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Deadline: 115 October 2020

Editorial Information

Special Issue Editor:
Jonathan Paquette, University of Ottawa
[email protected]


The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society

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Managing Restitutions in Cultural Institutions

The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society is organizing a special issue on the restitution of art and cultural goods. The Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society last published an issue reflecting upon the question of art ownership and legitimacy in the arts fifteen years ago, in a special issue edited by former Editor-in-Chief, Ann Galligan. Fifteen years later, the question remains salient.

Wars and military invasions have been an important force in shaping and reshaping collections. Art and artefacts have left and/or joined collections as a result of political and military interventions. Until the 1899 Hague Convention, the looting of art and cultural goods was seen as a legitimate action by conquering powers. As such, public and private collections have been shaped and reshaped through history by immoral and questionable forces. Despite the existence of international conventions, the spoiling (and destruction) of art and cultural goods subsists. In arts management, the question of restitution gained heft in the aftermath of the Second World War. Attention was given to the processes by which legitimate owners (whether they were states, individuals, or their estates) would be able to establish their legitimacy over looted goods. In recent years, a literature has emerged surrounding stolen or ill-acquired arts through colonial conquest and domination.

The restitution of art and cultural goods is a process. On the one hand, it is a process through which legitimate owners claim a lost good, and by which individuals – mostly experts – question the legitimacy of a public or private entity’s claim to a certain cultural good. On the other hand, restitution is a process that involves the repatriation of artworks and cultural goods. It involves ethical issues such as recognition and responsibility. As such, the question of restitution lies at the nexus of legal, cultural, political, and ethical tensions.

For this special issue on the restitution of art and cultural objects, we invite contributions engaging with the following themes:

  • The management of art restitution, and the organizational dimensions at stake;
  • The evolution of laws, jurisprudence, legal doctrine;
  • Private collectors and restitutions;
  • Professionals and their role in the process;
  • Restitution advocacy;

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Submission Instructions

Theoretical reflections, case studies, and experiences from all around the world are welcomed.

Papers should range between 5,000 and 7,000 words. Please follow the journal’s guidelines. Manuscripts should be submitted to ScholarOne Manuscripts, the manuscript processing site for JAMLS. Please indicate that the manuscript is being is submitted for a special call: Restitution. Submissions for this special call for papers are due on October 15, 2020.

For any questions or queries about this special issue, authors can contact the Special Issue Editor.