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The inaugural digital event is taking place on these dates: 

31 January 2023 (1-5pm GMT) 

2 February 2023 (1-5pm GMT)


The Art Provenance Symposium is a new digital event bringing together for the first time experts across the world from academia, independent researchers, curators, art lawyers and art market professionals.  The symposium aims to bridge a discourse between all participants by trying to align their visions and expectations for the field of provenance research while highlighting individual challenges.

The speakers and attendees will also benefit from a dedicated online members’ forum where they will be able to share their knowledge, insights and resources but also be able to continue the conversation on issues that will be addressed throughout the symposium.

The digital event will be chaired by Angelina Giovani-Agha, Co-Founder of Flynn & Giovani Art Provenance Research who will then publish the results of the symposium in an official report to be circulated to our global network of over 4,000 art professionals


Tuesday 31 January 2023 

  • 13:00 GMT: Introduction Angelina Giovani-Agha
  • 13:05 GMT 
    Panel: Striking a balance – a 360° perspective What does enough provenance research look like for different sectors? We speak to representatives from auction houses, museums, independent researchers, private art advisors and due diligence providers to find out what their main obstacles are when doing their due diligence and undertaking provenance research. We zoom in on their day to day challenges and what changes they would welcome that could facilitate their work. We also discuss the landscape of provenance research as a field, focusing on issues such as trainings, education, work experience and raising awareness of provenance research as a career path. Speakers: Angelina Giovani-Agha (Flynn & Giovani Art Provenance Research), Richard Aronowitz (Christie’s), Jacques Schuhmacher (V&A), James Ratcliffe (Art Loss Register), Rachel Elwes (Ben Elwes Fine Art)
  • Followed by Live Q&A session
  • 14:10 GMT
  • Presentation: What is the Jewish Digital Cultural Recovery Project (JDCRP)?  Wesley Fisher speaks on the ambition of the project to create a comprehensive listing of Jewish-owned cultural objects plundered by the Nazis and their allies from the time of their spoliation to the present. Speaker: Wesley Fisher (Claims Conference/JDCRP)
  • Presentation: Red Flags in Provenance Research (Part I) – a workshop with recent case studies focused on identifying red flags in provenance research by Pierre Valentin and Isabel von Klitzing. The lawyer-researcher duo will describe best practice when auditing art collections for Nazi-era gaps and red flag names in their provenance. From identifying the problem to finding a fair solution, this workshop is relevant to both private and institutional collections. Pierre Valentin (Constantine Cannon), Isabel von Klitzing (Provenance Research & Art Consulting)

  • Followed by combined Live Q&A session 

  • Break - 10 minutes  

  • 15:10 GMT
  • How can blockchain technology give back control to artists over the journey of an artwork, their narrative and their wishes? In 2019, an unfinished artwork by contemporary artist Raúl Cordero was sold at an auction house in the United States despite allegedly being destroyed in 1999 at the artist’s request. In addition, even though the auction house authenticated the piece, it did not include the artist’s seal of approval. A situation that raised frustration and lack of control over his voice and wishes as an artist. In this talk, Bernadine Bröcker Wieder and Raúl Cordero revisit this moment to highlight the importance of recording provenance and authenticity and how modern technology can facilitate this process to give back control to artists over the journey of their artworks. Speakers: Bernadine Bröcker Wieder (Arcual) and Raúl Cordero (artist).

  • Followed by Live Q&A session

  • 15:55 GMT
  • Panel: Innovative Solutions: The Court of Arbitration for Art (CAfA) & its Expert Pools - this session will address the importance of provenance research in evaluating stolen art claims as well as fake art claims, and how the Court of Arbitration for Art can help to bring efficiency and reliability to resolving such cases. A neutral provenance researcher can serve a number of critical purposes, including evaluating the veracity of a claimed provenance, opining whether a gap in provenance is capable of being filled through research, and identifying appropriate international repositories of likely germane information and then following the leads. The limitations of provenance research will also be discussed, and how the role of forensic science can and does assist. Speakers Sharon Hecker (Independent curator and art historian), Jennifer Mass (Scientific Analysis of Fine Art), Lyn Rother (Provenance Lab, Leuphana University), William Charron (Pryor Cashman), Colleen Boyle (Fine Art Group)

