UM Conference: ‘Whose culture is it?’

Issues of authenticity and ownership are a frequent source of tension in the fields of art and cultural heritage. Maastricht University organises a conference on cultures of authenticity and ownership in art and cultural heritage at the end of the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht. The event, at the Stay Okay Maastricht, will open with an expert meeting and a dinner on the evening of Sunday 23 March. Paper presentations are scheduled for Monday 24 March.

It is often not immediately clear what an authentic material object of art or culture is, who owns it, and how. Likewise, questions of authenticity and ownership can be complex when it comes to intangible art and culture. Some artistic and cultural expressions may even outright deny dominant conceptions of authenticity and ownership as meaningful frames for interpretation. But, such denials will not always prevent powerful authentications and appropriations. In any case, they cause conservationists and other experts major headaches.

To put it briefly: cultures of authenticity and ownership are pervasive in the fields of art and cultural heritage. The purpose of this conference is to explore the diversity of cultures of authenticity and ownership in the fields of art and cultural heritage, today. We aim to provide a trans-disciplinary forum and call for relevant contributions from the intersections of anthropology, economics, history, legal-studies, museology, sociology, etc.


Prof. Dr. Hildegard Schneider, Faculty of Law
Prof. Dr. Renée van de Vall, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Dr. Rachel Pownall, School of Business and Economics
Dr. Vivian van Saaze, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Dr. Christoph Rausch, Faculty of Humanities and Sciences

Preliminary Programme

Sunday 23 March 2014 – Stay Okay Maastricht, Maasboulevard 101, Maastricht

Speakers Expert Meeting:
Dr. Pip Laurenson, head of collections care research Tate, London
Dr. Anna Dempster, Senior Lecturer, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London
Lawrence Shindell, chairman ARIS art insurance, New York
Prof Dr. Jos Bazelmans, head of Kennis, Landschap en Archeologie of the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency

Respondents Expert Meeting:
Dr. Rachel Pownall, associate professor of art finance, Maastricht/Tilburg
Prof. Dr. Marieke Kuipers, professor of architectural heritage of the 20th century, Delft

15.30 Welcome
Prof. Dr. Hildegard Schneider

15.40 Introduction
Dr. Vivian van Saaze & Dr. Christoph Rausch

16.00 Dr. Pip Laurenson/respondent to be confirmed

16.40 Dr. Anna Dempster /respondent Dr. Rachel Pownall

17.20 – 17.35 Break

17.35 Lawrence Shindell/ respondent Dr. Anna Dempster

18.15 Prof. Dr. Jos Bazelmans/respondent Prof. Dr. Marieke Kuipers

18.55 Closing
Dr. Vivian van Saaze & Dr. Christoph Rausch

Monday 24 March 2014 – Stay Okay Maastricht, Maastricht

9.30 Welcome & Introduction
Prof. Dr. Renée van de Vall

Session 1

9.45 Recent developments in the Goudstikker case
Prof. Dr. Bert Demarsin, Brussels

10.15 Report on the Dutch restitution committee
Evelien Campfens, The Hague

10.45 Authenticity and Provenance Research
Beate Schreiber, Berlin

11.15 Break

Session 2

11.30 ‘You Don’t Own me’ – A preliminary investigation analysing strategies of ownership and long-term care for temporary artworks
Sophie Kromholz, Glasgow

12.00 Tino Sehgal’s Constructed Situations: Site of Disjuncture between Intangible Art and Intellectual Property Law
Patrizia Koenig, Oxford

12.30 Acquisition Strategies of Art Dealers. Evidence from London-based Auctions 1756-1913
Marina Gertsberg, Maastricht

13.00 Lunch

Session 3

14.00 Exhibiting Decay: Tensions of Authenticity in Illegal and Organised Urban Explorations
Dr. Annika Richterich, Maastricht

14.30 Marseille European Capital of Culture 2013
Geertje Brouwers, Maastricht

15.00 Break

Session 4

15.15 What Role for Authenticity in the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Dr. Sabrina Urbinati, Milan

15.45 Cultural Genocide and the Exploitation Problem
Amoury Groenen, Maastricht

16.15 Break

Session 5

16.30 What to do with castle ruins? (to be confirmed)
Dr. Joop de Jong, Maastricht

17.00 Cultural Relics as National Treasures: A Case Study of China
Zuozhen Liu, Amsterdam

17.30 Closing
Dr. Vivian van Saaze & Dr. Christoph Rausch


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