Ethical and Legal Aspects of Sales from Museum Collections

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leicester
Department Name: Faculty of Law

Abstract

This research project is concerned with reconciling different policy concerns: whilst it is vital to promote the sustainability of museums by accepting that they will need flexibility in the management of their collections, the importance of protecting cultural heritage for the benefit of mankind must be constantly borne in mind.

Museums exist to benefit the public, providing access to heritage objects, so that people may gain a better understanding of other cultures and of their own culture. Museums perform an invaluable role in caring for cultural objects for the benefit of future generations. However, the clock does not stand still. Museums regularly acquire new objects by donations, bequests or purchase. Not all objects can be retained and the permanent collection may need to evolve; even so, any decision relating to the sale of any cultural object must be made in a responsible manner. The Museums Association has already produced a code of ethics in relation to the care and management of museum assets: this project seeks to build upon this foundation.

This one-year Fellowship will involve working closely with the Museums Association at its London office. The research will be carried out primarily from a domestic perspective, but with comparisons being made with guidance offered to museums in other countries in relation to disposals. It is concerned with assisting museums in the development of policies to manage change. It will take account of the increasing pressures and demands placed upon all museums, whether national or regional in character. Many museums face high operation costs. It is expensive to guard cultural objects against theft. Furthermore, the resources needed to protect and conserve them may be high, particularly in relation to certain categories of objects, such as textiles. Cultural assets which are contained in a museum's collection need to be engaged with and enjoyed. Not every asset received will join a museum's permanent collection; even where it does, it should not necessarily be retained forever.

This project will analyse the pattern of disposals by way of sale over the years, and the destination of the objects sold. It is concerned with providing guidance to museums in relation to sale but placed in the broader context of asset management and new models of possession and access. There will be a review of sales, conditional sales, leasing and short-term lending of items together with other collaborative schemes such as exchanging and sharing items. In considering the options available, those in control of museum collections, such as trustees and directors, will be guided by both legal and ethical considerations. Apart from any legal powers and constraints which may be relevant, they may be expected to take account of the associations between the object and its creator, the family of the donor or previous possessor, the circumstances under which an object was acquired, and the "memory" of the museum itself relating to its care and preservation. An overriding concern will be to develop policies which ensure that, whatever arrangements are made, cultural objects are valued and safeguarded.

I have substantial knowledge of the law of charities and the cy-près doctrine, corporate governance and asset management, together with great expertise in relation to commercial sales and leasing arrangements, and the specialist legal principles relating to art and antiquities. I am a qualified solicitor and I can bring a practical approach to any research project. Apart from a wide-ranging knowledge of the relevant law for this project, I also possess an interest in the ethical issues involved. I have experience of discussing cultural heritage issues with people in other disciplines and of presenting papers and writing articles with an interdisciplinary understanding.

Planned Impact

The research project is concerned with changing attitudes to deaccessioning of objects from public collections, which has been reflected in changes to the Museum Association's Code of Ethics for Museums in 2007. It will deal with issues of resilience and sustainability in response to a changing economic and social environment.

The issue of how best to protect cultural objects for the benefit of future generations is contentious. It needs to be addressed with an awareness of domestic law and also the UK's international obligations including those imposed by the United Nations Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property 1970. The objective is to support museums by providing guidance in relation to the management of assets, with particular reference to sales and conditional sales.

The research needs to be carried out with confidential stakeholder consultation and participation. Direct beneficiaries of outcomes, such as policy statements, will include museums such as the Manchester Museum, the National Gallery, the Fitzwilliam Museum, the Royal Cornwall Museum and the Imperial War Museum, together with other relevant public bodies such as the Art Fund and the Collections Trust. However, there will be other bodies, such as the Charities Commission, which may also benefit. Museums and public bodies in other countries, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the International Council of Museums, would also appreciate and benefit from the guidance produced, which could be made publicly available on the Museum Association's web-site.

The beneficiaries also include the commercial sector. The share of the global market which a particular country enjoys will vary according to a large number of factors, including its system of regulation and taxation and the state of its economy. If there are clear and considered policies in place relating to deaccessioning and disposal, this will support a thriving art market. Auction houses in particular will indirectly benefit because there will be increased confidence in dealing with and purchasing objects from museums.

Experienced lawyers involved in this sector, such as Farrer & Co, will derive indirect benefit from a fresh initiative. The guidance provided will also be useful for probate solicitors, advising clients in relation to gifts to museums in their wills. In a climate of uncertainty, people may become reluctant to donate to museums. If a scheme is in place which provides a rational structure and establishes best practice in terms of consistency, transparency and new understandings of relations between ethics and law relation to deaccessioning and disposal, this should provide the right environment for gift giving.

By publishing articles and providing conference presentations during the year and afterwards, this research should be beneficial to the scholarly community both now and in the future.

