The art trade is the least transparent and least regulated commercial activity in the world.” (Julian Radcliffe, Founder of the Art Loss Register, quoted by Tom Mueller in “To sketch a thief,” New York Times Magazine (17 December, 2006).

This lecture by David Bellingham, Sotheby’s Institute of Art’s specialist on law, ethics and the Art market, will look at examples of how, in the absence of specific art laws, ethics has penetrated the art world and its markets in the new millennium. The researching of provenance has become key to successful art trading, especially in relation to Nazi looted art and antiquities. Strict museum codes are beginning to influence attitudes towards conservation and restoration in the art market, as seen in the case of the recently sold Salvator Mundi by Leonardo Da Vinci and/or his studio. As public museums have to increasingly rely on private money, the ethics of corporate sponsorship and deaccessioning policy have become central to art world/market debates.

This is one of a series of 4 talks which explore restoration, theft, restitution and ethics in the art world; you may also like to consider:

Talk - Restoring Artemisia

Talk - The Fine Art of Crime: a beginners’ guide

Talk - Who Owns Antiquities? The Parthenon Sculptures, and other Causes Celèbres

This event has been organised by the London Fundraising Committee Volunteer Fundraising Committee to help raise money for the Art Fund.

The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, London, W1U 3BN

Entry details


To book, please contact London Events Committee on

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