Art Law Symposium 2024: Protecting Cultural Property: The 1954 Hague Convention at 70

Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, the 25th Anniversary of its Second Protocol, and the 15th Anniversary of US Ratification.  Co-sponsored by the US Committee of the Blue Shield.


Speaker Biographies


9:00 a.m. EST - Check-in

9:30 a.m. EST - Welcome Remarks on behalf of USCBS, CLS and RAM

9:40 a.m. EST - Session 1: Overview of the Legal Framework for Protection of Cultural Heritage during Armed Conflict and O&A

Moderator: Jane Levine, Columbia Law School, Managing Partner of The ArtRisk Group

Presenter: Prof. Patty Gerstenblith, DePaul College of Law

10:30 a.m. EST - Break 

10:45 a.m. EST - Session 2: "Around the World" Updates on the Status of Cultural Heritage during Armed Conflict and Natural Disaster

Moderator: Pippa Loengard, Columbia Law School, Executive Director of the Kernochan Center 


  • Sudan: Prof. Solange Ashby, University of California, Los Angeles (armed conflict)
  • Türkiye: Prof. Ömür Harmanşah, University of Illinois, Chicago (earthquake)
  • Ukraine: Roksolana Makar, Ukrainian Heritage Monitoring Lab (armed conflict)
  • Afghanistan: Mohammad Fahim Rahimi, former Director of the Afghanistan National Museum and Director of the Cultural Heritage of Afghanistan Conservation and Research Institute (armed conflict)
  • Guatemala (Central America): Samuel Franco Arce, Cultural Rescue Center (natural disaster)
  • U.S. Actions to protect cultural heritage in armed conflict: Corine Wegener, Director, Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative

12:15 p.m. EST - Lunch Break
Lunch generously sponsored by US Committee of the Blue Shield

1:30 p.m. EST - Session 3: Market Panel: How Can and Should the Market Respond to Looting and Thefts During Armed Conflicts and Natural Disasters?

Moderator: Cathy Kaplan, Columbia Law School

Presenter: Jane Levine, Columbia Law School, Managing Partner of The ArtRisk Group 


  • Lucian Simmons, Sotheby's
  • Nicholas O'Donnell, Sullivan & Worcester LLP
  • Birgit Kurtz, Responsible Art Market Initiative

2:45 p.m. EST - Break

3:00 p.m. EST - Session 4: Cultural Heritage, Indigenous and Minority Communities, and Human Rights

Moderator: James Reap, US Committee of the Blue Shield


  • Prof. Federico Lenzerini, University of Siena
  • Prof. Brian I. Daniels, Director of Research, Penn Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Pennsylvania Museum

4:15 p.m. EST - Closing Remarks