CEO & Founder
Christopher A. Marinello, Esq.
Christopher A. Marinello is one of the world’s foremost experts in recovering stolen, looted, and missing works of art. A lawyer for over 30 years, Chris began his legal career as a litigator and became uniquely proficient in negotiating complex title disputes between collectors, dealers, museums and insurance companies.
He has been involved in several of the best-known restitution cases on behalf of foreign governments and heirs of Holocaust victims to recover stolen artwork and cultural property. Chris successfully recovered the first work of art (Matisse's Femme Assise) to be restituted from the infamous Gurlitt hoard and was responsible for the recovery by the heirs of Parisian art dealer Paul Rosenberg of several Nazi-looted artworks held in Museums and private collections. Chris has been involved in the repatriation of artwork and antiquities on behalf of the Governments of Egypt, Ireland, Sweden, Syria, Iraq, Romania, Cambodia, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, the United States, and the Republic of Italy.
In 2013, Chris founded Art Recovery International – a specialist practice providing due diligence, dispute resolution and art recovery services for the art market and cultural heritage sectors. Within this, Chris has overseen the development of the non-profit Artive Database – the most technologically advanced system in existence for the identification and recording of issues and claims attached to works of art.
Over the years, Chris has recovered stolen and looted artwork valued at over $500 million dollars on behalf of museums, collectors, dealers, artists, governments, cultural and religious institutions and insurance companies.
As an adjunct professor at New York University, Chris has taught Law and Ethics in the Art Market and co-founded the Art Crime Conference at NYU’s School of Professional Studies. He writes and lectures extensively on due diligence and the art recovery process and has presented at numerous academic and business forums including the University of Cambridge, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, New York University, St. John's University School of Law, the Conference on International Cooperation and Investigative Strategies of Thefts and Trafficking in Mobile Cultural Objects, The FBI Art Crime Team, The Royal United Services Institute, Interpol, UNESCO, The European Registrars Conference, The International Foundation for Art Research, Lloyds, LAPADA, SOFAA, The International Bar Association, Sotheby's Institute of Art, Christie's Education, and more.
Chris has served as a member of the Art Law Committee of the New York City Bar and is a member of the Advisory Council of the American Appraisers Association, the Arts and Records Committee of the Inland Marine Underwriters Association and a member of the City of London Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars.
Art Recovery International retains a number of highly skilled lawyers, investigators, and provenance researchers in the UK, USA, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. All employees and consultants are bound by strict confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.