Categories
Uncategorized

Ivory Act UK: High Court Judgment and Permission to Appeal

After one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory trade received Royal Assent in the UK late last year, a group of antique dealers and collectors applied for judicial review of the Ivory Act 2018. The claim, brought by Friends of Antique Cultural Treasures Limited or “FACT”, was heard by Mr Justice Jay on 16 […]

Categories
Uncategorized

Eleven action points proposed for better implementation of Washington Principles

On 15 November 2019, the Special Advisor for Holocaust Issues to the US government, Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, delivered a keynote speech at the French government’s conference commemorating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the French Commission pour l’indemnisation des victimes de spoliations (“CIVS”). Eizenstat, who has long campaigned for more action to encourage […]

Categories
Uncategorized

The Ferrari 250 GTO is a work of art, says Italian Court

In September 2018, Ares Design Modena S.r.l. (“Ares”), a Modena-based coachbuilder, announced that it would produce and commercialise a modern replica of the Ferrari 250 GTO, based on the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta chassis. The article, published by luxury-lifestyle magazine RobbReport.com, included drawings of the soon-to-be-commercialised sports car that slavishly reproduced the iconic features of the […]

Categories
Latest articles Uncategorized

Double Agents

The Court of Appeal recently handed down judgment in the case of Prince Eze v Conway,[1] another case on agents and secret commissions. The case revolved around whether an intermediary, Richard Obahor, acted as Prince Eze’s agent in the purchase of a property from Mr and Mrs Conway. At first instance[2], HHJ Keyser QC found […]

Categories
Uncategorized

New association for catalogue raisonné creators ‘will help stem flow of art fakes onto the market’

The International Catalogue Raisonné Association (ICRA) will launch on Monday, July 1 at the Royal Academy in London. ICRA is the brainchild of its board, chaired by art market lawyer Pierre Valentin, a partner at Constantine Cannon LLP who also founded PAIAM, the Professional Advisors to the International Art Market. The decision to set up an […]

Categories
Uncategorized

Constantine Cannon LLP are delighted to announce the launch of ICRA in London on 1 July 2019.

ICRA is a not-for-profit, membership-based association whose mission is to support all those working on catalogue raisonné projects including artists, representatives of artists’ estates, academics, scholars, experts, lawyers and publishers.  It was inspired by CRSA, the Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association founded in New York in 1994. A catalogue raisonné is a comprehensive inventory of all […]

Categories
Blog

A New Wave of Cultural Restitution

In November 2018, scholars Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy published a report commissioned by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, entitled The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage.  Toward a New Relational Ethics (the “Report”).  The Report calls for the restitution of “African cultural heritage objects” currently held in French national collections and for a new era […]

Categories
Blog

Acting in Good Faith?

Cassirer v Thyssen-Bornemisza – Latest US Ruling Upholds Spanish Museum’s Ownership of a Pissarro Painting yet invites Spain to respect the Washington Principles We return to the ongoing proceedings between the Californian heirs of Lilly Cassirer and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection (“TBC”) in Madrid, Spain, which we last addressed in September 2017. This blog post brings […]

Categories
Blog Latest articles

Adoption of the Regulation on the Import of Cultural Goods: Start Preparing Now!

As reported in a prior blog, the EU is looking to tackle the trade in illicit cultural goods by introducing import controls at EU borders. On 7 June 2019, the European Parliament and Council Regulation No 880/2019 of 17 April 2019 on the introduction and the import of cultural goods was published in the Official […]

Categories
Blog

25th Anniversary

CONSTANTINE CANNON LLP CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY With offices in four cities, this law firm is home to among the most prominent practices in Antitrust, Whistleblower, and Art & Cultural Property Law NEW YORK, NY (April 5, 2019) – Constantine Cannon LLP is pleased to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Founded by Lloyd Constantine on April 4, […]

Categories
Latest articles

Banksy’s (visual) protest brought to Court in Italy

Pest Control Office Limited (the company acting on behalf of the artist Banksy) has recently sued 24 Ore Cultura S.r.l. (part of the 24 Ore Group, a leading multimedia publishing group in Italy) seeking interim measures against the alleged unauthorized reproduction of Banksy’s works, and alleged unlawful exploitation of certain registered trademarks, in connection with an […]

Categories
Latest articles

ARTIST’S RESALE RIGHT IN FRANCE: A NEW DECISION

The French Supreme Court has put an end to an eight year-long legal battle over the payment of the artist’s resale royalty in France. The issue was whether Christie’s France could, by way of contract, provide that buyers at auction should pay the artist’s resale royalty. The French dealers argued that they were not, and […]

Categories
Latest articles

DCMS Consultation on National Treasures: Final Chance To Have Your Say!

