The first lecture focused on legal and ethical issues affecting a variety of art market players, such as galleries, museums, artists, collectors and advisors. Till invited the students to consider legal definitions of art, the ever-expanding range of media capable of constituting works of art and how ethical questions are or should be dealt with by the law in the context of the art trade.
The second part of the syllabus honed in on an area that is subject to a particularly high degree of moral considerations which ultimately inform its legal interpretation: the area of restitution and repatriation claims. The students engaged in lively discussions when comparing moral and legal analyses of claims to artworks looted in the context of World War II, the colonial era, current conflicts or illicit excavation.
David Whitworth, Trainee Solicitor at Payne Hicks Beach, attended the lectures and commented “It was very enjoyable and stimulating to listen to Till as he used his expertise in Art Law to consider issues ranging from the question of, ‘what is art?’ to the legal arguments for and against claims to repatriate artistic and cultural pieces to their native countries. From the philosophical to the transactional, Till raised and offered answers to some very interesting questions.”