In times of increasing economic hardship and greater public readiness to pursue legal remedies, it is inevitable that aggrieved parties with a legal claim to pursue should think about increasing the range of defendants and targeting individuals as well as institutions when things go wrong. This is true of the museum world just as it is true of other professions and industries. Added to a modern tendency to include museum officers within the new criminal provisions that are affecting cultural objects, this makes for an uncomfortable time, and one in which museum personnel have a strong interest in knowing and managing their personal legal obligations.
This seminar looked specifically at the personal risks and responsibilities that confront the individual museum officer or freelance curator when conducting professional business. Many museum practitioners are unaware of recent legal developments that could lead to their being sued personally for dealings in cultural objects or being prosecuted for alleged participation in crimes concerning such property including allegations of obscenity. Nor is there full awareness of the ways in which an ill-informed museum manager can increase the risk of legal liability on the part of his employer - with potential knock-on consequences for the manager’s own pocket should the employer museum seek redress.
Attendance at this afternoon seminar was designed to give a clear picture of the duties involved and the ways to avoid breaking them.
Charles Goldstein (Herrick Feinstein, New York)
Luke Harris (3 Stone Buildings)
Professor Norman Palmer QC, CBE (3 Stone Buildings)
Mark Stephens (Finers Stephens Innocent)
Jonathan Wood (Reynolds Porter Chamberlain)
An Institute of Art and Law afternoon seminar from 2-5pm.
For further details, see the Institute of Art and Law website at www.ia.uk.com