At the end of 2018, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) opened a consultation on the proposed changes that would introduce a legally binding mechanism into the export control process for retaining national treasures in the United Kingdom. Before making the final decision on the matter, DCMS seeks to understand the potential […]

Categories
Latest articles

The Proposed EU Regulations on the Import of Cultural Goods

2018 was the European Year of Cultural Heritage, during which the EU pledged to take action to stem the illicit trafficking of cultural goods both within and outside of the EU. This led the European Commission to propose a new EU Regulation designed to prevent the importation into the EU of cultural goods illicitly exported […]

Categories
Latest articles

Christie’s Gets a Slap on the Wrist from the Advertising Standards Authority

A recent ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) reminds auctioneers that estimates in auction catalogues must make clear that charges apply in addition to the hammer price, and if VAT applies to those charges, they must be shown inclusive of VAT. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK’s independent advertising regulator, investigated a complaint […]

Categories
Latest articles

Architect of Washington Principles takes stock

On 26-28 November 2018, Germany hosted a conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the Washington Principles. Twenty years earlier, 44 governments had participated in the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets and endorsed eleven principles for dealing with “Nazi-confiscated art”. The most commonly-cited such principle calls for steps to be taken expeditiously to achieve a […]

Categories
2018 (July-Dec) Archives

The export office of the City of Bologna revokes the export licence granted for a portrait of Camillo Borghese by Gérard

The export office of the City of Bologna has recently attracted media attention following the revocation of an export licence granted for a portrait of Prince Camillo Borghese by the famous French artist Gérard. In February 2017, the gallery Robilant+Voena applied to export a portrait of Prince Camillo Borghese from Italy.  The export licence was […]

Categories
2018 (July-Dec) Archives

Preserving the Œuvre: The Significance of Catalogues Raisonnés

What is a Catalogue Raisonné? The purpose of a catalogue raisonné is to record all known artworks by an artist and to provide information such as title, medium, inscriptions, date, provenance, exhibition and literature references for each work. These publications are a substantial authority of an artist’s œuvre and a crucial tool in the authentication […]

Categories
2018 (July-Dec) Archives

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 […]

Categories
2018 (July-Dec) Archives

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 […]

Categories
2018 (Jan-June)

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 […]

Categories
2018 (Jan-June)

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 […]

Categories
2017 (Jul-Dec)

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, […]

Categories
2017 (Jul-Dec)

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 […]

Categories
2017 (Jul-Dec)

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, […]

Categories
2017 (Jan-Jun)

The UK Money Laundering Regulations 2017: key changes and impact for art businesses

Introduction The UK Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (“Regulations 2017”) which implement the EU’s Fourth Money Laundering Directive (“4MLD”) came into force on 26 June 2017, repealing the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (“Regulations 2007”). The 4MLD seeks to give effect to the international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing developed by the Financial Action […]

Categories
2017 (Jan-Jun)

The Regulation of the Art Trade for Anti-Money Laundering in the EU

Certain types of businesses fall within the regulated sector for EU anti-money laundering, such as banks, wider financial institutions, law firms, accountancy businesses and estate agents.  Luckily for the British art market, the British government has not invited auction houses and art/antique dealers to join the club.  Auction houses and art/antique dealers in other EU […]

Categories
2017 (Jan-Jun)

An Italian story of bad luck and lack of diligence

In a recent judgment, a Milan Court rejected a claim for the loss of value of a sculpture loaned by an Italian public entity to a Belgian museum arising from the alleged damage caused by a fall of the sculpture whilst on loan to the Belgian museum.  The judgment is a reminder that in the […]

Categories
2017 (Jan-Jun)

Faithless Servants and the Law: Fine Art Dealers Beware

On 27 February 2017, a New York State Court[1] held that Lisa Jacobs, a fine art dealer and private curator, breached the fiduciary duties she owed to the seller of an artwork entitled Future Sciences Versus the Man by artist Jean Michael Basquiat (the “Work”).  As a result of her disloyalty, the Court ordered Jacobs […]

