1 June 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon


Research on Gurlitt Trove of art possibly looted by Nazis concludes, offering few answers: One of the most publicised cases of potentially Nazi-looted art began in 2010, when customs officers stopped 80-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt for a routine check aboard a train traveling from Zurich to Munich. They found that he was carrying a large sum of money, which he claimed was from a recent sale of art. In 2012, Bavarian authorities searched his Munich apartment, expecting to find evidence of tax evasion, and instead discovered approximately 1,500 works by artists including Paul Klee, Édouard Manet, and Wassily Kandinsky. Another cache of art was found in his Salzburg property. Since then, the collection, dubbed the Gurlitt Trove, has been the subject of an international provenance investigation—which, according to a new report by the German publication Monopol, has reached its conclusion.  

01.06.2020, Art NewsResearch on Gurlitt Trove of art possibly looted by Nazis concludes, offering few answers 

26.05.2020, SwissinfoResearch formally ended into controversial Nazi art collection  

26.05.2020, MonopolRecherchen im “Fall Gurlitt” abgeschlossen  

London Art Week prepares for record participation this summer: London Art Week is set to have record participation this summer as it launches an altered, online-focused format. Around 50 exhibitors have committed to the event, which runs from July 3-10. It traditionally takes place around galleries in London’s Mayfair and St James’, with local dealers staging shows in their own showrooms and those from farther afield renting out spaces. 

30.05.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteLondon Art Week prepares for record participation this summer  

French museums reveal plans to re-open in June and July: As of one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe begins to ease, French museums and public monuments will reopen gradually in June and July, the country’s Culture Ministry has announced. 

29.05.2020, The Art NewspaperFrench museums reveal plans to re-open in June and July  

29.05.2020, Le Journal des ArtsLes musées en liberté surveillée  

Sotheby’s to sell $60 million Bacon painting in virtual auction: The art market will get its first big test since the pandemic began when Sotheby’s holds its evening sales of Impressionist, modern and contemporary art next month, headlined by a Francis Bacon triptych estimated at $60 million. 

29.05.2020, BloombergSotheby’s to sell $60 million Bacon painting in virtual auction 

29.05.2020, The New York TimesSotheby’s to hold ‘live’ auctions in June, remotely  

29.05.2020, Art NewsSotheby’s to stage new cross-category evening sale in London, confirms remote streaming format for New York sales  

27.05.2020, Le Journal des ArtsLes grandes ventes de New York chez Sotheby’s sans public, une première  

Five European museum directors explain their reopening strategies: The closure of Europe’s museums was swift. Three months on, their reawakening is a slower, more anxious transition, dictated by government orders and public health guidance. Preventing museum-goers from touching the art suddenly pales next to the challenges of welcoming them back during a pandemic—ensuring they keep a safe distance from staff, each other and common surfaces. But for all the constraints, people are returning to physical experiences of art. The Art Newspaper spoke to museums in five countries leaving lockdown about their strategies for reopening safely, and what the public reaction has been so far. 

28.05.2020, The Art NewspaperFive European museum directors explain their reopening strategies  

Turner prize 2020 is cancelled and replaced with £100,000 fund for artists: The Turner Prize exhibition will not take place this year in the wake of the coronavirus crisis; instead London’s Tate Britain will award one-off bursaries of £10,000 to ten artists. The successful recipients of the “Turner bursaries”, awarded by a prize jury, are due to be announced late June. 

26.05.2020, The Art NewspaperTurner prize 2020 is cancelled and replaced with £100,000 fund for artists  

26.05.2020, GuardianTurner prize cancelled and chosen artists to get £10k bursaries  

27.05.2020, Le Journal des ArtsLe prix Turner remplacé par des bourses pour aider les artistes  

Greece’s Culture Minister Lina Mendoni reiterated calls for the British Museum to return the Parthenon Marbles: In a television interview on Friday, May 22, Greece’s Culture Minister Lina Mendoni reiterated calls for the British Museum to return the Parthenon Marbles. The renewed pressure for London to reunite the 2,500-year-old sculptures in Greece comes after a letter urged politicians and proponents to launch a coordinated effort to lobby the institution for repatriation. It also comes as Greece, aiming to restart its struggling economy, plans to open up certain vacation spots to tourists—and the country’s vital tourism industry—in mid-June. 

