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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (AHSS)

Photograph of art stash in Ellingen Germany Native American bowl

Center for Art Collection Ethics

Art Provenance Research and Training

Nearly every week, a news headline announces the latest lawsuit over a valuable work of art. An heir of Holocaust victims sues a museum over a painting stolen by the Nazis. An antiquities-rich country sues a dealer or gallery over objects plundered by profit-seekers. Indigenous peoples claim sacred objects looted by amateur archaeologists and donated to art museums. Often, the objects have been sold multiple times before reaching the current owner, complicating legal and ethical dimensions of the disputes.

In an effort to increase awareness of these issues and promote art provenance (ownership) research training, the University of Denver is establishing a Center for Art Collection Ethics (ACE) in the divisions of the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.