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Taking Art Disputes Out of the Courtroom—The Potential Benefits of Arbitration By Desiree Moore (Doha/Chicago) INTRODUCTION There is no separate concept of “art law,” per se. Disputes over art tend to be multidisciplinary in nature, often implicating contract, property, tax, tort, constitutional, intellectual property, and insurance law, among others. Art disputes can also be jurisdictionally complex, with ties to multiple states, countries, and continents. Often, disputes over art will exceed the bounds of strict legal doc- trine. For instance, disputes concerning the authenticity of major 20th century art works, or restitution of stolen or misappropriated works during World War II, or the fate of lost-and-found tribal arti- facts, present more than simply legal questions. Such disputes can be historically and culturally significant, sometimes personal in nature, and emotionally charged. The case of Republic of Austria v. Altmann, 541 U.S. 677 (2004), is instructive. In Altmann, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which defines the jurisdiction of the United States in lawsuits against foreign states, can be retroactively applied. There, the plaintiff was permitted to bring a civil action against Austria in a U.S. federal court to recover Klimt paintings alleged to have been stolen from her family by the Nazis during World War II and housed in government museums in Austria. Despite the fact that the conduct at issue occurred before the enact- ment of the FSIA, the Court ruled that a lawsuit could still be brought under the FSIA. 77