The research is intended to encourage careful decision making. The current financial climate is a difficult and challenging one and the need for responsible management has never been stronger. By disseminating the outcomes of this research in a variety of forms, including articles, conferences, and by publication on the Museums Association's web-site, it is hoped that this research will foster responsible management of our cultural heritage in this country and abroad for the benefit of future generations.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description My guidelines on financially motivated disposals (normally meaning sales by auction of objects in museum collections) have been a great achievement. They are to be found in Appendix 4 to the Disposal Toolkit and can be downloaded from the Museums Association's website.
In drawing up these guidelines, I scrutinised museum ethics and then weave thosed principles, along with legal principles, into a step by step procedure for museums professionals and their governing bodies.
At each stage, the guidelines direct the reader to consider certain specified legal and ethical issues and to take certain steps, such as consulting other professionals in the sector. Readers are also instructed regarding when they should consult professional bodies (the Museums Association and Arts Council England) and what information would need to be supplied.
Museums are diverse (national, local government, charitable, private and independent, etc.). A great deal of research was required in relation to the law. However, the guidelines eventually produced help every museum: they provide a clear structure and are comprehensive.
The guidance clarified some principles of law. Until I was awarded the Placement Fellowship, museum professionals always assumed that they would need to obtain the best price if they decided to sell an object. However, as a commercial lawyer, I knew that this legal principle had evolved in a commercial context involving businesses. I thought that there was a strong argument to be made that it did not apply where a public body such as a museum sold to another museum in order to keep a cultural object in the public domain and to maximise the benefit to the public: when I liaised with the Charity Commission, it was accepted that this was the case for charitable museums. I was therefore able to incorporate this point into the guidelines.

I did produce two other publications and one of these, a book chapter entitled 'The Sale of Items from Museum Collections' could also be considered as an excellent achievement, as it was cited in a Report by the Scottish Law Commission.
The Placement Fellowship was part-time and the guidelines were the main objective; the objective was therefore satisfied.
However, I achieved more than the objective set because I managed to find far more information than expected and I acted as a catalyst in helping the Museums Association work with the Arts Council. As mentioned, I also produced other publications.
Exploitation Route I have become far more conscious of how private law may need to be modified to accommodate the notion of 'public benefit.' It means that I have insights which, apart from assisting museums, may be used in different contexts. For example, my views were cited frequently by the Law Commission in its analysis of Responses to 'Social Investment by Charities' in 2014:
http://lawcommission.justice.gov.uk/docs/cp216_charities_social_investment_recommendations_responses.pdf
The Placement Fellowship encouraged me to reach out to public bodies which may have had no links with each other. Once bridges are built, it is then easier for one public body (such as the Museums Association) to contact another (such as the Charity Commission).

The controversy generated by the sale of the Sekhemka statue by Northampton BC has led to calls for reform of the law. I have suggested new legislation which would provide that local authorities should hold museum collections on charitable trusts
This proposal was discussed at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cultural Heritage at Westminster on 8 February 2017. There will be further discussion at a meeting in 2018. I submitted two proposal for reform of the law to the Law Commission, one of which was to suggest that local authority museum collections should have charitable status imposed upon them. The Law Commission asked me to supply all of my outputs linked to this award which I duly did. I also provided extensive feedback which was derived from engagement activities linked to this award. My evidence was persuasive: the Commission liaised with the Government and my submission was accepted. This proposal (and my other proposal) for law reform relating to museum collections now form part of the Law Commission's Thirteenth Programme of Law Reform 2017 (Law Com, No 377).
https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/project/13th-programme-of-law-reform/ At the Law Commission's request, I now keep it informed of current debate in the museum sector which is relevant to this issue. For example, there has been discussion about this proposal in the Museums Journal in 2018, because of the fact that local authorities are struggling financially and various museums are in danger of closing.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/pdf/Disposal_Toolkit_Appendix_4.pdf
 
Description The museum sector has been delighted with the guidelines which I have produced on financially motivated disposals (sales). http://www.museumsassociation.org/news/31032014-museums-association-updates-disposal-toolkit?csort=like#.U7gR67EXLcA The Scottish Law Commission found my book chapter on 'The Sale of Items from Museum Collections' very useful in preparing their Report on Prescription and Title to Moveable Property (Scot Law Com No 228, 2012) I discussed the guidelines with Scott Furlong of Arts Council England on 6 August 2014 because he was preparing a presentation on this subject for an international audience to be held in Canada. It is pleasing to think that the UK can offer leadership in this field and to help other countries which may also need guidance on this issue. If a museum engages in a reckless disposal in breach of the Museum Association's Code of Ethics, the Arts Council England can withdraw accreditation from the museum, which means that it is no longer eligible to apply for grants for a period of time (usually five years). There was a danger, before I produced these guidelines, that the loss of accreditation could be challenged by way of judicial review on the basis that there was insufficient guidance in the Code of Ethics. Now that the guidance has been published, I would anticipate that this is no longer possible. Removing this risk is significant: a local authority run museum lost its accreditation recently but the local authority could not challenge this decision because it was clearly in breach of the ethical principles. My findings have been used as a basis for discussion between the Arts Council, the Museums Association and myself regarding whether local authorities should be restricted by law in relation to their freedom to sell objects from museum collections. These public bodies are now discussing law reform with the DCMS; I have discussed it with the DCMS and Law Commission.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic

 
Description Citation by the Scottish Law Commission in its Report on Prescription and Title to Moveable Property (Scot Law Com No 228, 2012) in its Report on Prescription and Title to Moveable Property (Scot Law Com No 228, 2012) at [1.10], [3.4], [4.09].
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The Scottish Law Commission put forward proposals to alter the law so that stale claims by an original owner could be ignored after a stipulated period of time had elapsed. The original owner would be deprived of his/her property as a consequence. My draft chapter proved particularly useful in helping the Commission understand how their proposed changes might significantly assist the museum sector in Scotland (see para. 4.09 in particular on this point). The Commission's legislative proposals were discussed in the Scottish Parliament but were not taken forward. I assume that this was because they were too wide-ranging. In other words, if the proposals had been confined to museum collections, there should have been no difficulty. But their Report covered every type of moveable property and consequently any proposed legislation might have caused deep controversy. The Report remains valuable (including my assistance) in case a more limited reform is proposed in the future.
URL http://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk/law-reform-projects/completed-projects/prescription-and-title-to-moveab...
 
