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6.1. Legal Barriers to Access to the World Cultural Heritage. Is there a Solution?

May 28 2015
12:30 - 14:30
Hall II

Track: 6. Cultural Heritage/ Public Interest/ Environment


In the environment of conflict escalation and increased tensions between countries, cultural relations are the tools of 'soft diplomacy' that build bridges where politicians fail to come to an agreement.

Yet is cultural property protected enough when we cross these bridges?

Are there appropriate safeguards for cultural objects from public museums, when they come to foreign countries with temporary exhibitions? Can sanctions, imposed by states against each other and rulings of international arbitration courts, affect the 'immunity from withdrawal' provided by various states to cultural objects from foreign public collections? Do we need to establish global framework for international cultural exchanges and step up efforts of the global community towards ratification of the UN Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property (2 December 2004)?

What is the key to lasting success of cultural indemnity enforcement abroad and what are legal challenges of its development in Russia?

Cultural objects as a subject matter of international transactions – key issues of export and import of cultural property. Do we need to have 'moral restraints' on export of certain cultural objects by their owner and can we establish the criteria to prohibit it? Do we need to restrict property rights regarding the export of cultural objects?

Can we turn the Roerich Pact and the Likhachev Declaration of Cultural Rights into enforceable international legal instruments?

Top global experts will participate in discussion of existing legal barriers to access the world cultural heritage and share their opinion on how these barriers can be removed.


Mikhail Piotrovsky

Director, The State Hermitage Museum


Education, academic degree:

1961-1967 — Oriental Faculty of Leningrad State University, specializing in Arabic Studies.

1965-1966 — Cairo University.

1985 — Doctor of Historical Sciences.

Professional experience:

1967-1991 — Leningrad branch of the Institute for Oriental Studies.

1991-1992 — State Hermitage, first deputy director with responsibility for research work.

1992 to present — Director of the State Hermitage.

Achievements, rewards:

Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Full member of the Russian Academy of Arts.

Corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute.

Deputy chairman of the President’s Council for Art and Culture.

Professor of St. Petersburg State University.

Chairman of the Union of Museums in Russia.

President of the Worldwide Club of St. Petersburgers.

Chairman of the board of the European University in St Petersburg.

Editor-in-chief of the magazine The Christian Orient.


the Netherlands Order of Orange-Nassau (1996).

the Russian Order of Honour (1997).

the French Order of the Legion of Honour (1998, 2004).

the Swedish Order of the Polar Star (1999).

the Order for Merit to the Italian Republic (2000, 2004).

the Armenian Apostolic Church’s Order of St Mesrop (2000).

the Ukrainian Order of Yaroslav the Wise (2003).

the Order “Of Service” (Poland, 2004).

the Order of Service to the Fatherland (Russia, 2004).

the Award of the Council’s of Muftis of Russia — the Al-Fahr Order of Honour (2005).

Order of the Finish Lion (2005).

the International Prize of St. Andrew “for Faith and Loyalty” (2005).

the Order of the Rising Sun.

Gold and Silver Star (Japan, 2007).

the Silver Medal of Amsterdam (2009).

the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service (United States, 2009).

the annual Golden Bridge prize (Italy, 2010).

In 1997 a minor planet was named “Piotrovsky” by the International Astronomical Union in joint honour of Mikhail B.Piotrovsky and his father Boris B.Piotrovsky.

On May 25th, 2011, the Director of the State Hermitage Museum, Mikhail B.Piotrovsky was awarded the title of Honoured Citizen of Saint Petersburg.

Publications, scientific works:

Dr. Piotrovsky is the author of more than 200 scholarly works, including catalogues of Arabic manuscripts, the publication of mediaeval works and ancient inscriptions, works on the spiritual and political history of Islam and Arab culture, and on the archaeology of Arabia. His publications include a set of entries on Muslim mythology in the encyclopedia Myths of the Peoples of the World, a series of articles about the prophet Muhammad and the monographs: The Legend of the Himyarite King Asad al-Kamil (Moscow, 1977; Arabic translations: Sanaa, Damascus, Aden, 1978, 1979); Southern Arabia in the Early Middle Ages (Moscow, 1985);Yemen before Islam and in the First Century of the Hijra (Beirut, 1987); Koranic Tales (Moscow, 1991); Islam. An Encyclopedic Reference Book (Moscow, 1991,co-author); The Hermitage. Collections and Collectors (St Petersburg, 1997); Earthly Art — Heavenly Beauty. The Art of Islam (St Petersburg, 2000); On Islamic Art (St Petersburg, 2001), The Hermitage in the Great Museums of the World series (Slovo, Moscow, 2003), The Historical Legends of Quran. A Word and an Image (St Petersburg, 2005).

