13 July 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon


Sotheby’s to auction £4m restituted Bellotto painting that Jewish retail magnate was forced to sell to Hitler: A painting considered one of Bernado Bellotto’s major masterpieces is to be auctioned by Sotheby’s after it was restituted to the heirs of Max Emden, a Jewish retail magnate who lost much of his wealth as a result of Nazi persecution and sold the work under duress to Adolf Hitler. 

08.07.2020, The Art NewspaperSotheby’s to auction £4m restituted Bellotto painting that Jewish retail magnate was forced to sell to Hitler  

Government issues export bar for Roman marble Celtic hounds in hope of finding UK buyer: The owner of a pair of Celtic hounds has been temporarily prevented from exporting the sculptures by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). 

08.07.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteGovernment issues export bar for Roman marble Celtic hounds in hope of finding UK buyer  

Court ruling in Monaco ends one piece of a $2 billion art dispute: A long-running dispute, between Yves Bouvier, a Swiss businessman who sold $2 billion worth of artworks, and Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Russian billionaire who bought them, took a decisive step in Mr. Bouvier’s favour when a Monaco court upheld a lower court’s ruling to dismiss the criminal investigation against him because the prosecution of him had been unfair. 

08.07.2020, The New York TimesCourt ruling in Monaco ends one piece of a $2 billion art dispute 

08.07.2020, The Art NewspaperMonaco court dismisses criminal case against Yves Bouvier  

09.07.2020, Le Journal des ArtsA Monaco, l’annulation de la procédure lancée par Rybolovlev contre Bouvier confirmée  

UK’s historic houses fight for survival post-lockdown after financial crash: Heritage bodies across the UK, which rely on income from paying visitors, face financial meltdown in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. National Trust in England says that following the closure of its historic houses, parks and gardens, the conservation organisation expects a budget shortfall of up to £200m this year. 

06.07.2020, The Art NewspaperUK’s historic houses fight for survival post-lockdown after financial crash

United States

Appeals court sends the case of a pink $40 million diamond to trial: The legal battle over the true ownership of an exquisite pink diamond valued at $40 million is headed to trial after an appellate court in New York delivered a ruling in favour of the descendants of an Italian politician who are trying to prove that the stone is rightfully theirs. 

10.07.2020, The New York TimesAppeals court sends the case of a pink $40 million diamond to trial 

The FBI just raided a major art-forgery ring operating out of a Michigan barn that duped top experts: The FBI has raided the Michigan home of artist Donald “DB” Henkel, who is suspected of masterminding a forgery ring that sold fake paintings and sports memorabilia. 

09.07.2020, ArtnetThe FBI just raided a major art-forgery ring operating out of a Michigan barn that duped top experts 

An art-dealing dynasty heir sues Phillips auction house for reneging on a deal after the artist’s market took a tumble: Joseph Nahmad, the youngest member of the art-dealing Nahmad family dynasty, is suing Phillips auction house after a $5 million guarantee deal fell apart against the backdrop of the global pandemic and a sharp downturn in the market for the artist in question, Rudolf Stingel. 

08.07.2020, ArtnetAn art-dealing dynasty heir sues Phillips auction house for reneging on a deal after the artist’s market took a tumble 

Heirs battle estate over $30m Monet painting from Emden collection sold during Nazi era: Le Palais Ducal (1908), a painting by Claude Monet valued at more than $30m, has been kept off the market according to lawyers for the estate of its last owners Herbert and Adele Klapper, because of doubts cast about its Nazi-era sales history by the grandsons of the German-Jewish department store magnate and art collector Max Emden (1874-1940). The Klapper estate is suing in New York District Court to clear its title to the painting so that it can be sold at auction. 

08.07.2020, The Art NewspaperHeirs battle estate over $30m Monet painting from Emden collection sold during Nazi era  

Students’ calls to remove a mural were answered. Now comes a lawsuit: An alumnus has filed a suit to save a fresco at the University of Kentucky that depicts enslaved people; a Black artist whose work is shown with it also wants the mural to stay. 

06.07.2020, The New York TimesStudents’ calls to remove a mural were answered. Now comes a lawsuit 


Hagia Sophia will be mosque again, Turkish President Erdogan says: Minutes after a Turkish court revoked the Hagia Sophia’s status as a museum, allowing it to be turned back into a mosque, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree that the historic landmark in Istanbul would reopen to Muslim worshippers. Management of the site, which was built as a Greek Orthodox cathedral in the sixth century under the Byzantine emperor Justinian, will be transferred from the Ministry of Culture to the Presidency of Religious Affairs. 

10.07.2020, The Art NewspaperHagia Sophia will be mosque again, Turkish President Erdogan says  

10.07.2020, ArtnetA Turkish court has revoked the Hagia Sophia’s status as a museum as the country’s president moves to return it to a functioning mosque  

Christie’s nets $420 M. in first livestreamed global relay auction led by $46.2 M. Lichtenstein nude: Christie’s staged its “ONE” sale, a global relay style auction and the first of its kind in the houses’ history. The four-hour long sale achieved a total result of $420 million with 78 lots offered across Christie’s global headquarters in Hong Kong, New York, Paris, and London—led by principal auctioneers across the four regions, Elaine Kwok, Cécile Verdier, Jussi Pylkkänen and Adrien Meyer. The global event closes the first set of milestones of the new virtual auction era. The auction hammered at $362 million, above its pre-sale low estimate of $337 million, realising a total sell-through rate of 94 percent. 

10.07.2020, Art NewsChristie’s nets $420 M. in first livestreamed global relay auction led by $46.2 M. Lichtenstein nude 

10.07.2020, ArtnetChristie’s digital ‘relay’ sale brought in an impressive $421 million during its four-city sweep  

13.07.2020, Le Journal des ArtsVente à 421 millions de dollars pour Christie’s dans un format inédit  

$14.8 M. David Hockney painting becomes second-most expensive work by Western artist to sell at auction in Asia: David Hockney’s 30 Sunflowers (1996), one of two large-scale floral paintings made by the artist, sold for $14.8 million, making it the second-most expensive work by a Western artist to sell in Asia. 

09.07.2020, Art News$14.8 M. David Hockney painting becomes second-most expensive work by Western artist to sell at auction in Asia 

BBC investigation uncovers legal dispute over blockbuster Tutankhamun exhibition: The Egyptian government may have breached laws protecting antiquities by sending treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb on a world tour with a private company, according to a BBC investigation. 

09.07.2020, The Art NewspaperBBC investigation uncovers legal dispute over blockbuster Tutankhamun exhibition  

Growth in online sales of art and antiques set to continue, predicts latest art market report: Online sales of art, antiques and collectables reached $4.82bn in 2019, a rise of 4% from the previous year and digital demand is set to increase further in the years ahead. 

07.07.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteGrowth in online sales of art and antiques set to continue, predicts latest art market report

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