Description Law reform proposals relating to museum collections accepted: Law Commission's Thirteenth Programme of Law Reform 2017 (Law Com, No 377)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
URL https://s3-eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/lawcom-prod-storage-11jsxou24uy7q/uploads/2017/12/13th-Programme-...
 
Description Participation in discussions of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cultural Heritage at the Palace of Westminster
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact I have been attending the meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cultural Heritage since 2016. It was agreed on 8 February 2017, after detailed discussion, that the Government should bring forward legislation to enable accredited museums (and identified libraries and archives) to obtain legal title to orphan objects and uncollected loans. This new legislation would be based upon my research (AHRC Fellowship relating to the Status of Museum Collections) plus research carried out by the Scottish Law Commission. A representative from the DCMS was present and we discussed the proposal further at the end of the meeting. We also briefly discussed another proposal relating to the ethical and legal aspects of sales from museum collections (which was the subject of my ESRC/AHRC Placement Fellowship). I have proposed that local authority collections should be held on charitable trusts. It was agreed that this topic should be discussed in more detail later this year.
 
Description Curatorially motivated disposals: Charity Commission 
Organisation Charity Commission for England and Wales
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution On 3 February 2015, I participated in a round table discussion organised by the Charity Commission to discuss their revised version of their guidance entitled The Essential Trustee; I submitted written comments beforehand and added further written comments after the workshop had taken place.
Collaborator Contribution The Charity Commission was very helpful in relation to sales from collections as I needed to discuss whether a sale of an object in a museum collection could be at less than market value in order to retain it with the public domain. When I received my AHRC Leadership Fellowship to work on curatorially motivated disposals, it was important to make sure that my pdf guidance on this type of disposal accurately reflected charity law and the Commission's views on certain matters. Some issues were uncertain (with no case law on the issue), such as the position of returning items of low cultural and financial value (e.g. medals) to donors. It has been valuable to discuss these issues with a representative of the Commission. The Charity Commission has been helpful in 2016/2017 when I worked as part of a team in drawing up guidance on museum closures. It is useful to have a contact to discuss guidance. Towards the end of 2017, I enquired whether the Commission intended to revise its special guidance relating to museums. I am told that the Government has directed the Commission to produce general guidance rather than specific guidance. However, I have an ongoing offer from the Commission to assist me if I wish to revise their sector specific guidance for museums. As far as I can tell, the general guidance published by the Commission is sufficient at the moment. However, the position would change if there is new legislation imposing charitable status upon local government run museums.
Impact The Charity Commission has made it clear that they appreciated having someone to represent the museum sector when they were revising their guidance on trusteeship. I understand that my comments were thought to be useful. Subsequently, a Charity Commission representative published a short article in the Museum Association's journal on the Commission's new guidance on trusteeship (and I put the writer in contact with the editor of the journal). This work is multi-disciplinary to include Law and Museum Ethics and Practice.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Curatorially motivated disposals: Collections Trust 
Organisation Collections Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution From 2014 onwards, I kept the Chief Executive Officer of the Collections Trust, informed of the progress of my guidance on curatorially motivated disposals from museum collections. The CEO discussed museum sector needs with me and he arranged for me to give a talk about my work at the Collections Trust annual meeting both in June 2012 and in June 2014 at OpenCulture. I received an e-mail of congratulations on my guidance. When the CEO moved elsewhere, I created links with his successor.
Collaborator Contribution I have received some feedback from the Collections Trust at various stages of this research project which I have found helpful. The Trust has provided links to my guidance.
Impact The publication online of Appendix 4 of the Disposal Toolkit (relating to Ethical and Legal Aspects of Sales from Museum Collections) and a lengthy booklet on the Status of Museum Collections (in the context of curatorially motivated disposals). This work is multi-disciplinary to include Law and Museum Ethics and Practice.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Curatorially motivated disposals: Metropolitan Police 
Organisation Metropolitan Police Service
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I have only had one lengthy formal meeting with the Head of the Art and Antiques Unit of the Metropolitan Police, in 2014. I have had informal conversations with the Head of the Art and Antiques Unit and her colleagues subsequently at conferences. We keep in touch because of a mutual concern to deter the illicit trade in art and antiquities.
Collaborator Contribution I discussed my research on disposals. In particular, we discussed our concerns about disposals of objects which had originated from abroad, such as the Middle East. If the disposal of an object is by way of a transfer to another museum, there is usually no difficulty. However, if there is a proposal by a museum to sell an object it may become highly controversial, taking up the time of various public bodies (such as the Arts Council England and the Art and Antiques Unit of the Metropolitan Police). It is therefore important to formulate guidance in a way which encourages museums to reflect and to conduct themselves with care. I have discussed cultural property matters regularly with the Art and Antiques Unit in 2017/2018 not only because of my work on museum collections but also because of my broader interest in combating the illicit trade in art and antiquities.
Impact My pdf guidance booklet on curatorially motivated disposals, available to freely download from the Museums Association's website.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Museums Association - Disposals by way of sale (Financially Motivated) 
Organisation Museums Association
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The Placement Fellowship involved Knowledge Exchange. I knew relatively little about museum professional ethics and practice. However, the people working at the Museums Association knew little about the law, whereas my knowledge is extensive. I explained the law to them when it was relevant to do so (such as where a museum had contacted the Association and wanted to obtain an outline of the law). I gave presentations and engaged with museum professionals at various conferences and workshops organised by the Museums Association and other public bodies. I also used the Museums Association's discussion page on its website. I gathered as much information as I could about attitudes to financially motivated disposals to help me prepare guidance to help the museum sector. I have recently put forward a proposal for law reform, which would state that local authority collections should enjoy charitable status. If this proposal became law, local authorities would need to seek the permission of the Charity Commission if they wished to sell a cultural object from their collections. This restriction would help to prevent reckless sales.
Collaborator Contribution I am a lawyer. The role of the Museums Association was to give me a grounding in museum professional ethics and practice. I worked at their offices as much as I could (I could only take up the Fellowship at 50%). The Association hosted meetings of the Ethics Committee at its offices which I attended. The Association hosted meetings with Arts Council England at which we discussed the drafting of the guidelines on financially motivated sales. These meetings with the Arts Council were important because a museum risks losing its accreditation from the Arts Council if it carries out a financially motivated sale in a reckless and irresponsible fashion. The Museums Association runs a website with a discussion page and they gave me the opportunity to discuss my first draft guidelines with museum professionals online. I then revised the guidelines in the light of the comments received.
Impact - With Maurice Davies of the Museums Association and Sam Rowlands of Arts Council England, I helped to update the Disposal Toolkit itself (the main author was Caitlin Griffiths, an independent museum consultant) which is needed by every museum in the UK (multi-disciplinary: museum ethics/law). - I drafted guidelines on financially motivated sales (with the help of Maurice Davies and Sally Colvin of the Museums Association and Sam Rowlands and Isabel Wilson of the Arts Council) which can be found as Appendix 4 of the revised Disposal Toolkit published in March 2014 (multi-disciplinary: museum ethics/law). - I wrote a lengthy book chapter: 'The Sale of Items in Museum Collections' chapter 11 in N. Hopkins (ed), Modern Studies in Property Law, Volume 7 (2013, Oxford: Hart Publishing), 217-241. http://hdl.handle.net/2381/28199 (multi-disciplinary: (law/museum ethics). - short article: 'Should We Put a Monetary Value on Collections?' (2012) Issue 112/09 Museums Journal p 21 (co-author: D. O'Brien). http://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/comment/01092012-head-to-head (law/museum ethics).
Start Year 2011
 