Mikhail Shvidkoy

Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation


Born on September 5, 1948 in Kant, Kyrgyz SSR (USSR).

Education, academic degree:

In 1971, graduated from the State Institute of Theatrical Arts with a specialization in Theatre Studies.

In 1991, received a Doctor of Arts degree.

Professional experience:

In 1973–1987, correspondent, senior editor of Teatr magazine, Iskusstvo publishing house.

In 1987–1990, deputy chief editor of Teatr magazine, Iskusstvo publishing house.

In 1991–1993, general manager of the Kultura Publishing Complex, Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

In 1993–1997, deputy minister of culture of the Russian Federation.

In 1997–1998, first editor-in-chief of TV channel Kultura.

In 1998–2000, chairman of Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company.

In 2000–2004, minister of culture of the Russian Federation.

In 2004–2008, head of the Federal Agency on Culture and Cinematography.

Since 2007, co-president of the Intergovernmental Foundation for Educational, Scientific and Cultural Cooperation (IFESCCO).

Since 2008, special envoy for International Cultural Cooperation to the president of the Russian Federation, ambassador-at-large to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Academic adviser, professor at the Higher School of Policy in Culture and Administration in Humanities (faculty) in Moscow State University. Professor at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts.

Artistic director of the Moscow Theatre of Musical.

Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Bolshoi Theatre.

Chairman of the Foundation Board of NP Industrial Television Award Committee.

Member of several unions for creative professions (the Russian Writers' Union, Theatre Workers' Union, Journalists' Union, etc.).

Presenter of various television programmes on TV channels Kultura and TVC.

Achievements, rewards:

Decorated with the Order of Honour (1987), 4th class Order of Merit (2008) and Order of Friendship (2013).

Recipient of the State Prize of the Russian Federation (1999).

Decorated with L'Ordre du Mérite (France).

Holds state awards of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Poland, Ukraine.


Author of three books, ten films and over a thousand publications.


Jean-Christophe Barbato

Professor of Public Law, University of Nantes

Stephen Knerly, Jr

Attorney, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP


Education, academic degree:

Bowdoin College, A.B. 1972; Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, A.M. 1973; Case Western Reserve University, J.D. 1976.

Professional experience:

Jr., partner, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, Cleveland, Ohio USA.

1976 to present – Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, co chair Non-Profit Institutions Practice Group. Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer, 1993 through 2008.

Legal counsel to the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD).

Professional interests:

Appearances before the Cultural Property Advisory Committee of the United States.

Speaker/panelist: ALI-CLE Museum Law Conference, 2006-2013, Association of American Law Schools, 2015 (World War II), American Exhibition Organizers, 2014 (Issues for Exhibitions), American Bar Association (London) 2013 (Immunity).

Achievements, rewards:

2007-2015 editions of The Best Lawyers in America – Non-Profit/Charities Law

Invited Speaker: Prague Conference on Holocaust Era Assets; Hague Conference on Fair and Just Solutions.

Fellow, American Bar Association.

Society of Benchers, Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Assistant Secretary, The Cleveland Museum of Art.

Vice Chair, The Holden Arboretum.

Adjunct Professor, Case Western Reserve School of Law, 2003.

Guest lecturer: Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland State. University School of Law, Johns Hopkins University.


He has written numerous conference papers on museum law issues, including “Selected Issues for American Art Museums”, Holocaust-Era Assets Conference, Prague 2009; “The UNESCO Convention”, American Bar Association Art and Cultural Heritage Law Newsletter, 2010; “International Loans: State Immunity and Anti-Seizure Laws”, Co Author, ALI-ABA Legal Issues in Museum Administration, 2012, 2013; “The Malewicz v. City of Amsterdam Decision and Jeopardy to Cultural Exchange”, American Bar Association Section of International Law, 2014.

Vasilisa Neshataeva

Associate Professor of International Law Department, Russian State University of Justice


Education, Academic Degree:

In 2010 she defended her Candidate's dissertation in Russian Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation (RANEPA), dissertation advisor V.F. Yakovlev.


2013 – Monograph "Kulturniye tsennosti: tsena i pravo" ("Cultural values: price and law"), published by HSE Publishing House.