  • Followed by Live Q&A session

  • Day 2 - Thursday 2nd February 2023 

    13:00 GMT
    • Panel: African Art - an ever expanding notion of repatriation. During the past two years we have witnessed a wave of repatriations to Africa, with major museums notably returning artefacts to the Kingdom of Benin amongst others and other museums around the world promising to follow suit. This panel made of international experts addresses the lessons learned and the challenges that are still pending. We zoom into local institutional infrastructures and explore the internal challenges that arise from owning large collections. Do African museums themselves have items that need to be restituted? Is there an appeal in exploring various forms of restitution that go beyond ‘the physical restitution of an item’ such as the restitution of the story and the narrative? Speakers: Ngaire Blankenberg (Smithsonian National Museum of African Art), Njabulo Chipangura (Manchester Museum), Motsane Seabela (Ditsong: National Museum of Cultural History, South Africa), Adenike Cosgrove (ÌMÒ DÁRA) and Tom Flynn (Flynn & Giovani Art Provenance Research)

      Followed by Live Q&A session

      14:35 GMT

      Provenance Research: Legal Considerations and Ethical Practice: this presentation will consider both the legal and ethical impact of provenance research in relation to the acquisition of art. And, separately, how might museums treat provenance research, in legal and ethical terms, when considering the removal of items from their collections, especially in the context of restitution and repatriation? This will include discussion of the recent Arts Council England guidance on restitution and repatriation, which offers an interesting angle on our understanding of provenance research. Speaker: Alexander Herman (Institute of Art & Law)

      Followed by Live Q&A session


      15:25 GMT

      Presentation: Red Flags in Provenance Research (Part II) – this session presented by art historian and modern and contemporary Italian art curator, Sharon Hecker will shed light on common obstacles faced by researchers everywhere, no matter the art genre or period they are researching: the inability to complete a provenance chain, skilfully faked provenance information and labels, incorrect interpretation of provenance data, ‘subtle’ amendments in sales documents or catalogues, and strict privacy policies that keep researchers from conducting exhaustive research. How is provenance research a component of a bigger picture that involves rigorous evidence-based due diligence?

      Followed by Live Q&A session

      15:55 GMT

    • In conversation: On the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Crisis -
    • a birds eye view into the cultural heritage destruction of Ukraine this past year. We discuss the nature of looting, the lack of preparedness of cultural institutions prior to the war and what the international art market can expect in the coming years. What is the extent of the damage and what steps are being taken towards better mobilization for safekeeping of collections. Speakers: Konstantin Akinsha (Journalist, Art Historian and Curator) and Angelina Giovani-Agha (Flynn & Giovani Art Provenance Research)
      Par II: On the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Crisis and the Art Market - this session will highlight the concerns about the duties of the art market vis-a-vis art and art transactions potentially resulting from and in connection with the war in Ukraine. What duties do art market participants have to help curb the illicit trade in cultural objects looted from Ukraine and what must we do to protect the art market participants from violating the sanction regime when doing business with our Russian counterparts? Speaker: Irina Tarsis (Center for Art Law, USA/CH) 
    • and Angelina Giovani-Agha (Flynn & Giovani Art Provenance Research)

      Followed by Live Q&A session

      16:20 GMT

    • Presentation: Provenance in the Public Eye: how does the public perceive provenance? From Accompanying Captions to Centre Stage of Exhibition Displays. Liza’s paper maps the changing value of provenance information in the public eye, tracing its trajectory from supporting material in museum and gallery displays to the very subject matter of exhibitions. Ever since the Washington Principles, provenance information—which was formerly relegated to the bottom of exhibition captions—has made its way to centre stage of exhibition displays, and not only as an “ethical, legal, and art-historical issue”, Adam Szymczyk observes, but also an “artistic issue in its own right”. And yet, to date, there have been no critical surveys of how provenance information is treated in exhibition displays. The presentation questions: what do these displays achieve, and what is left wanting? What might be done differently in the future? After all, the value of provenance in the public eye is in its staying power.

      Followed by Live Q&A session

      17:00 GMT Symposium close 

    WITH thanks to our partner 


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