Description "Commentary on the new Museums Association Code of Ethics (2015)" Institute of Art and Law. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact "Commentary on the new Museums Association Code of Ethics (2015)" Institute of Art and Law. Notre Dame University, London. 28 November 2015. This was an opportunity to talk to museum curators and others about the new Code of Ethics in the museum sector, which was ratified three weeks before this talk. I was asked to write an article about this (due for submission in April 2016). I have been asked to provide another presentation in June which is more closely focused upon disposals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description "Culture in Crisis" conference at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact In response to the destruction of cultural property by ISIS, this international conference "Culture in Crisis" was convened by the Victoria and Albert Museum in conjunction with Yale University, USA. 14 April 2015. I chaired a session at this conference. The whole conference was recorded. The conference led to the "London Declaration on Culture in Crisis"
http://www.vam.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/256614/London-declaration-on-Culture-in-Crisis.pdf
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description "Disposals from Museum Collections." Paul Mellon Centre, London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact "Disposals from Museum Collections." Paul Mellon Centre, London. 13 November 2015. The audience consisted of postgraduate students and academics drawn mainly (but not exclusively) from York University. I was involved in putting York University academics in touch with York Museums Trust and it was a good opportunity to discuss the needs of this regional part of the museum sector and possible work which could be carried out.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description "Disposals from Museum Collections." Sussex Museum Group. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact "Disposals from Museum Collections." Sussex Museum Group. Fishbourne Roman Palace. 22 January 2016. This was a meeting of museum curators and other museum professionals. I discussed the legal (and ethical) aspects of disposals from collections. There were three other presenters from the museum sector who also discussed disposals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description "The Legal and Ethical Status of Museum Collections." Museum of London workshop. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact "The Legal and Ethical Status of Museum Collections." Museum of London Development Skills plus training. 11 November 2015.
I published lengthy guidance on the legal and ethical issues surrounding curatorially motivated disposal from collections on the Museums Association's website in September 2015. This workshop was an opportunity to discuss this guidance with museum curators and it was well received. I have been invited to provide a follow up workshop on 16 March 2016. I have also been invited to take part in a presentation at the Museums and Heritage Show in London on 19 May 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description 'Trusteeship versus Stewardship,' Society of Legal Scholars Conference, 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact I presented a paper entitled, 'Trusteeship versus stewardship of museum collections: acting for the long term public benefit' Property and Trusts Section, Society of Legal Scholars Conference, University of Bristol, 14 September 2012. This paper involved more analysis of the law than previous presentations because the audience consisted entirely of legal academics from the UK and abroad.

I had a particularly interesting discussion after the presentation of the paper regarding university collections. One member of the audience was a trustee and was taken aback to find that guidelines would be published in relation to any proposed sales. My impression from this conversation was that a trustee of a university collection will be primarily concerned with the university's aims and objectives and its internal regulations rather than first looking to professional guidance within the museum sector.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description 'Who Owns the Collections?' OpenCulture 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a presentation entitled 'Who Owns the Collections?' which was followed by discussion as part of a panel on Collections Development and Rationalisation. The conference was OpenCulture 2014, Collections Trust, held at The Kia Oval, London on 26 June. The audience consisted of museum professionals and museum consultants drawn from around the world. The focus of this session was on curatorially motivated disposal where there is little or no information about an object's provenance.

This was a particularly valuable session because of the discussion which followed. Up until this point, it had not occurred to me that museums would expect guidance on situations where an object had been deposited on loan and had not been collected at the end of the loan. As a consequence, I carried out the necessary research and then included this situation in my draft guidance for the museum sector.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description AHRC Network to Advance 21st Century Museum Ethics in Theory and Practice 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to participate in an AHRC-funded project 'Developing a Research Network to Advance 21st Century Museum Ethics in Theory and Practice' on 28 June 2012, at the Natural History Museum, London. Other participants included museum professionals and academics in other disciplines in the UK and overseas.