2015 – article "Vzglyad iznutri: uchastie v reforme evropejskogo suda po pravam cheloveka" ("A look from the inside: participation in the reform of European Court of Human Rights") in Rossiyskoe pravosudie (in print).

2013 – article "Immunitet kul'turnyh cennostej: poisk balansa chastnyh i publichnyh interesov" ("Immunity of cultural values: looking for a balance of private and public interests") in the collection of articles published as a follow-up to the conference titled Principles of Respect of State Sovereignty and Immunity in International Cooperation for Protection of Cultural Values.

2013 – article "Problema poiska balansa interesov uchastnikov mezhdunarodnogo oborota kul'turnyh cennostej" ("Challenge of striking a balance of stakeholders' interests in international circulation of cultural property") in the collection of articles titled "Poisk balansa chastnyh i publichnyh interesov v reshenijah mezhdunarodnyh i nacional'nyh sudov" ("Finding a balance of private and public interests in decisions of intrenational and national courts"), published by Russian Academy of Justice.

2011 – article "Sposoby zashhity prav v sfere mezhdunarodnogo oborota kul'turnyh cennostej" ("Means of protection of rights in international circulation of cultural property") in the collection of articles "Zashhita prav v Rossii i drugih stranah Soveta Evropy" ("Protection of rights in Russia and other Council of Europe countries"), published in Juridicheskij centr-Press in 2011.

2010 – article "Mehanizmy razreshenija sporov o kul'turnyh cennostjah v mezhdunarodnom prave" ("Means of resolution of disputes regarding cultural property in international law") in Rossijskoe pravosudie, 2010, 11 (55).

2010 – article "Vybor primenimogo prava v otnoshenii vneshnejekonomicheskih sdelok s kul'turnymi cennostjami" ("Choice of applicable law in relation to foreign transactions of cultural property") in Zhurnal mezhdunarodnogo chastnogo prava (No 2, 2010).

2009 – report titled Choice of Applicable Law and Jurisdiction in Disputes Regarding Cultural Property published in a follow-up book of reports after the conference of the Russian Ministry of Culture titled Russia's Implementation of Sovereign Immunity Principle in Cultural Property Requisition Claims dated June 30, 2009.

2009 – report titled International Legal Regulation of Cultural Property Circulation published in the follow-up book of reports after VIII Annual Research Conference for Students and Postgraduates titled Law and Court in Modern World, hosted by Russian Academy of Justice in April 2009.

2009 – article "Kul'turnye cennosti v sisteme prav cheloveka" ("Cultural property in person's system of values") in Rossijskoe pravosudie No 7 (39), 2009.

2005 – report titled Human Right to Cultural Property in the follow-up book of reports after student's research conference at MGIMO (April 2005).

Anna O’Connell

Lecturer, London School of Economics and Political Science


Professional experience:

Teaches art and cultural heritage law at the London School of Economics (LSE) and is a consultant lecturer in art law at Sotheby’s Institute.

She was appointed a visiting fellow of the LSE's Law Department in 2008.

Qualified lawyer and previously practiced at two leading London law firms. She was formerly in-house lawyer at the Art Loss Register.

Expert advisor to the UK's Secretary of State for Culture to advise on applications for immunity from seizure for works of art.

She has spoken on art law issues at conferences in the UK and abroad including Christie’s Education, George Washington University Law School, the American Law Institute and Lyon University.


She has authored articles on art law for publications including the Modern Law Review, LSE Working Papers Series and Art Antiquity and Law.

Anastasia Sivitskaya

Advocate, Iniurcolleguia Attorneys-at-Law

Marina Tsyguleva

Head of the Legal Department, The State Hermitage Museum



Leningrad State University named after A.A.Zhdanov, a degree in “psychology” (1985), Institute for International Training in Psychotherapy — Samway Foundation Ltd. /Boston, USA/ (1990), Saint-Petersburg State University, a degree in “Law”(1999).

Professional experience:

1998 till present time – The State Hermitage Museum.

Professional interests:

Intellectual property i.a. intellectual property of museums.

Achievements, rewards:

Twice awarded the Potanin Fond’s grant for contribution to progress of the State Hermitage Museum. Participated in Second St. Petersburg International Legal Forum as a speaker of the round table “Legal groundwork of international exhibition activity”. During work period in the State Hermitage Museum (from 1998 has provided legal support of such projects of the Hermitage as: Hermitage- Guggenheim (Las-Vegas, USA), The Hermitage Amsterdam (Netherlands), Hermitage rooms at Somerset House (London, UK).

*This schedule may be subject to change