The case of Rubin et al. v. the Islamic Republic of Iran v. Museum of Fine Arts and Harvard University et al. is in full swing at the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals court yesterday set a briefing schedule that calls for the appellant’s brief to be filed on December 27 and the appellee’s brief to be filed 30 days thereafter. [Update 1/27/12: The court extended these deadlines.]
In September, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts denied a request by Jenny Rubin and others to gain title to artifacts held by Harvard, the Museum of Fine Arts, and other Boston area cultural institutions. The Massachusetts federal district court ruled that it was presented with no proof that Iran owned the antiquities in the museums; therefore the plaintiffs were not entitled to the cultural property. Rubin and the others soon appealed the decision to the circuit court in October.
The Rubin plaintiffs wish to acquire the artifacts in order to satisfy a multi-million dollar court judgment they won against Iran for that government's role in sponsoring a 1997 terrorist bombing in Jerusalem. The suicide attack inflicted injury on the plaintiffs.
Photo credit: Nightryder84, detail of cup found at Marlik, Iran, Creative Commons.