How legislation has given AGNSW the blockbuster edge

Protection against seizure and restitution has enabled some of China's most important objects, once housed in the Imperial Palace and now held by Taiwan, to travel to Sydney.
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Ming dynasty 1368–1644, Wen Zhengming (1470–1559), Heavy snow in the mountain passes 1528–32 (detail), handscroll, ink and colours on paper, 25.3 × 445.2 cm, National Palace Museum, Taipei. Photo: © National Palace Museum, Taipei. From exhibition Heaven and earth in Chinese art: treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei at AGNSW (2019).

Despite growing pressure over the past decade to protect culturally significant objects when they are loaned internationally between art museums, there are less than 20 countries that have an Immunity from Seizure Act in place. Australia is one of them.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina

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