form Heidelberg University and an LL.M. from New York University. He has published widely in domestic and international law reviews and served as an editor-in-chief of the German Law Journal from 2017 to 2022. His research focuses on the law and political economy of finance, economic constitutionalism, and the theory and history of European and international law, particularly their colonial past.

Dr Christa Roodt is a Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Glasgow. Her expertise and research interests are in International Art Law, ADR and Cultural Heritage, Cultural Policy and Law and International Civil Procedure in Business Litigation. She holds a Master in Law from the University of South Africa and a PhD in Law from University of the Free State in South Africa. She is a member of the British Committee for the Re-unification of the Parthenon Marbles. Recent research and activities have focused on restitution and the law in relation to complex colonial histories, the relationship between property law and heritage, and the provenance and ownership of stolen trophy art. She teaches on the Erasmus Mundus postgraduate programme on Management of Art and Cultural Heritage in Global Markets.

Ms Therese O’Donnell is a Reader in the Law School at the University of Strathclyde, with expertise on Public International Law and Human Rights Law.  Previously, she held lecturing positions at the University of Liverpool and Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, and professionally qualified as a solicitor.  Her research has focused on the legacy of World War II and, in particular the Holocaust. This took her work in the direction of hate speech, Holocaust denial, looted art, the contemporary prosecution of war criminals and collective guilt and transitional justice. Currently, she is working towards the development of a larger work which will pull these strands together giving a sense of the concerns which have preoccupied law in the management of the historical legacy of the Third Reich.

Restitution-of-Colonially-Looted-Art Poster