Art treasures looted during World War Two have been found in public galleries and private collections around the world.
Returning these items to the rightful owners, or any heirs, is currently being attempted using skilled detection and backed by legal treaties.
A public lecture on Tracing and Recovering Looted Art is being given at the University of Leicester on Tuesday, 8 February, by Professor Patrick Boylan, one of the international advisers on the work of the Hague Convention on the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict.
Professor Boylan was Director of Museums, Arts and Records Service for Leicester and Leicestershire for 18 years from 1972 until 1990. He is currently Professor of Heritage Policy and Management at the City University in London and has also been prominent in the most important international organisations aiming to re-establish cultural institutions following wars. Last year he headed the non-governmental organisations' delegation to the 1999 Diplomatic Conference to adopt a second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention to protect art in wartime.
During the 1990s Professor Boylan was a key figure on international bodies such as the United Nations/UNESCO World Commission on Culture and Development and has advised national governments on policies and procedures for the maintenance of cultural property. While in Leicester he was chair of the Ethics Committee of the International Council of Museums and he was vice president of the organisation from 1992 until 1998.
The lecture on the problems of locating and recovering stolen art takes place in Lecture Theatre 3 in the New Building on 8 February, at 5.45 pm and is being sponsored by the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust Studies at the University in conjunction with the Department of the History of Art. The talk is free and open to the public.
"This should be a very interesting talk," said Professor Aubrey Newman, director of the Stanley Burton Centre for Holocaust Studies. "It is particularly relevant to us in Leicester, since one of the leading instances of the return of such art has occurred here.
"But of course it is a topic which is not relevant merely for our own generation, and it raises a number of topics which have been basic for the history of cultural interchange for generations."
A photo-call with Professor Patrick Boylan will be at 5.15 pm on Tuesday, February 8 in room 1501 in the Attenborough Building. For further information please contact Professor Aubrey Newman on 0116-252 2802.
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