Categories
2017 (Jan-Jun)

Appropriation Art Takes Another Hit in European Courts

On 9 March 2017, a French High Court held that a 1988 sculpture by appropriation artist Jeff Koons, Naked, infringed on the copyright of the late photographer, Jean-Francois Bauret.  The claim was brought by Bauret’s widow, Claude Bauret-Allard, against Koons for copying her husband’s work and against the Centre Pompidou in Paris for using an […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

The UK Competition and Markets Authority opens an investigation into auction services

On 22 November 2016, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an initial investigation into suspected anti-competitive practices in relation to the supply of auction services in the UK. In its announcement, the CMA stated that the investigation is focusing on suspected exclusionary and restrictive pricing practices, including most favoured nation provisions (MFNs) in […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

Series on Art Restitution – Nazi Looted Art

Introduction The field of art restitution generally concerns itself with artworks that were confiscated or seized from, forcibly sold by, or otherwise lost by their previous owners. Generally, these owners were subject to persecution.  There has been an array of (sometimes inconsistent) court decisions and differing opinions on how art restitution claims should be treated. […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

Series on Art Restitution – Bolshevik Looted Art

Introduction The field of Art Restitution generally concerns itself with artworks that were confiscated or seized from, forcibly sold by, or otherwise lost by the artworks’ previous owners. Generally, these owners had been subject to persecution or considerable duress.  Given the various categories of potential Art Restitution claims, there appears to have been an array […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

Series on Art Restitution – Stasi Looted Art

Introduction The field of Art Restitution generally concerns itself with artworks that were confiscated or seized from, forcibly sold by, or otherwise lost by the artworks’ previous owners. Generally, these owners had been subject to persecution or considerable duress.  Given the various categories of potential Art Restitution claims, there appears to have been an array […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

Is this a rebellion? No Sir, this is a revolution

It is said that when a messenger brought the news to Louis XVI that the Bastille had been taken, the monarch asked: is this a rebellion? No Sir, replied a minister standing by, this is a revolution.  Could the same be said of the public announcements made last week by the French auctioneers? On 29 […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

The Tale of the Two Cranachs

On 9 August 2016, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court of California summarily dismissed a lawsuit against the Norton Simon Museum brought by the heirs of a Dutch dealer, Jacques Goudstikker, to recover two sixteenth century oil paintings, entitled “Adam” and “Eve” by Lucas Cranach the Elder.[i]  Granting the Museum’s motion for summary […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

Update – New German Export Provisions for the “Protection of Cultural Property” now in force

Earlier this year we reported that Germany’s government was in the process of legislating to protect objects of national heritage and restrict their export from Germany. The new Act for the Protection of Cultural Property automatically (and practically, overnight) adds to the list of items declared as national cultural property, all items: owned by the […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

A new Guarantee Facility for the Culture and Creative Sectors

On 30 June 2016, the European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) launched a €121 million guarantee initiative, the “Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility”, to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the cultural and creative sectors via financial institutions. The new guarantee facility will be offered through “Creative Europe” (see here), a […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

Spain: Competition Authority investigates Art Logistics Companies

The Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (“CNMC”) is the independent authority in charge of both competition and regulatory matters in Spain. Its role is to guarantee and maintain the correct operation and effective competition of all productive sectors and markets in Spain. On 24 June 2016, the CNMC issued a press release […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

Brexit: the long road ahead

Less than a week after the British EU Referendum, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the vote to “Leave” has settled nothing. This is because the question on the ballot was fundamentally flawed. The Prime Minister should have delayed the process until the Leave supporters put forward a coherent, persuasive alternative to the status quo […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

De Sole v. Knoedler Gallery – A Field of Red Flags

Last month, collectors Domenico and Eleanore De Sole settled their claims against the now defunct Knoedler Gallery and its former president and director, Ann Freedman. The settlement, though hardly surprising, left many questions unanswered and raised other interesting ones. Unfortunately, we will never know whether, in the eyes of a jury, the De Soles’ reliance […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

Protecting national heritage or stifling the German Art Market?

