Art @Law



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 that the royalty must be paid by the seller. Background Each of the French national association of antique dealers (Syndicat National des Antiquaires) and the

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 beneficial and adverse impacts on individuals, businesses, public institutions, and any other interested parties. The Public Consultation closes on 24th February 2019. The consultation can

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 from their country of origin. The Regulation was originally due to be adopted by the end of 2018 but following the significant and numerous amendments

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 about Christie’s London Interior Sale online auction catalogue of 11 January 2018.  In a ruling published on 10 October 2018, they concluded that Christie’s advertising

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 “just and fair solution” in relation to artworks confiscated by the Nazis. Criticism has been levelled at the Washington Principles, not least because (i) they