Registering interests in artworks

The ALR can protect a wide range of interests in art. In addition to stolen and looted items we also register:

  • Full ownership (‘Positive Registration’)
  • Partial ownership interests;
  • Consignment interests;
  • Trust based interests;
  • Security interests;
  • Civil disputes; and
  • Options to purchase/rights of refusal.

Registration of such interests with the ALR is a practical way to verify that your trust and good faith is not taken advantage of. It enhances the legal protection that you hopefully already benefit from through contracts, consignment agreements, or UCC filing by providing a mechanism to assist in ensuring that you receive notification at the earliest possible stage of possible infringements of your rights.

Once an item is registered on our database we will then notify you if it appears in any of the 400,000 pieces that we check against the database every year. If there is a match for the artwork you registered this gives you the opportunity to take action to protect that interest.

The cost of registration is a single administrative fee £300/€340/$400 (plus VAT where applicable) per item, payable prior to registration. There are discounts available for the registration of more than 10 items if you contact us directly. Once an item has been added to our database no further fees will be payable unless you take the further step of asking us to assist you in resolving a claim against the work at a later date.

In order to register items on our database as subject to the kind of interests detailed above we need:

  • Details of the artwork concerned, so that it can be registered on the database. At a minimum this is an image, title, artist and dimensions; and
  • Information regarding the claim – usually this will mean we need to see proof of the interest claimed, whether it be ownership, a share, a security interest, or something else, for example in the form of an invoice, or loan documentation; and an explanation of the basis for that interest needing to be registered, for example a theft report that records that a picture has been stolen, or a civil claim that shows a dealer has refused to return a picture on consignment, and so on.

Because of the sensitivity around providing the kind of information required to demonstrate interests such as these we recognise that there may be a need for you to redact information such as prices from the documentation that you provide. Needless to say, the registrations themselves will be held confidentially in our database.

To ensure that these registrations match our criteria we do not accept them directly via our website. If you would like to speak to us about taking action to protect your own, or your client’s, interests in art in circumstances such as these then please contact us at [email protected] or call +44 (0) 207 841 5780.