HOW THE NGV HANDLES ENQUIRIES AND CLAIMS IN RELATION TO WORKS IT HAS BORROWED FROM OVERSEAS FOR TEMPORARY PUBLIC EXHIBITION

The NGV is committed to exhibiting works of art only in accordance with the highest standards of due diligence (including ethical and professional practice, and in accordance with applicable law).

As part of this commitment, the NGV invites people to contact it if they have a concern about a work that the NGV has borrowed or is about to borrow from overseas. For example, please contact the NGV if:

  • you wish to make a claim (such as an ownership claim) over such a work;
  • if you have any questions about such a work; or
  • if you want further information about such a work’s ownership or provenance.

We set out below information about our enquiry and claims handling procedures in relation to works borrowed by the NGV from overseas. These works will usually be subject to the provisions of the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013 (Cth) (“the Act”) which (among other things) generally prevents an item from being seized or forfeited while it is in Australia.

Works that the NGV is borrowing or has borrowed from overseas and that are subject to the Act are published on the NGV’s website. Images and information about such works will be uploaded at least four weeks before the work is imported into Australia and only removed once the work leaves Australia.

What information do I need to provide if I am making a claim or enquiry?

If you wish to make a claim or enquiry, or if you want additional information about a work the NGV has borrowed or is borrowing from overseas, you will need to provide us with the following in writing:

  • your name, address and contact details;
  • if you are making a claim or enquiry on behalf of someone else, that person’s name, contact details and their relationship to you;
  • a short summary of the claim to the work;
  • copies of any documents or other evidence that may be relevant to the claim or enquiry; and
  • a statement confirming that you are aware that the NGV may inform the lender of the request and supply them with information on the claim.

How will the NGV consider my enquiry or claim?

The NGV will give serious consideration to each enquiry and claim it receives in relation to a work borrowed from overseas, based on the nature and circumstances of each enquiry or claim.

In determining whether an enquiry or claim in relation to a work borrowed from overseas and subject to the Act is justified, the NGV may consider (without limitation):

  • the documentation and evidence you provide;
  • if you are known to the NGV and whether you have already made the same or a similar claim in another country; and
  • in the case of Australian cultural material (including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander material), a close examination of the work’s known provenance and history, including how the work left the custody of any relevant individual or community and the circumstances in which it was exported from Australia.

What response should I expect to get back from the NGV?

If the NGV is satisfied about the nature and circumstances of the request for information or that claim, the NGV will provide you with information on the provenance and due diligence procedures it followed. Such research will have been in accordance with the policies and procedures of the NGV and is required under the Act.

Where the additional information is information that has already been published on the NGV’s website, we will direct you to the exact website address for that information.

Please note, however, that the NGV retains the right not to disclose any of the above if the NGV determines that it is not, in all the circumstances, appropriate for it to do so.

How long will it take for the NGV to respond to my enquiry or claim?

The NGV will respond to you within 28 days of receiving your enquiry or claim. To assist in a prompt response, please make sure you provide all the details that the NGV will likely need to assess your claim and to accurately identify any information you have requested.

What will happen if the NGV determines that a claim I make is justified?

If the NGV determines that you have a legitimate claim in relation to a work before that work is imported into Australia, the NGV will assess whether or not it is appropriate, in all the circumstances, to continue with the loan. In making that assessment, the NGV will have full regard to its due diligence and provenance standards, as set out in the NGV Inward Loans Policy, available on our website here.

Please note, however, that once a work has been imported into Australia on loan from overseas, your ability to take legal action in relation to that work in Australia may be limited by the provisions of the Act. For information on the Act, see http://arts.gov.au/collections/protection-of-loans.

Who do I contact at the NGV if I want to make a claim or enquiry?

If you want to make a claim or enquiry in relation to a work of art that the NGV has borrowed from overseas, please address your enquiry to pcol@ngv.vic.gov.au.

Please note that the information above relates to enquiries and claims relating to the ownership or provenance of a work borrowed from overseas for temporary public exhibition. For all other comments and enquiries about works of art, please use the general contact form.