Art @Law

New Anti-Money Laundering Regulations Target the Art Market


Anti-money laundering laws in the UK are largely outlined in the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (“Regulations 2017”)[1].  The Regulations 2017, which came into force on 26 June 2017, implemented the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“4AMLD”).  4AMLD aligned EU money laundering laws with international standards, harmonised those laws across the EU and embraced a risk-based approach to respond to the threat of money laundering. Barely a year following the UK’s implementation of 4AMLD, the European Parliament adopted a new directive

The Piero Manzoni Foundation and the destruction of 39 works


A few months ago, the Piero Manzoni Foundation published a video showing the destruction of 39 alleged forgeries that were attributed to Piero Manzoni by Giuseppe Zecchillo, an Italian opera singer. Background In 1963, the Italian baritone rented Manzoni’s last studio, in the heart of Brera, and claimed to have been given a number of Manzoni’s artworks by the artist himself during the last years of his life. However, when Zecchillo sought authentication of these artworks, a legal battle arose

New York Court Dismisses Claims Against Agnes Martin Authentification Committee


On 5 April 2018, a New York State court dismissed a complaint filed by the Mayor Gallery, a London-based art dealer, against Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonné LLC (“AMCR”), Arnold Glimcher, the managing member of AMCR’s authentification committee and the owner of the Pace Gallery, Tiffany Bell, the catalogue’s editor, and other members of AMCR’s authentification committee for their refusal to include 13 artworks purportedly by Agnes Martin in the artist’s Catalogue Raisonné. The complaint sought more than $7 million in

Another small step towards a liberalisation of Italian export controls


Following last summer’s amendments to the Italian export legal framework (see our blog of 27 September 2017), additional changes to the export licensing process have been implemented by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Property. At the beginning of December 2017, new guidelines amending an outdated Circular of 13 May  1974 were issued with a view to limiting the discretionary powers of export offices when deciding whether to grant an export licence for art, antiques and collectible items. These guidelines set

Data protection reform brings significant risk to UK art businesses


For businesses in the art sector and beyond, legal compliance is becoming increasingly crucial, as infringements have the potential to undermine the very survival of the business. It used to be the case that only competition law was seen to be exceptional in terms of the eye-watering fines imposed by the regulators. More recently, however, non-compliance in other areas has been tightened and businesses really need to “up” their game. Data protection is an example.  The upcoming reform of data

Cassirer v Thyssen-Bornemisza: California Court revives claim to Pissarro yet again


Like so many court cases dealing with claims to Nazi-looted art, the Cassirer v Thyssen-Bornemisza case has placed much emphasis on the following questions: Which law will the Court apply to the issues it is being asked to consider? Has the current possessor acquired ownership of the artwork? Is the claim to the artwork barred by limitation? Each claim to looted art can turn on the answer to one of these questions, and have a radically different outcome, depending on

A (very) small step towards a liberalisation of Italian export controls


Traditionally considered among the strictest in Europe, Italian export regulations have just been amended following an almost three-year debate. The discussion on the reasons for the stagnation of the art market in Italy was originally promoted by Progetto Apollo, an association of art dealers, auction houses and other professionals operating in the art market. The legal advisor of the group, Italian art lawyer Giuseppe Calabi, has commented positively on the recent amendments by saying that the reform has established a reasonable balance between heritage protection and