17 December 2021

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Balkan-based looters share tips on Facebook about vulnerable sites, potential buyers and how to escape the law: A report has revealed the audacity and organisation of criminals trading in looted antiquities from the former Yugoslavia. The study, by the criminologist Sam Hardy and published in the Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology, pulls and analyses data from open-source intelligence, and from platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Etsy and eBay, to explore how online communities support, encourage and facilitate the looting of sites.

15.12.2021, The Art NewspaperBalkan-based looters share tips on Facebook about vulnerable sites, potential buyers and how to escape the law

Returning home: Italy pulls 100 works from major museums and sends them to regional institutions where they were previously shown: In efforts to decentralise its vast state-owned heritage, Italy will dust off 100 paintings, sculptures and archaeological artefacts stashed away in museum storage facilities and redistribute them more evenly across the country through a series of loans.

14.12.2021, The Art NewspaperReturning home: Italy pulls 100 works from major museums and sends them to regional institutions where they were previously shown

Rare 17th century English School allegorical painting barred from export in hope it is saved for the nation: The UK government has issued a temporary export bar for a rare 17th century painting depicting a black female sitter alongside her white companion.

14.12.2021, Antiques Trade Gazette: Rare 17th century English School allegorical painting barred from export in hope it is saved for the nation

11.12.2021, CNN Style: ‘Extremely rare’ 17th-century painting of Black woman with White companion placed under export bar from UK

Kunstmuseum Bern to return seven works from Gurlitt trove: The Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland will return several works donated by the late dealer Cornelius Gurlitt, who several years ago became the subject of one of the most widely publicized Nazi art theft cases.

13.12.2021, Art News: Kunstmuseum Bern to return seven works from Gurlitt trove

13.12.2021, Artnet: The Kunstmuseum Bern will give up dozens of works with murky provenance from the collection of the late Cornelius Gurlitt

13.12.2021, Le Journal des ArtsBern renounces around 40 works from the Gurlitt bequest

Restituted Priester collection reunited before sale takes £1.5m at Christie’s: Part of an art collection once owned by a Jewish family who fled Nazi persecution has been sold at Christie’s.

11.12.2021, Antiques Trade Gazette: Restituted Priester collection reunited before sale takes £1.5m at Christie’s

Caving to legal pressure, the Louvre has agreed to reverse significant changes it made to a room with a Cy Twombly mural: The Louvre has reached an out-of-court settlement with the Cy Twombly Foundation over a redecoration project that compromised a permanent installation by the U.S. artist in one of the museum’s galleries.

10.12.2021, Artnet: Caving to legal pressure, the Louvre has agreed to reverse significant changes it made to a room with a Cy Twombly mural

13.12.2021, The Art Newspaper: Cy Twombly Foundation pulls lawsuit after Louvre agrees to rework renovation of gallery that bears artist’s ceiling

10.12.2021, Art News: Louvre to reverse renovation of gallery adorned with Cy Twombly mural, ending legal dispute

Swiss parliament urged to take action on Nazi-looted art amid Kunsthaus Zurich controversy: Since Zurich’s Kunsthaus opened an imposing extension in October, the museum has faced a wave of criticism over its long-term loan display of the arms dealer Emil Georg Bührle’s controversial collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art. The outcry is spurring action from the city government and a debate in the Swiss national parliament that could see an overhaul in the country’s approach to returning Nazi-looted art.

10.12.2021, The Art Newspaper: Swiss parliament urged to take action on Nazi-looted art amid Kunsthaus Zurich controversy

United States

Two Washington artists have been charged with faking Native American identities to sell their wares in galleries: Two artists in Washington are facing federal charges after falsely representing themselves as Native American to sell their work. 

14.12.2021, Artnet: Two Washington artists have been charged with faking Native American identities to sell their wares in galleries

An explosive legal filing by Robert Indiana’s foundation says a publisher hid or forged thousands of artworks and documents: The Morgan Art Foundation has filed a new motion involving New York-based publisher Michael McKenzie. 

14.12.2021, Artnet: An explosive legal filing by Robert Indiana’s foundation says a publisher hid or forged thousands of artworks and documents

Warhol Foundation seeks Supreme Court review of Lynn Goldsmith’s Prince portraits: The Andy Warhol Foundation in New York is lobbying the Supreme Court to review a copyright infringement case involving a 1981 photograph of Prince by Lynn Goldsmith and a 1984 series of paintings by the Pop artist based on it.

09.12.2021, Art News: Warhol Foundation seeks Supreme Court review of Lynn Goldsmith’s Prince portraits

10.12.2021, The Art Newspaper: Warhol Foundation seeks Supreme Court review of Lynn Goldsmith’s Prince portraits

Met Museum removes Sackler name from wing over opioid ties: The museum and the Sackler family announced that the name would be removed from seven exhibition spaces, including the wing that houses the Temple of Dendur.

09.12.2021, The New York Times: Met Museum removes Sackler name from wing over opioid ties

09.12.2021, Art News: Metropolitan Museum of Art to remove Sackler name from galleries

09.12.2021, The Guardian: New York’s Met museum to remove Sackler family name from its galleries

09.12.2021, Artnet: In a landmark move, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has removed the Sackler name from its walls

World

Hamburg shows its Benin artefacts before restituting them to Nigeria: Hamburg’s ethnological museum is mounting an exhibition of around 179 artefacts from the kingdom of Benin to explain to the public how they arrived in the port city and why they are returning to Nigeria next year.

15.12.2021, The Art NewspaperHamburg shows its Benin artefacts before restituting them to Nigeria

Heirs sue to claim Mondrian painting in Philadelphia Museum of Art: The heirs of Piet Mondrian have sued the Philadelphia Museum of Art to claim a painting by the Dutch artist that was confiscated by the Nazis as “degenerate” art and that they argue is “in the wrongful possession” of the museum, which received it as a gift nearly 70 years ago.

13.12.2021, The New York Times: Heirs sue to claim Mondrian painting in Philadelphia Museum of Art

13.12.2021, Artnet: Mondrian’s heirs are suing the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a $100 million painting they claim was stolen by the Nazis 

13.12.2021, Art News: Mondrian heirs sue Philadelphia Museum claiming painting was looted by Nazis

14.12.2021, Art Forum: Mondrian heirs sue Philadelphia Museum of Art over painting allegedly stolen by Nazis

14.12.2021, The Art Newspaper: Mondrian at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is Nazi loot, heirs allege

NFTs, Banksy and Asia’s ascent: 2021, the year the art market was turned on its head: The past year will mostly be remembered for the ongoing social and economic convulsions caused by Covid-19. But in the art trade, the old world order was being demolished.

10.12.2021, The Art Newspaper: NFTs, Banksy and Asia’s ascent: 2021, the year the art market was turned on its head

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