RICH Talk 2: Spoliation or artistic conquest?
For the past thirty years, various politicians have tried to bring to light the file of the French artistic spoliations of 1794-1795, in order to claim the restitution of one or other of the masterpieces of our country that had been taken to Paris before being dispersed to the French museums in the provinces. It was in this context that the former Secretary of State for Science Policy asked the speaker for a detailed historical report on what happened at that time. At the same time, the Secretary of State requested from KIK-IRPA a detailed scientific inventory of the paintings and sculptures seized by the French. All these steps lead to the inevitable question, very fashionable today, of possible restitutions: should we open Pandora's box to try to rewrite history?
With a doctorate in art history from the University of Liège, Pierre-Yves Kairis worked successively at this university, at the King Baudouin Foundation, at the Collège de France, and then at the Belgian Federal Ministry of Scientific Policy, before joining the Royal Institute for Artistic Heritage in 1998. He is currently head of the Research in Art History and Inventory unit at the Institute. He has devoted most of his research and publications to ancient paintings in Wallonia, particularly in the Principality of Liège. His voluminous monograph on the 17th-century Liège painter Bertholet Flémal was awarded a prize by the Académie française in 2016. Following a historical report on the French revolutionary seizures submitted to Secretary of State Elke Sleurs in October 2015, she commissioned him to lead the scientific inventory of paintings and sculptures looted by the French (2016-2018).
A draw will be held to select three participants, each of whom will receive a copy of the book 'Nouveaux regards sur les saisies patrimoniales en Europe à l'époque de la Révolution française'.
Upcoming KIK-IRPA events
The Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) is organizing an international Summer School in partnership with The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM).
From May 29 through 1 June 2024, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) will host the Architectural Finishes Research Conference in Amsterdam. They do so in collaboration with renowned partners on this subject in the Low Countries: the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA), SRAL ‒ The Conservation Institute, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and University of Amsterdam (UvA).