California AB 2765 Stops the Clock for Recovery of Wrongfully Appropriated Works: The Ramifications for Museums, Owners, Collectors and the Art Trade

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For over three decades California courts and lawmakers have attempted to achieve an equitable balance between the rights of former owners and good faith purchasers of stolen works of art. In true Hollywood fashion, the thief has played his part and left the stage. Only the original owner and the good faith purchaser remain, and the legal question California has struggled with is how to allocate the risk of loss between them. In late September, 2010, California presented its latest resolution when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 2765 into law, effectively doubling the time an aggrieved party can recover an object of "historical, interpretive, scientific, cultural, or artistic significance" that has been stolen or taken by fraud or duress.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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