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Culture and European Union Law$
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Rachael Craufurd Smith

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199275472

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199275472.001.0001

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The Gardener and other Stories: the Peregrinations of Cultural Artefacts within the European Union

The Gardener and other Stories: the Peregrinations of Cultural Artefacts within the European Union

Chapter:
(p.153) 5 The Gardener and other Stories: the Peregrinations of Cultural Artefacts within the European Union
Source:
Culture and European Union Law
Author(s):

Andrea Biondi

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199275472.003.0005

The Gardener — an oil painting that Vincent Van Gogh made in 1889 — has been considered under Italian law since 1954 as a work of art that possesses ‘historical and artistic interest’. Because of its much attributed value, this work of art has been passed on numerous times and has been proclaimed under the ownership of several different people and agencies such as the Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery in Rome. As such, several issues regarding the right of pre-emption and ownership under Italian law were raised because of the various conflicting and especially financial interests involved. An owner's right to sell and export this painting, and other such property rights, may come into conflict with the country's right of keeping the painting within its boundaries. This chapter discusses how subjective judgement is often used in such cases that involve physical preservation and the international exchange of objects with cultural significance.

Keywords:   The Gardener, cultural significance, property rights, pre-emption, ownership, subjective judgement, Italian law, international exchange

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