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11 Declarations of Immunity from Seizure of Foreign Artworks and the Legal Position of Sovereign Art Lenders before Us Courts: the Malewicz Case

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Chapter Summary

On 9 January 2004, a group of thirty-five heirs of the world-renowned Russian artist Kazimir Malevich filed suit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington D.C. against the City of Amsterdam. This chapter starts with highlighting some elements concerning the international and American approach on immunity of the property of a state and continues by describing the practice of Immunity from Seizure Declarations regarding cultural property in the United States of America and the Netherlands. Until the twentieth century, it was believed that sovereign immunity from the jurisdiction of foreign courts left no room for exception. At the European level, the European Convention on State Immunity with its Additional Protocol was concluded on 16 May 1972. The US Department of State processes applications for exemption from seizure of loan exhibitions under the Federal Immunity from Seizure Act, 22 USC. 2459.

Keywords: Amsterdam; Federal Immunity; Kazimir Malevich; Seizure Act; Seizure Declarations; sovereign immunity; State Immunity; US District Court



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