Since 1955, it has been possible for Germany’s 16 states to register on a list of objects of national cultural importance artworks that are considered of particular cultural significance to the German nation. Once registered, the artwork cannot be permanently exported from Germany. Thus far, some 2,700 artworks have been registered by Germany’s 16 states. […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

Switzerland revisits laws on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing

Since 1 January 2016, art collectors and art businesses dealing in art, or storing art, in Switzerland must comply with new anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws. Key legislation in Switzerland Money laundering is regulated in Switzerland by the Swiss Criminal Code (“SCC”) which makes money laundering a criminal offence and the Swiss Federal Act […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

Reform of Bills of Sale could offer a welcome boost to England’s Art Lending Market

Lending against art is on the rise. In a survey conducted by Deloitte and ArtTactic for their Art and Finance Report 2014, 48% of collectors said that they would be interested in using their art collection as collateral for a loan, which according to the report, is an increase from 41% in 2012.  Skate’s Global […]

Categories
2016 (Jan-Dec)

The New Code of Ethics of the Museums Association

In November 2015, the (UK) Museums Association approved a new version of the Code of Ethics for Museums. The Code is one of a series of guidelines on museums’ ethics published by the Museums Association which also include ‘Guidance on the ethics and practicalities of acquisition’ and the ‘Disposal Toolkit’. The Museums Association has been […]

Categories
2015 (Jan-Dec)

When it comes to business, a longstanding friendship will not save the day

On 4 December 2014, Larry Gagosian won a protracted, hostile, and expensive court battle against his long-time friend and client Ronald Perelman. The dispute arose in connection with a series of transactions between the parties involving works of art by Jeff Koons, Cy Twombly, and Richard Serra. In MAFG Art Fund LLC and MacAndrews & […]

Categories
2015 (Jan-Dec)

A New York State Bill Seeking to Protect Art Authenticators

On 15 June 2015, the New York State Senate approved a bill, S1229A-2015 (the “Bill”) to amend New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law (“NYACAL”) in relation to opinions concerning authenticity, attribution and authorship of works of fine art. The Bill, which we hope will one day become law, aims to remedy some deficiencies in […]

Categories
2015 (Jan-Dec)

The pitfalls of selling art to consumers – Three short stories

Off-Premises Sales: the Consumer Goes on an Excursion… At the Art Business Conference last September organised in London by Art Market Minds, a delegate asked whether a sale to a consumer concluded by a dealer in his gallery could constitute an ‘off-premises’ sale.  The short answer is that it can. The question is significant because […]

Categories
2014 (Jan-Dec) 2016 (Jan-Dec)

Rothko Revisited

Earlier this year, we wrote about the claim brought by Dallas art collector, Marguerite Hoffman, against three defendants, L&M Arts, Studio Capital and David Martinez. The subject of the claim was the purported breach of a confidentiality clause in the contract for the sale of Hoffman’s 1961 Mark Rothko oil painting, Untitled. The contract was […]

Categories
2014 (Jan-Dec)

Changes to Copyright Exceptions

As of 1 October 2014, three new exceptions to copyright infringement have come into force in the UK. The new exceptions affect the way in which copyrighted works can be used and have come about as a result of increasing pressure on UK legislation to reflect the fast-paced digital age that we live in. These […]

Categories
2014 (Jan-Dec)

Peggy Guggenheim – when the heirs and the foundation disagree

Foundations are often established to manage large art collections after the death of the art collector.  Unfortunately, the interests of the collector’s heirs do not always align with those of the foundation, and disputes arise. Such disputes raise the question of the extent of the rights of the heirs when the deceased’s art collection is […]

Categories
2014 (Jan-Dec)

The impact of new consumer protection on dealer and gallery sales

New regulations aimed at protecting consumers come into force in the UK on 13 June 2014.  The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 apply to sales between traders and consumers.  Sales amongst professionals are not caught by the regulations. The regulations consider different types of trader-to-consumer sales: on-premises sales, distance sales and […]

Categories
2014 (Jan-Dec)

Expert opinion: a U-turn by the French Supreme Court

French courtrooms are no strangers to disputes over the authenticity of artworks.  Over the past 15 years, the French judiciary has repeatedly been called upon to adjudicate lawsuits brought against authors of catalogue raisonnés, artists’ foundations, and connoisseurs recognised by the art market as the ‘leading experts’ on a given artist.  These lawsuits, usually brought […]