The aim of networking groups is to bring thinking forward for both practitioners and academics. I found it helpful to step back from a detailed analysis of guidance on sales from museum collections and to reflect with others on the role of museum ethics, its relationship with cultural practices, societal changes, history, and the law.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Association of Critical Heritage Studies meeting in Gothenburg 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The conference was concerned with 'Re/theorising heritage' and took place over four days at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. The conference delegates were drawn from a variety of disciplines and I thought that there were also people from public bodies attending. My paper on sales from museum collections sparked discussion because this is not an issue which is unique to the UK. It is a worldwide problem and everyone is concerned to prevent ill-considered sales which deprive future generations of the opportunity to engage with culturally important works of art and antiquities.

The discussion reinforced my thinking that the right approach would be to build a series of stages in to my guidance, so that governing bodies of museums were pressed to reflect upon their plans.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/pdf/Disposal_Toolkit_Appendix_4.pdf
 
Description Attending meetings of the Museum Association's Ethics Committee 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Ethics Committee makes decisions on museum ethics which have an indirect impact upon the whole museum community. The main decision will usually be published on the Museum Association's website and/or in the Museum Association's Journal but any details which are personal to a particular museum would remain confidential.
I was co-opted on to the Ethics Committee which heard a variety of applications which require guidance (such as, for example, guidance in relation to repatriation). However, I also needed to report to the Ethics Committee on my progress in drafting the guidelines on financially motivated disposals and to discuss any issues which were problematic.

Any decisions made by the Ethics Committee would have had an immediate impact upon the requesting museum.
I can recall discussing at length with members of the Ethics Committee certain issues which were to be covered in my guidance. e.g. the destination of proceeds of sale e.g. the definition of 'financially motivated.' The discussion influenced the shape of the guidelines.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012
URL http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/pdf/Disposal_Toolkit_Appendix_4.pdf
 
Description Charity Commission: roundtable discussion on draft guidance of The Essential Trustee. Birmingham. 5 February 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I have worked with the Charity Commission in providing guidance to the museum sector on disposing of items from their collections. I attended the workshop - at the special invitation of the Commission - to represent the museum sector's perspective. After the Charity Commission's new guidance on "The Essential Trustee" was published, I helped to arrange for a policymaker with the Charity Commission to publish an article on trusteeship in the Museum Journal. I have acted as a "bridge builder" between these public organisations to create new lines of communication.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Co-presentation at the Society of Legal Scholars conference with a Scottish Law Commissioner 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The Arts Council England has been concerned that there are thousands of objects in museum collections where there is no record of how they came to be acquired. I have written an article on this issue and I discussed it in a paper entitled "Property and possession and collections frozen in time" at the Society of Legal Scholars conference, University of York. 3 September 2015. My co-presenter was Andrew Steven, the Scottish Law Commissioner who had been tasked with dealing with this issue (amongst other issues) in draft legislation which is now being considered by the Scottish Parliament. Our presentation prompted a great deal of discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Conference at the invitation of the All Party Parliamentary Group Walk of Truth, hosted by Boris Johnson. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Conference at the invitation of the All Party Parliamentary Group Walk of Truth, hosted by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. City Hall, London. 30 November 2015. This meeting with politicians and experts was concerned with the UK response to destruction of cultural property and looting in the Middle East. I am invited to attend this event because I can assist in representing the museum sector, along with representatives from the Arts Council, the Museums Association and others.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Conference presentation: Art Crime: Sketching Boundaries and Mapping Prevalence. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact I presented a paper on "Analysing Art Crime" at a conference/workshop on Art Crime: Sketching Boundaries and Mapping Prevalence. Queen Mary Criminal Justice Centre, Queen Mary University of Law. 14 May 2015.
The museum sector wanted me to focus on covering a large number of areas of law (and museum ethics) relating to disposals from collections. Even so, there is a need for further guidance on acquisitions and therefore attending a workshop like this at which the police and art traders were also present, helps me to refine my ideas about what the museum sector need.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Conference presentation: Socio-Legal Studies Association (Warwick University) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact I presented a paper on "Looted cultural property: the role of enforcement agencies" at the Socio-Legal Studies Association. University of Warwick. 31 March -2 April. The value of this annual conference is that it has an inter-disciplinary and international audience. The presentation sparked questions and discussion which was helpful because I have subsequently been involved by special invitation in, for example, the Government's presentation of its response to the destruction of the cultural heritage by ISIS at Lancaster House .
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Cultural Protection Summit organised by the Government 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I attended the Cultural Protection Summit by personal invitation from John Whittingdale, the Secretary of State, and the Tobias Ellwood, Foreign Office Minister, to Lancaster House, London on 28 October 2015.
I was one of a select number of experts invited by the Government to discuss its plans to establish a Cultural Protection Fund to offer help and protection in relation to cultural property to vulnerable countries, such as Syria. I was invited, along with representatives of the Arts Council England, because I can act as a representative of the museum sector due to my leadership role.
This particular event was widely discussed in the press (and this is why I am suggesting that it reached more than 500 people).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Discussion on the Museums Association's website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Museums Association and various contributors are concerned about the protection of valuable cultural objects currently held in museums run by local authorities. I wrote to explain that, prompted by my submission to the Law Commission, it would be considering law reform in this area. My contribution was one of a number and there is ongoing discussion. The Law Commissioners are interested in the discussion and have asked me to keep them informed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/13022018-local-authority-museums-at-risk-as-...
 
