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The PhD researcher will perform research and write a thesis on the theme of reclaiming artwork looted by Nazis and their collaborators. Especially since the 1990s there is renewed attention to the question of artwork looted during the Nazi-period from countries with Nazi-governments. Many of the victims were Jews. In some countries a system of restitution was set up directly after World War II under which victims and their heirs could seek restitution of the artwork or claim financial compensation for the loss. These systems did not always work well. Some countries even refused or frustrated restitution. When in the 1990s it was appreciated that, due to various causes, the first post-war restitution systems did not always lead to the desired result, a number of countries set up restitution committees to hear restitution requests. Governments and museums should also collaborate in this endeavour by engaging in provenance research to see whether they possess looted art in their collections. At the same time many heirs start proceedings before US courts because in a growing number of cases US courts have jurisdiction to hear these cases. Under US law it is often easier than in European jurisdictions to reclaim looted art, unhindered by limitation periods and bona fide purchaser protection. Despite a growing body of literature in the field there is still a lot of research to be done. The research field is an intricate mix of private law, private international law, public international law, modern history and ethics. Interested candidates will be asked to suggest a theme within this large field of research, which should include a private law dimension.
You will perform the research with the support of experts from the Maastricht Law Faculty, the Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage, and with the support of experts from our art law network in which other universities and groups participate. You will be offered the opportunity to collaborate with researchers from different disciplines, including art laywers from various jurisdictions, historians and art market specialists. You will be part of an exciting and vibrant community where researchers from different disciplines meet and form interdisciplinary teams that conduct academically and societally relevant research. You will be offered the opportunity to expand your horizon and gain insights on other fields of law and ethics. For this, you will be encouraged, coached, and allowed to attend courses and workshops that will add social and legal knowledge to your skillset.
Supervision will be provided by individually assigned senior researchers. A small proportion (20%) of the appointment may be devoted to teaching activities. The majority of the work (80%) concerns conducting the research.
Matching Skills and Competencies
Fixed-term contract: We offer a 4 year (depending on the teaching activities) full-time appointment as PhD candidate.
Fixed-term contract: 4 years.
Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 20,000 students and 4,700 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.
The Maastricht Law Faculty and the Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage offer an exciting and vibrant community where scholars meet and form interdisciplinary teams that work at the intersection of law, art and history.
Maastricht University (UM) is the youngest university in the Netherlands, renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by its small scale and student-oriented approach to teaching. It has more than 20,000 students and 4,700 employees. The Faculty of Law of Maastricht University offers the possibility of teaching and interacting with high-level graduate students and a pleasant, international working environment. Its research is carried out within the Faculty’s research programme Integration of and Interaction Between Legal Orders (https://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/about-um/faculties/law/research/research-programme).
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