According to the 1970 UNESCO convention, a repatriation claim must be made within a year after the authorities in the country of origin become aware of the cultural artifact’s location. Galerie Peter Herrmann thus always shares all information about its pieces – especially the Nigerian bronzes pictured on these pages, exhibited between 1989 and today and published online since 1995. Our mailing list includes organizations that handle restitution matters as well as both independent and state-employed art historians from, e.g., Nigeria.
Every buyer of an art object, whether it’s made of wood, clay or bronze, must be aware that from a European legal perspective, the piece usually was taken from the respective African country of origin on the basis of inadequate export documents. Neither international regulations nor national African legislation are conducive to free trade. Galerie Peter Herrmann tries to confront this dilemma by operating with the greatest possible transparency. The period from 1985 to 2015 in which Peter Hermann has been active is extraordinarily problematic for art historical research because African and European dealers worked as covertly as possible in a hazy legal situation and because important information that prior to 1970 might have passed from market to academy tended to be kept hushed up.
When in doubt, Peter Herrmann asks that you please be in touch. It’s in the gallery’s best interest to resolve every questionable situation using all available means.
Peter Herrmann, August 2015
Expert in old and new art from Africa
Customs and insurance expert