Art Law Lab

Today’s art and antiquities market is valued at $65 billion. While this global art trade continues to be dominated by the United States, its Middle Eastern sector, specifically the Arabian Gulf region, is attracting international attention due to rapid growth and diversification. From the trade of ancient cultural artifacts to the production of Contemporary art, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other digital media, the Gulf region presents fertile ground to explore legal issues regarding the creation, sale, collection, display, and protection of art and antiquities. To address this, the Art Law Lab was established as a research collaboration between the Art History program at VCUarts Qatar and the College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University.


Art Law is an emerging area of theory and scholarship. It is not a unified legal doctrine but a body of laws encompassing numerous areas from intellectual property to illicit trafficking. By involving local, regional, and international experts, the Art Law Lab aims to conduct interdisciplinary research and promote a deeper understanding of the legal frameworks governing varied issues including artists’ rights, the regulation of the art market, and the illicit trade of cultural property. With Qatar’s burgeoning local arts scene and the opening of numerous museums in the region, it has never been more vital for artists, designers, curators, and other professionals who comprise this world to develop a better understanding of related domestic and international laws. To this end, the Lab’s long-range goal is to create local educational opportunities in the field of Art and Antiquities Law.

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We collaborate with researchers, government entities, profit and non-profit organizations, and educational institutions that share that vision. We actively seek partnerships and value synergetic contributions to our creative community.