The PhD researcher will perform research and write a thesis on the theme of reclaiming artwork looted by Nazis and their collaborators. Especially since the 1990s there is renewed attention to the question of artwork looted during the Nazi-period from countries with Nazi-governments. Many of the victims were Jews. In some countries a system of restitution was set up directly after World War II under which victims and their heirs could seek restitution of the artwork or claim financial compensation for the loss. These systems did not always work well. Some countries even refused or frustrated restitution. When in the 1990s it was appreciated that, due to various causes, the first post-war restitution systems did not always lead to the desired result, a number of countries set up restitution committees to hear restitution requests. Governments and museums should also collaborate in this endeavour by engaging in provenance research to see whether they possess looted art in their collections. At the same time many heirs start proceedings before US courts because in a growing number of cases US courts have jurisdiction to hear these cases. Under US law it is often easier than in European jurisdictions to reclaim looted art, unhindered by limitation periods and bona fide purchaser protection. Despite a growing body of literature in the field there is still a lot of research to be done. The research field is an intricate mix of private law, private international law, public international law, modern history and ethics. Interested candidates will be asked to suggest a theme within this large field of research, which should include a private law dimension.
You will perform the research with the support of experts from the Maastricht Law Faculty, the Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage, and with the support of experts from our art law network in which other universities and groups participate. You will be offered the opportunity to collaborate with researchers from different disciplines, including art laywers from various jurisdictions, historians and art market specialists. You will be part of an exciting and vibrant community where researchers from different disciplines meet and form interdisciplinary teams that conduct academically and societally relevant research. You will be offered the opportunity to expand your horizon and gain insights on other fields of law and ethics. For this, you will be encouraged, coached, and allowed to attend courses and workshops that will add social and legal knowledge to your skillset.
Matching Skills and Competencies
38 hours per week