With so much taking place around us now, I forced myself to choose a topic for today’s blog that, although still estates related (this being, after all, an estates blog), allows me to think about something beautiful.  I landed on art.

Full disclosure: I have blogged about art and estates before.  See here and here for some shameless self-promotion.  Without wanting to revisit these topics, I did some searching and was intrigued by this Financial Times article about the Art Loss Register (ALR).

The ALR is the world’s largest private database for lost and stolen art, antiques, and collectibles.  Their services are essentially twofold.  First, the ALR assists to deter the theft of art by promoting the registration of all items of valuable possession on its database and also the expansion of checking searches.  Second, by operating a due diligence service to sellers of art, the ALR operates a recovery service to return works of art to their rightful owners.  In addition, the ALR has expanded to negotiate compensation to the victims of art theft and the legitimising of current ownership.

In addition to art dealers, insurers, and museums, the ALR also assists private individuals including beneficiaries and trustees.  A trustee who is intending to liquidate art may wish to rely on the ALR to prove title and authenticity, thereby potentially increasing value and mitigating risk of fraud.

Noah Weisberg

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