Cultural Property Law on January 22, 2011: Mosquito Bombers, the Golden Horn, and (Not?) Caligula’s Tomb

Posted on January 22, 2011

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I’ve been down the rabbit hole for the past couple weeks, preparing for the Spring semester and recovering from the holidays, but here are a few recent happenings on the cultural property law front:

  • Last week, Italian police arrested a looter loading an ancient statue into his truck.  The arrest led to the discovery of what the news reports is Caligula’s tomb, but some scholars are skeptical;
  • In the Black Swan case, Odyssey Marine filed a Motion to Strike the U.S. government’s amicus brief in support of Spain, thanks to the leaks (covered in this post);
  • In the Grosz v. MOMA case, the District Court’s dismissal of the action to recover three Grosz paintings as time-barred was affirmed, because settlement negotiations between the heirs and the museum did not suffice to trigger equitable tolling;
  • A British collector argues with the Canadian government over a vintage Mosquito airplane that he wants to “rescue” and restore, at a cost of nearly $1 million dollars;
  • UNESCO warns that constructing a bridge over Istanbul’s Golden Horn may result in removal of the city’s historic peninsula from the World Heritage sites list;
  • France has exempted cultural heritage from the ban on promoting smoking, after the National Library airbrushed a cigarette out of Sartre’s hand;
  • A prosecuting attorney’s opening argument of “size does not matter,” received laughter from the courtroom as he argued that Mount Taylor deserved cultural property protection even though it’s been deemed too large (at 700 square miles) to qualify under the New Mexico Cultural Properties Act; and
  • A cultural heritage firm in the DC area is looking for law student interns for Summer 2011.
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