OVERLAND PARK – While the “Monuments Men” took the first crucial steps in recovering cultural treasures stolen by the Nazis, the fight to return artworks to the victims and their families goes on nearly 70 years after the end of World War II.
Raymond Dowd, a partner in the New York firm of Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP, will speak next week at the University of Kansas about ongoing efforts led by him and others to secure the return of these masterworks, including his arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. “Murder, Mystery and Masterpieces: The Legal Implications of World War II Stolen Art” will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, at the Conference Center in the BEST Building on the Edwards Campus, 12604 Quivira Road, Overland Park. The program is free and open to the public.
“When you’re in law school, you dream about the chance to do this kind of work – not just fighting for victims but at the same time undoing some small part of a much greater evil. The chance to have Mr. Dowd be our inaugural speaker is a great way for us to launch our new chapter while giving back to the community,” said third-year KU law student Katherine Marples, president of the KU Law Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Dowd will also present a continuing legal education program for Kansas City-area lawyers during his visit. This program will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at the Jury Assembly Room in the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Kansas City, Kan. Media who wish to attend should contact Arturo Thompson, president of the Kansas Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, at 785-218-8944 to make arrangements.
“These cases are about much more than returning property to victims. They point to the past, reminding us of what we can never allow to happen again, and they send a message of warning to those who might see profit in the intimidation and extortion of others,” said Thompson, who is also assistant dean of career services at the law school.
Dowd is a partner with Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP, practicing in the areas of corporate, intellectual property, litigation, and arbitration and art law. He is also a second circuit vice president for the Federal Bar Association and served as its general counsel in 2010-11. Dowd has lectured widely in the area of art law, including presentations at the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Prague Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets in the Czech Republic and the Copyright Society of the U.S.A.
Dowd and his colleagues follow in the footsteps of the “Monuments Men,” a group of approximately 345 men and women from 13 nations who worked to protect monuments and other cultural treasures from the destruction of World War II. They ultimately returned more than 5 million artistic and cultural items stolen by Hitler and the Nazis.
The KU Law Student Chapter of the Federal Bar Association partnered with various donors and in-kind supporters to make this program possible. Funding for the public program comes from the Kansas Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, the FBA Chapter Resource Fund, the International Section of the FBA and the Bergman Family Charitable Fund. In-kind and promotional support are provided by the KU Edwards Campus, the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, the Jewish Community Relations Bureau and the Spencer Museum of Art.