Categories
2014 (Jan-Dec)

The new UK payment surcharges regulations and their effect on art market transactions

As part of the broader EU reform of consumer protection, the UK has implemented a number of legislative changes substantially strengthening consumer rights. One of those changes is enshrined in the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012, which came into force on 6 April 2013 and directly impact art market professionals accepting payment by card. […]

Categories
2014 (Jan-Dec)

Considering the murky world of AIFMD and its impact on art fund managers

In response to the perceived risk to investors and to the stability of the European financial market, the activities of alternative investment fund managers are being more strictly regulated.  The EU Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (“AIFMD”) aims to create a harmonised regulatory framework for managers of alternative investment funds within the European Union.  […]

Categories
2014 (Jan-Dec)

Changes in the law make auction rings easier to prosecute, but is the regulatory framework still fit for purpose?

Art dealers regularly bid at auction in partnership with other art dealers.  The law does not object to joint bidding provided that certain conditions are met.  If they are not, the bidding arrangement can turn into an illegal auction ring.  The risk if the bidding arrangement amounts to an auction ring is not simply pecuniary; […]

Categories
2014 (Jan-Dec)

Artist’s Resale Right in France: The Economic Burden Revisited

Over a period of seven months, the Paris Court of Appeal has reached two different decisions over whether Christie’s France can collect from the buyer at auction an amount equal to the resale royalty, as opposed to charging the royalty to the seller. Now the dispute has been referred to the French Supreme Court, which […]

Categories
2014 (Jan-Dec)

The Price of Confidentiality

When, in 2007, Marguerite Hoffman, a prominent Dallas art collector, decided to sell a major painting by Mark Rothko (Untitled, 1961), she insisted on confidentiality.  Her husband had died the year before.  She did not want to draw attention to her finances. The painting was well known.  So was the fact that the Hoffmans owned […]

Categories
2013 (July-Dec)

Out of the Shadow of the Third Reich

The discovery in a Munich flat of a hoard of over 1400 artworks acquired by Hildebrand Gurlitt in dubious circumstances during the Second World War has been making headline news.  The current value of the collection of artworks has been estimated at over €1 billion and contains previously unknown works by Matisse, Chagall, Picasso and […]

Categories
2013 (July-Dec)

Online Trading – Art Dealers Beware

An increasing number of dealers in art and antiques are making sales online.  Whilst legal principles relevant to the sale of goods in person apply to sales on the Internet, consumers buying online are offered an additional protection.  In particular, they have the unconditional right to cancel online purchases for any reason within a ‘cooling […]

Categories
2013 (July-Dec)

Art Finance – Leaving the art on the borrower’s walls

In Europe, banks and other specialist providers of loans against art, antiques and collectible items have often no choice but to take possession of the collateral in order to perfect their security interest.  This is the case where the law of the country where the collateral is physically located when the security interest is granted, […]

Categories
2013 (July-Dec)

Danger Ahead – Auctions Undermined by New Consumer Protection

Under EU law, consumers buying goods from a trader at a distance, or from a trader face-to-face but outside the trader’s usual business premises, have the right to cancel the contract of sale within the so-called ‘cooling off period’ without giving any reason.  They simply notify the trader that they no longer want the goods, […]

Categories
2013 (July-Dec)

Borrowing Against Your Art

Art collectors are often unable to display their entire collection in their homes. They keep part of it in storage, or they lend it to museums. Why not leverage artworks in storage or hanging on museum walls by borrowing against them? Art finance is a growing industry. Citibank pioneered art finance in the 1970’s.  Last year, […]

Categories
2013 (July-Dec)

Trading with the Enemy

International sanctions are actions taken by one country against another, either unilaterally or multilaterally. Their aim is to change the behaviour of the target country’s regime in order to maintain or restore international peace and security, or to improve the situation in that country. International sanctions are generally imposed by the United Nations or the […]

Categories
2013 (July-Dec)

The Destruction of Fakes

The destruction of fakes at the behest of artist committees is a long standing practice in France. In two recent decisions both involving artworks signed “Miro”, the Court of Appeal of Paris ordered the destruction of the artworks. In the first case (Lotz -v- A.D.O.M., 12 June 2013), Mr Lotz, an Austrian national, bought a […]