Description Disposals from Museum Collections: Notre Dame University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact I gave an hour's presentation on Disposals from Museum Collections to a group of people (drawn from the museum sector and the legal profession) who were studying for a Diploma in Art Law. The event was organised by the Institute of Art and Law. The event was held at Notre Dame University in London on 6 January 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Franco-British Lawyers Association conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I presented a paper on "The Politics of Return." Franco-British Lawyers Association: The Art of Advising - Art Law in Practice. Notre Dame University, London. 9 October 2015. The paper was well received, prompting discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Governance structures: Socio-Legal Studies Association 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact I presented a paper at the "Museum collections: analysing the impact of governance structures" at the Socio-Legal Studies Association at York University, 26-28 March, 2013. There were questions and discussion afterwards. The audience consisted of academics drawn from a number of different disciplines.

My 50% Placement Fellowship had come to an end in October 2012 but I consider it important to reflect upon the work carried out and to discuss some of the issues which were in the background to the preparation of guidelines.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Law Commission consultation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact As an earlier engagement activity, I had responded 2014 to the Law Commission's consultation upon "Social Investment by Charities." (Consultation Paper No 216). My comments relating to the museum sector and social investment were cited by the Law Commission in its "Analysis of Responses" at [2.5], [3.7], [3.35], [3.126], [3.157], [3.166], [3.202].
In 2015, I responded to the Law Commission's Technical Issues in Charity Law (Consultation Paper No 220) as a representative of the museum sector
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Meeting with Museum Development North West. Manchester Museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Meeting with Museum Development North West (MDNW) on 5 February 2016 at Manchester Museum, to discuss the legal ramifications of the imminent closure of a number of museums in the north west of England. This is a matter of huge concern to the museum sector at the moment. The museum professionals decided to pass on my pdf guidance on curatorially motivated disposals to Lancashire County Council's legal department to help them with problems relating to disposing of their collections (in advance of closure of the museums themselves). We discussed what more work was needed help museums facing the threat of closure. We plan to establish a steering group to meet in April 2016 to discuss this further. MDNW also decided to seek Arts Council funding with a view to using my skills and expertise more extensively to provide new supplementary guidance in the context of closures of museums (and preservation of collections).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Meeting with with Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO at Chatham House. 1 July 2015. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The discussion concerned "Culture on the Frontline: Protecting Cultural Heritage in Conflict Zones." This was a Roundtable discussion with Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO at Chatham House. 1 July 2015. Although the discussion was wide-ranging, one particular issue was at the forefront: the ratification of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulations for the Execution of the Convention 1954 and its two Protocols. Key representatives from every sector were present, including the military. This would be another example of a Leadership activity, where I was invited to participate as one of the country's experts on the protection of cultural property. This activity is relevant to my museum work because, when the Government ratifies the Convention, the museum sector will need to be informed of its implications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Member of an expert panel discussing. "Museum Closure" at the Museums Association's annual conference in Glasgow. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was one of three members of an expert panel discussing. "Museum Closure" at the Museums Association's annual conference. The conference was held in Glasgow on 8 November 2016. There was a discussion at the end and I received a number of questions at the end about law reform. Immediately after this session, a representative from the DCMS discussed law reform with me. The DCMS has carried out a museums review and she confirmed that the Government was keen to support the museum sector where a case had been made out for a change in the law. She said that she had noticed how much interest there was in my law reform proposals..
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/comment/01072016-the-policy-column
 
Description Modern Studies in Property Law 2012 conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact This conference was held at the University of Southampton in March 2012. My paper was entitled, ''Legal and Ethical Guidelines for Disposals from Museum Collections.' The overall conference theme was the boundaries of the law. I argued that ethical principles were essential for the museum sector to flesh out the concept of acting for the 'public benefit.'

I was interested to hear papers dealing with issues relating to communities which gauged the effectiveness of the law in dealing with cultural issues. Other participants asked me questions when I had finished delivering my paper. I found this conference useful for writing an academic work (a book chapter) in this area which explored the limits of the law.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://hdl.handle.net/2381/28199
 
Description Museum Studies 'Brown Bag' Research Seminar Series, Leicester University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The School of Museum Studies at Leicester University runs a 'Brown Bag' Research Seminar Series. I gave a presentation on 'Disposals' on 9 May, 2012. The audience consisted of academics in the School of Museum Studies and postgraduates in the same field. My presentation prompted an enormous number of questions afterwards.



This presentation sparked the most academic debate which I have encountered. There were numerous questions on difficult issues. e.g. I was drawing up guidelines for the museum sector but (as I was aware) governance models varied and one subject for discussion was making the guidelines work for different types of museum with different governance models. The discussion helped to reassure me that I was covering all of the right issues in my guidelines.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/pdf/Disposal_Toolkit_Appendix_4.pdf
 
Description Museum codes and the ethics of disposal (Queen Mary University London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I provided a two hour conversation about disposals from museum collections on 20 February 2018 at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary University London). The generous amount of time enabled me to discuss different types of disposal, including sales from collections. It also gave me time to explain my proposals for law reform, which have been accepted as a project by the Law Commission and which form part of its 13th Programme. As some of the students work in museums part-time, this was an excellent opportunity to give them a wide-ranging overview of disposals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Museums Association Members meeting (Leicester) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop on 'Disposals' was held in March 2012 at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester. One of the issues discussed was the destination of proceeds of sale (where an object from the collection has been auctioned off). I was surprised to find that there are a variety of views on this issue and that, in particular, a few members from the museum sector did not think it essential that any proceeds of sale should be spent on the rest of the collection.

