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Dr. Clarence Epstein, Director, Max Stern Art Restitution Proj., Concordia University

Friday, May 23, 2014

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Person on a podium giving a speech and addressing the audience.

The Empire Club of Canada Presents:
Dr. Clarence Epstein, Director, Max Stern Art Restitution Project, Concordia University With The Max Stern Art Restitution Project: How Canadian Institutions Are Blazing the Trail in Nazi-Looted Art Recovery

In his role as Senior Director of Urban and Cultural Affairs at Concordia University, Clarence is very involved in the day-to-day operations of the university. He’s responsible for Museum Relations, Cultural Property, Built Heritage and Urban Planning. And he has overseen one of the largest public art programs of any Canadian university. He’s also responsible for managing the development of Quartier Concordia, an urban planning project that is transforming the western downtown core of Montreal into a unique university precinct. So yes, he has a big day job.

Clarence will speak more about the Max Stern Restitution Project during his remarks, and suffice it to say that Clarence and his team of experts scour the world looking for artworks that were lost by Max Stern during the Holocaust Period. When they find them, they work to secure their return to the Max Stern estate. This work involves determination, patience and enormous amounts of emotional intelligence. Clarence has all those things in spades.

Canada could not have a better ambassador on the world stage. Clarence’s network is vast and varied. He navigates the challenging issues raised by art restitution with tact and discretion.

Clarence will speak for a few moments and then invite Hana Gartner to join him on the stage. We were so delighted that Hana was prepared to join us today. Hana tells me that she got an Honours Degree from Concordia, but an education from the CBC. For over three decades, she travelled the country and the world on behalf of the CBC, delving into the minds of people from every walk of life and telling their stories.

She’s climbed a glacier in Austria, investigating the mysterious disappearance of a Canadian hockey player. She’s trekked through Uganda and Kenya, tracking down a bookkeeper who embezzled close to $1 million from children’s daycare centres, and she brought him home to face justice.

Hana has grilled everyone from prime ministers to contract killers. She’s investigated everything from polygamy to airport security. She’s taken on the corrupt and the inept and has explored and exposed that which makes us human and that which makes us inhumane. She says, in the end, all she ever really did was ask questions, the ones you would ask.

Hana Gartner, Former CBC Investigative Journalist.

Dr. Clarence Epstein, Director, Max Stern Art Restitution Project, Concordia University

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