Quel avenir pour les œuvres orphelines ?

Press release of the proceedings volume of the symposium organised by the Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, the Art Law Centre of the University of Geneva and UNIDROIT Quel avenir pour les œuvres orphelines ? (University of Geneva, Art Law Centre, 4-5 February 2021).


"Orphan works", in other words cultural objects with no proven provenance or with significant gaps in their provenance, are the source of many legal, ethical, archaeological and historical questions. The problem with these works is often the absence of archives (export licences, traces in old inventories, old photos, etc.) to prove their age in collections. A major international conference organised jointly by the Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, the University of Geneva and UNIDROIT brought together eminent experts, practitioners and researchers (lawyers, archaeologists, historians, provenance researchers, etc.) to reflect on the subject and attempt to develop a strategy in this area. A central issue for today's art market, collectors and museums, it is set to play an important role at a time when provenance research issues are becoming ever more significant.

The target audience is lawyers and researchers active in art and cultural property law, art market professionals, museums and cultural institutions, public administrations and libraries.