The main task of the Placement Fellowship (which could only be taken up at 50%) was to produce guidelines for the whole museum sector in the United Kingdom. Consulting museum staff in different regions to obtain their views was an essential part of this process.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/pdf/Disposal_Toolkit_Appendix_4.pdf
 
Description Museums Association Members meeting (London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The discussion took place at the British Museum in London in the Stephenson Lecture Theatre (Clore Learning Centre) on 5 December 2011. The museum staff who attended would have been drawn mainly from London and the South East. The event was organised by the Museums Association. There was discussion about disposals after the brief formal presentations. I found that I collected different types of information both in the discussion and in informal conversations afterwards. In the discussion itself, there was one museum worker who seemed quite oblivious to any risks associated with disposing of objects which might have been smuggled into the country in the past. I made a note that I must make sure that this was highlighted in the checklist in my guidance. At lunch, I was interested to talk to someone at lunch from a local authority who told me that her boss was nervous of disposing of anything. This is important information because one could easily assume from media coverage that museums were too keen to dispose.

It is vital that the guidance which I was acceptable to the museum sector, which is made up of a very diverse group of people. This sort of activity is essential for learning about what people do not know and do not understand and what issues concern them. The guidelines were formally published in March 2014 (after the sector was consulted on draft guidelines). As far as I am aware, they are seen as excellent.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/pdf/Disposal_Toolkit_Appendix_4.pdf
 
Description Museums Association's Museums Journal: comments 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was asked by the Museums Association to comment upon the fact that a museum had sold medals on Ebay for a small amount of money rather than returning them to the donor (who had been assured that the medals would join the permanent collection). These comments were published.
http://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/11082015-museum-criticised-for-selling-donated-medals?utm_source=ma&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=12082015
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation at a Collection Advocacy Workshop. Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact My presentation concerned "Sales from local authority museum collections" at a Collection Advocacy Workshop at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL, London. 16 July 2015. The workshop was organised by UCL in response to demands from members of two "action groups" who had worked to challenge local authority decisions to sell objects from their museums' collections. The action groups consisted of ordinary members of the public, who were concerned to challenge Northampton Borough Council's sale of the Sekhemka statue and Croydon Council's sale of ceramics. These action groups were keen to have an interdisciplinary workshop where the law and ethics and other matters could be discussed because they had felt that public bodies, such as the Arts Council, should have done more to prevent these sales. A representative from the Arts Council was present to provide that organisation's view and I was involved to help these people understand the law.
During 2014 and 2015, I had helped the Sekhemka action group by explaining legal terms to them so that they could understand the process. Even so, I was careful to remain impartial in the same way as the Arts Council and the Museums Association. It was important to remain neutral in a complex situation where local residents were in conflict with their local authority. In the end, Northampton Borough Council's museums were stripped of their accreditation by the Arts Council due to the sale of the Sekhemka statue: the sale was declared unethical and in breach of the Museums Association's Code of Ethics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation at the 10th International Conference on The Arts in Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact I presented a paper on "Returning Looted Cultural Assets" at the 10th International Conference on The Arts in Society, The Work of Art in the Age of Networked Society, Imperial College London. 22-24 July 2015. The audience was a mix of academics, museum practitioners, and other professionals. The conference was international and there were relatively few English people present. My paper did provoke discussion about such matters as the position of museums as purchasers of stolen art, and whether enforcement agencies in this country and abroad should place more emphasis upon seizing and returning works of art and antiquities or whether their first priority should be to prosecute and imprison dealers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation at the 3rd International Symposium on Economic Crime, Cambridge University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was involved in a "Trafficking in Culture" workshop. 33rd International Symposium on Economic Crime. Cambridge University. 8 September 2015. The problems of combating heritage crime and the security needs of museums prompted a great deal of debate.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation of a paper on "Museum Disposals" for discussion at the Courtauld Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I presented a paper on "Museum Disposals" for discussion at the Courtauld Institute on 29 September. The workshop was organised by the Institute of Art and Law. As I had made a formal submission to the Law Commission in September regarding law reform, I included some discussion of how the law should change in making my presentation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation of a paper on the new Code of Ethics at the Institute of Art and Law 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I presented a paper on "The Museums Association's Code of Ethics" at a conference organised by the Institute of Art and Law at Notre Dame University. London on 4 June. The audience primarily consisted on museum professionals and lawyers in practice.
I was particularly concerned to ensure that everyone understood that the new Code should be read in a holistic way. Consequently, in order to respond to an ethical problem, the audience would need to look at a number of different provisions in the new Code.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation on the law and ethics of disposal at the Museums and Heritage Show at Olympia in London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a presentation on "The law and ethics of disposal. What does the law have to say about your curatorial review?" at the Museums and Heritage Show, Olympia West, London. 19 May 2016. One person stood up and told me that she was a registrar and that my pdf. guidance on curatorially motivated diposals had transformed her working life. She told me that she, and other registrars, had been working partly through guess-work before. She wanted to thank me and the AHRC.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentations on acquisitions and disposals from collections and closures of museums at a conference on "Museums and the Law" in Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I provided two presentations: one concerned acquisitions to museum collections and the other was concerned with disposals from collections and closures of museums. The conference was "Museums and the Law." It was organised by Museum Development North West (MDNW) and it was held at Chetham's Library, Manchester on 10 March.
The audience primarily consisted of people working in museums.
There was a significant change in my presentation on disposals and closures of museums. I am now explaining the proposed changes to the law in more detail to the audience and inviting them to provide me with feedback at the conference (or to e-mail me later). I e-mail a summary of this feedback to the English Law Commission, the Scottish Law Commission and the DCMS. I have also been in contact with the Scottish equivalent of our DCMS. .
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://collectionstrust.org.uk/events/north-west/museums-and-the-law/
 
