Art @Law

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

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 granted in March and the portrait was bought by the Frick Museum in New York.  Now the Bologna export office that granted the export licence

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 process. Consulting the relevant catalogue raisonné is often the first step in the due diligence process for collectors, art dealers, museums and auction houses when

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