Categories
2013 (July-Dec)

The Recovery of Unlawfully Exported Cultural Property with the European Union – The European Commission has a Plan

The European Commission has unveiled plans to strengthen the Restitution Directive. Council Directive 93/7 EEC on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State (also known as the Restitution Directive) was adopted in 1993, when the internal frontiers amongst Member States were abolished, in order to protect cultural objects […]

Categories
2013 (July-Dec)

Import VAT and the Free Movement of Goods within the European Union

The importation of goods into the European Union is subject to import VAT. The rate of import VAT varies from EU country to EU country. The rate also varies depending on the type of goods. Unless an exemption applies, the importer of art, antiques and collectibles is liable to pay import VAT. In some EU […]

Categories
2013 (Jan-June)

Changes to the UK Bonded Warehousing Regime

HMRC have announced changes to the UK bonded warehousing regime.  The purpose of the bonded warehousing regime (the technical phrase is “Customs Warehousing”) is to allow for the indefinite storage of non-European Community goods without triggering liability to pay import VAT and Customs duty. Until now, it has been standard practice in the UK for […]

Categories
2013 (Jan-June)

Crack down on Bribery: a warning to galleries and dealers

The payment of bribes to foreign customs officials to facilitate the importation of goods in a foreign country has recently been in the spotlight after the Ralph Lauren Corporation made facilitation payments to Argentinian customs officials in connection with the importation of goods into the country. On 22 April 2013, it was reported that the […]

Categories
2013 (Jan-June)

The Importation of Video and Light Installations

The Customs Information Paper introducing changes to the temporary removal of goods from Customs Warehousing (see the article on this blog on Changes to the UK Bonded Warehousing Regime) refers to a previous Customs Information Paper (Ref: (10) 44 effective 18 June 2010).  The Annex to that Customs Information Paper seeks to clarify certain procedures […]

Categories
2013 (Jan-June)

The Fine Line between Collecting and Dealing

You may regard yourself as an art collector.  Occasionally you may sell an artwork or two.  You expect to be taxed on those sales as a collector.  It may come as a surprise that the Revenue should seek to tax you as if you were an art dealer.  A nasty surprise, in fact, because your […]

Categories
2013 (Jan-June)

Appropriation art found not to infringe copyright

Richard Prince has won his appeal against a first instance ruling in the US that 30 of his works infringed copyright in photographs by Patrick Cariou.  In a victory for appropriation artists, the US Court of Appeals reversed the 2011 decision by the district court that had found for Cariou.  The Court ruled that all […]

Categories
2013 (Jan-June)

Is an old master painting a wasting asset?

The London Upper Tax Tribunal accepts that an old master painting is a wasting asset, thereby escaping capital gains tax upon its sale. In November 2001, the executors of Lord Howard sold at Sotheby’s the portrait of Omai by Sir Joshua Reynolds. The portrait was painted shortly before 1776. Lord Carlisle bought it in 1796 […]

Categories
2013 (Jan-June)

Segregating sale proceeds owed to artists

New legislation is introduced in New York requiring galleries to hold sale proceeds owed to artists on a separate account. Galleries do not always segregate the percentage of sale proceeds due to the artist from the percentage of sale proceeds owed to the gallery. Instead, they place total sale proceeds in a single account and […]

Categories
2013 (Jan-June)

Artist’s resale right: the economic burden

French Court rules that the resale right must be borne by the seller. In December 2012, the French Court of Appeal held that where the resale royalty is due in France on the sale of an original artwork, the economic burden of the right falls upon the seller. A contractual term purporting to displace the […]

Categories
2013 (Jan-June)

Auction rings investigated

The Dutch Competition Authority investigates auction rings. Traditionally, auction rings involve a group of dealers agreeing not to compete against each other in the auction room in order to keep the price of property offered at auction artificially low. The members of the ring select one of them to bid on a lot, and at […]

Categories
2013 (Jan-June)

Auctioneers’ Liability

French Court takes a radical approach to auctioneers’ liability. In a recent decision (18 January 2013), the Paris Court of Appeal held that an auctioneer was strictly liable to the buyer of an artwork if he described it as authentic when it was not. Strict liability means that the auctioneer is liable irrespective of whether […]