Universiteit Leiden

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Evelien Campfens


Dr. E. Campfens
+31 71 527 5018

Evelien Campfens is a laywer, specialized in international cultural heritage law, the illicit trade in cultural objects and issues concerning looted art.

More information about Evelien Campfens

Evelien Campfens is a cultural heritage law specialist and post-doc fellow at the Research Group ‘Museums Collections and Society’. After having worked as a lawyer at the Dutch Restitutions Committee for Nazi looted art (2001-2016) she joined Leiden University (Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies) in relation to her PhD research on the topic of looted art. She is elected member Committee on Participation in Global Cultural Heritage Governance of the International Law Association; research coordinator of the Heritage Under Threat group of the LED Centre for Global Heritage and Development; and member of the Ethics Committee of the Dutch Museum Association (Ethische Codecommissie).

Research under construction

As an international cultural heritage law specialist, my field of expertise is the legal and ethical framework for the protection, possession and transfer of cultural objects. My current field of research is on the intersection between international heritage law and private law. For example, owners of certain ‘outstanding’ artefacts may not be free to destroy or export their cultural property, as this could be contrary to the (heritage) interests of the wider public. Similarly, the interests of specifically interested people such as former owners or creators who are tied to the objects on the basis of a continuing cultural link, may limit the property rights of new possessors. In search of legal tools to deal with cross-border title claims over lost cultural objects, an area typified by legal insecurity, my research focusses on the human rights law framework.                                                                              

Main publications

  • Campfens E. (2021), Cross-border title claims to cultural objects. Property or heritage? Meijers-reeks no. MI-377 (Eleven, 2021). ISBN 978-94-6236-250-5.
  • Campfens E. (2020), “Whose Cultural Objects? Introducing Heritage Title for Cross-Border Cultural Property Claims”, Netherlands International Law Review 67(2): 257-295 (2020).
  • Campfens E. (2020) “Bridging the Gap between Ethics and Law: The Dutch framework for Nazi-looted art”, Art Antiquity and Law 25(1):1-25/
  • Campfens E. (2019), “The Bangwa Queen: Artifact or Heritage?”, International Journal of Cultural Property 26(1): 75-110.
  • Campfens E. (2017) “Whose Cultural Heritage? Crimean Treasures at the Crossroads of Politics, Law and Ethics”, Art Antiquity and Law Vol. XXII, Issue 3, 2017.
  • Campfens E. (ed.), 2015, “Fair and Just Solutions? Alternatives to litigation in Nazi-looted art disputes: status quo and new developments” (Eleven, 2015) ISBN 978-94-6236-471-4.


  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • KG Musea en Collecties

Work address

Arsenaalstraat 1
2311 CT Leiden
Room number A1.10



  • Ethische Code Commissie (NMV) member of the committee
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