Art Theft Archive Newsletter

Volume 1, No. 4

April 1979

Cultural Property Pros and Cons
— B. Burnham
Editorial on the 1970 UNESCO Convention on Cultural Property, requiring art importing countries to cooperate with source countries to curb theft, looting and commercial exploitation of ethnographic material. The United States has no art export control and art professionals fear legislation will result in blanket seizures, damage and delays. Third World countries however demand that looting be halted and are enacting their own controls. Implementing legislation was introduced in the House in April 1979

UNESCO Convention Legislation Reintroduced
— Mary Dutton Boehm
Implementing legislation is outlined, followed by commentary by Ms. Boehm, who suggests that those who are opposed to the bill be asked to model legislation that might answer their concerns.

First Report on the Canadian Cultural Property Export And Import Act
Canada's Cultural Property Act, passed September 1977, establishes a control list of specific works and categories of objects whose export requires a permit. A First Report on the first six months of the Act has been published.

Bulletin: Petrides Convicted
Paris art dealer Paul Petrides, author of the catalogue raisonné on Utrillo, is convicted of dealing in stolen paintings. This protracted case started in 1973.

McClain Appeal Decided
Patty McClain and other dealers, arrested in 1975 for possession of smuggled pre-Columbian ceramics, had their convictions reversed on appeal but were re-tried and re-convicted in 1977. Their appeal has just been decided: the theft conviction reversed but the conspiracy charges upheld.