26.05.2020, ArtnetGreece’s Culture Minister Lina Mendoni reiterated calls for the British Museum to return the Parthenon Marbles 

25.05.2020, Le Journal des ArtsLa Grèce réclame à nouveau à Londres de rendre les marbres du Parthénon  

Auction houses and the art and antiques trade get go-ahead to re-open to public in June: Outdoor markets will be able to reopen from June 1 while auction houses, galleries, shops and indoor markets should be able to reopen from June 15 if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the new ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidelines. Prime minister Boris Johnson announced the plan at the latest Downing Street briefing on May 25. 

26.05.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteAuction houses and the art and antiques trade get go-ahead to re-open to public in June

United States

Measured relaxation of AAMD restrictions provides some flexibility for US museums navigating Covid impacts: Approximately one month ago, the Association of American Museum Directors (AAMD) announced that its Board of Trustees had passed a series of resolutions relaxing certain restrictions on its member institutions.  

29.05.2020, The Institute of Art and LawMeasured relaxation of AAMD restrictions provides some flexibility for US museums navigating Covid impacts 

Gallery sues landlord, claiming Covid-19 shutdown voids lease: The lawsuit contends that since the Venus Over Manhattan gallery is closed by government orders during the pandemic, the lease should be terminated. 

24.05.2020, The New York TimesGallery sues landlord, claiming Covid-19 shutdown voids lease 

D.C.’s Bible museum to forfeit another ancient artefact: In yet another setback for the Museum of the Bible, federal authorities began the process of taking ownership of a rare cuneiform tablet, known as the Gilgamesh Dream tablet, that the museum’s main supporter, Hobby Lobby, bought for $1.6 million in 2014. Prosecutors believe the historically significant tablet, originally from an area that is part of modern Iraq, entered the country illegally. 

19.05.2020, The Washington PostD.C.’s Bible museum to forfeit another ancient artefact  

19.05.2020, ARCAProsecutors file a civil forfeiture complaint for the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet which they say was looted from Iraq


Putting our heads together: the three Guggenheim directors size up post-Covid challenges: With museums in Bilbao and Venice poised to reopen, while New York remains in lockdown, Richard Armstrong, Juan Ignacio Vidarte and Karole Vail talk about weathering the financial crisis 

30.05.2020, The Art NewspaperPutting our heads together: the three Guggenheim directors size up post-Covid challenges  

Will the loss of Hong Kong’s special trade status and stricter oversight from Beijing end its appeal as Asia’s biggest arts hub?: Hong Kong’s arts community fears the new national security law imposed by Beijing will threaten the city’s status as an arts hub in Asia, as it could cause a clampdown on freedom of expression.  

29.05.2020, The Art NewspaperWill the loss of Hong Kong’s special trade status and stricter oversight from Beijing end its appeal as Asia’s biggest arts hub?  

The robot artists aren’t coming: Many artists are turned off by artificial intelligence. They may be discouraged by fears that A.I., with its efficiency, will take away people’s jobs. They may question the ability of machines to be creative. Or they may have a desire to explore A.I.’s uses — but aren’t able to decrypt its terminology. 

27.05.2020, The New York TimesThe robot artists aren’t coming 

As most of the world’s art fairs have been cancelled or postponed, Hong Kong launches a new one: A new boutique art fair featuring solo presentations from 12 galleries will take place in mid-June in Hong Kong in an attempt to reboot the city’s art scene as it begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel of the coronavirus pandemic. 

25.05.2020, The Art NewspaperAs most of the world’s art fairs have been cancelled or postponed, Hong Kong launches a new one  

28.05.2020, The Financial TimesPhysical art fairs return to Hong Kong

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