Digital Heritage Research Lab

Tom Kline

Thomas R. Kline advises clients on a wide variety of art, museum, and cultural heritage matters, including issues of ownership, theft, authenticity, breach of contract, insurance, and related disputes. Since 1989 he has practiced in litigation, arbitration, and dispute resolution, and he has represented governments, museums, churches, foundations, and families in recovering stolen art and cultural property. He also represents American museums and collectors responding to claims.

Many of Tom’s cases have involved art objects that were looted in wartime from Cyprus, Germany, and elsewhere. He was awarded the Medal of Cyprus Technical University for protecting the cultural heritage of Cyprus and the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Das Verdienstkreuz des Verdienstordens).

Tom is experienced in matters concerning art claimed to have been taken by the Nazis during World War II in the systematic looting of art owned by Jews and others. A nationally-recognized authority on Holocaust-related art claims, Tom has appeared before the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States, and he has helped clients resolve Holocaust-related claims both in and outside of court. Tom also advises clients on modern thefts from archaeological sites and on the illegal removal, export, and import of cultural artifacts.

Tom writes and speaks on art, museum and cultural property issues and serves on the Advisory Board of the German/English publication Kunst und Recht. For fifteen years, he has taught a course in museums and cultural heritage at the George Washington University Museum Studies Program.

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