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…Continue reading Eleven action points proposed for better implementation of Washington Principles

Enzo_Ferrari_à_la_Targa_Florio 1922

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

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…Continue reading Double Agents

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

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

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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…Continue reading A New Wave of Cultural Restitution

Camille Pissarro - Boulevard Montmartre

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…Continue reading Acting in Good Faith?

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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,…Continue reading 25th Anniversary

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

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

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

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

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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…Continue reading Preserving the Œuvre: The Significance of Catalogues Raisonnés

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…Continue reading New Anti-Money Laundering Regulations Target the Art Market

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…Continue reading New York Court Dismisses Claims Against Agnes Martin Authentification Committee

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…Continue reading Another small step towards a liberalisation of Italian export controls

Camille Pissarro - Boulevard Montmartre

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

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,…Continue reading A (very) small step towards a liberalisation of Italian export controls

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

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

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

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…Continue reading The Tale of the Two Cranachs

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

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…Continue reading A new Guarantee Facility for the Culture and Creative Sectors

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…Continue reading Brexit: the long road ahead

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.…Continue reading Protecting national heritage or stifling the German Art Market?

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…Continue reading Switzerland revisits laws on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing

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

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 &…Continue reading When it comes to business, a longstanding friendship will not save the day

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…Continue reading Rothko Revisited

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…Continue reading The impact of new consumer protection on dealer and gallery sales

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

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.…Continue reading The new UK payment surcharges regulations and their effect on art market transactions

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. …Continue reading Considering the murky world of AIFMD and its impact on art fund managers

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

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…Continue reading The Price of Confidentiality

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,…Continue reading Borrowing Against Your Art

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…Continue reading Trading with the Enemy

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…Continue reading The Destruction of Fakes

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

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…Continue reading Auction rings investigated

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…Continue reading Auctioneers’ Liability