Description Provision of a talk, followed by discussion, on "Museum Disposals." at the offices of Clyde & Co, solicitors 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I provided a talk, followed by discussion, on "Museum Disposals." at the offices of a firm of solicitors in London called Clyde & Co. on 21 October. The event was organised by the Institute of Art and Law. The audience consisted primarily of lawyers but there were also museum and heritage professionals and academics.
I took the opportunity to discuss law reform.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Provocation at a Code of Ethics Consultation Workshop at Leeds Art Gallery 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact I provided a "provocation" at the Code of Ethics Consultation Workshop organised by the Museums Association at Leeds Art Gallery. 4 June 2015.
The Museums Association was involved in replacing its Code of Ethics of 2007, which applied to all museums in the UK. It was seen as outdated. The Workshop in Leeds was one of four workshops in which people working in the museums sector, along with museum consultants, were invited to attend to discuss the shape of the new Code of Ethics (which was eventually ratified in November 2015). I think that this is a good example of the "Leadership" aspect of my AHRC Fellowship: I was one of a few people trusted by the Museums Association to lead debate on issues relating to collections which would then lead to the new Code of Ethics of 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Publicity in the National Museum Directors' Council newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The National Museum Directors' Council (NMDC) is a highly influential body. It is pleasing that, in its newletter published online in November 2015, it noted the support of the AHRC in the publication of my pdf. guidance booklet on curatorially motivated disposals.
http://www.nationalmuseums.org.uk/news/newsletters/?item=105
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Scrymgeour Law Lecture Series: the UNESCO Convention 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact I presented a paper on 'The Illicit Trade in Art and Antiques and the UNESCO Convention' as part of the Scrymgeour Law Lecture Series, University of Dundee. 28 October 2011. Although the main thrust of the talk was concerned with smuggled and stolen artefacts, I also took the opportunity to explain that I had begun a Placement Fellowship and I invited discussion on disposals from museum collections as well.

The audience consisted primarily of academics and postgraduate students at the University of Dundee. However, I received an enthusiastic reception because there is significant interest in cultural matters in Scotland. Furthermore, there are so many different areas of law involved that it is easy to touch upon someone's research interests. For example, one of the subjects for discussion at the end of the presentation was (in the context of museum disposals) charity law.
At a later point, I joined with the Museums Association and Arts Council in liaising with Museums Galleries Scotland on the revisions to the Disposal Toolkit and my guidance in Appendix 4 on disposals (sales) from collections. It is important to be seen to be consulting every group of stakeholders in Scotland.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/pdf/Disposal_Toolkit_Appendix_4.pdf
 
Description Socio-Legal Studies Association conference 2012 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact My paper was entitled, 'Sales of Items from Museum Collections.' The conference was held at De Montfort University, Leicester. 3-5 April, 2012. The paper prompted discussion afterwards.



I found presenting the paper helpful because I was in the last stages of preparing a draft book chapter for publication (see URL below). It is useful to have the opportunity to explain my ideas to an international group of academics drawn from different disciplines.
I received the impression that colleagues realised that it was much more difficult to provide guidance to the museum sector on this issue than might have been assumed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL https://lra.le.ac.uk/handle/2381/28199
 
Description The Challenge of Safeguarding Manuscripts in Conflict Zones' event. Chatham House 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 'From the Balkan Wars to ISIS: The Challenge of Safeguarding Manuscripts in Conflict Zones' event. Chatham House. 6 October 2015. This event involved a discussion of strategies to combat the looting and destruction of manuscripts in Syria and other vulnerable countries. There was energetic discussion
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description The Collections Trust Annual Conference in 2012 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Collections Trust is a professional association whose members are mainly those working in museums, or independent museum consultants, or representatives of public bodies such as the Arts Council England. A high percentage of people (such as 20% or 30%) will be from overseas. I sat on a panel which was required to discuss the theme of 'Significance, Relevance and Resilience' in the context of collections.

I found it particularly helpful to have a discussion about the Equality Act; I had not considered this issue. For example, if a local authority wished to dispose of a religious object from South East Asia, it would need to consider the impact on the local South East Asian community. Consequently, in the published guidelines, I included the point as follows:
'Local authority museums will need to consider whether the disposal of any item adversely impacts upon those groups with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/pdf/Disposal_Toolkit_Appendix_4.pdf
 
Description Visit to Durham University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 30 postgraduate students attended a presentation on museum ethics and the law relating to acquisitions and disposals from museum collections
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Workshop on "UK Public Museums and their responsibilities to cultural heritage" at University College London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Although the workshop was called "UK Public Museums and their responsibilities to cultural heritage," the aim was to discuss local authority collections in particular. The event was held on 29 June at University College London. The participants discussed ways in which local authorities could be prevented from acting in a reckless way to strip museum collections of their most valuable objects (both culturally and financially). As the sale of the Sekhemka statue demonstrated, an object could be taken from a collection and sold to a private buyer; it could be exported overseas so that it was lost to the British viewing public forever.
Although various ideas were discussed, the group agreed with my suggestion that local authority collections should be given charitable status. This would mean that, before an object was sold, the local authority would need to obtain permission from the Charity Commission.
The organiser of the workshop, Dr. Alice Stevenson, then raised my proposal with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cultural Heritage in the autumn of 2016. The Group agreed to discuss it at the next meeting on 8 February 2017 but we ran out of time. It will be discussed properly later this year.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016