17 September 2021

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Looted African works that France has promised to return to Benin will be shown in Paris museum for one last time: Twenty-six items looted by French troops in the 19th century from West Africa will go on show in a special exhibition at the Musée du quai Branly–Jacques Chirac before making their way back to Benin, their country of origin, later this year. After decades of wrangling over the plundered works, the controversial objects will be exhibited in Benin: the Restitution of 26 Works from the Royal Treasures of Abomey (26-31 October) prior to leaving France after a law allowing for their return was passed last year. 

15.09.2021, The Art Newspaper: Looted African works that France has promised to return to Benin will be shown in Paris museum for one last time

Rijksmuseum buys back restituted porcelain trove at auction: A group of rare 18th-century Meissen porcelain objects surpassed expectations in a New York auction at Sotheby’s on Tuesday. Some 120 lots sold for a collected $15 million, nearly five times their $3.1 million estimate. More than half of those lots were bought back by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which was forced to give up the objects this year amid a restitution claim.

15.09.2021, Art News: Rijksmuseum buys back restituted porcelain trove at auction

Nearly 500 counterfeit Francis Bacon works confiscated in Italy: Italian police have confiscated nearly 500 works of art believed to be Francis Bacon counterfeits. The artworks, along with various other personal effects that were seized, are worth about €3 million (approximately $3.5 million). Five out of seven total suspects investigated have been charged with conspiracy to authenticate and trade forged works of art, along with fraud and money laundering, according to a statement released by Italian authorities on Friday.

13.09.2021, Art News: Nearly 500 counterfeit Francis Bacon works confiscated in Italy

How long is it ‘fair and reasonable’ to wait for a bidder to settle a £354,000 bill?: A legal dispute that explored how long it is ‘fair and reasonable’ to wait for a buyer to pay for a six-figure purchase has concluded.

13.09.2021, The Antiques Trade Gazette: How long is it ‘fair and reasonable’ to wait for a bidder to settle a £354,000 bill?

Stolen Anglo-Saxon brooch returned to museum after 26 years: The bronze-gilt square-headed brooch (originally discovered in Market Overton) was taken from the museum at night in 1995, along with eight other brooches and a Roman gold ring. The ring was recovered soon after the theft.

11.09.2021, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Stolen Anglo-Saxon brooch returned to museum after 26 years

12.09.2021, The Art Loss Register: Anglo-Saxon brooch returned to museum almost 30 years after theft

French decorative art stolen from 17-century country home in Sussex—for second time: Important pieces of French decorative art were stolen on 25 August from Uppark, a National Trust house in West Sussex. Strangely, most of the objects had also been taken during an earlier break-in in 2004 and were recovered in 2012.

10.09.2021, The Art NewspaperFrench decorative art stolen from 17-century country home in Sussex—for second time

United States

The Philadelphia Museum of art will return an ancient ‘Pageant Shield’ looted by Nazis to the Czech Republic: The Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) and the Czech Republic’s National Heritage Institute have reached an agreement by which an Italian “pageant shield,” with decoration attributed to Italian Renaissance artist Girolamo di Tommaso da Treviso, will be returned to the Czech Republic.

14.09.2021, Artnet: The Philadelphia Museum of art will return an ancient ‘Pageant Shield’ looted by Nazis to the Czech Republic

13.09.2021, The New YorkTimes: Renaissance shield with an afterlife in world wars Is returning to Europe

Art fairs come blazing back, precarious but defiant: New and overlooked artists shine at the Armory Show, New York’s largest in-person fair since the pandemic, and other shows across the city.

09.09.2021, The New York Times: Art fairs come blazing back, precarious but defiant

World

Unesco report reveals extent of Russian threat to Crimean heritage: A Unesco report released on 10 September on cultural heritage and human rights violations in Crimea asserts that Russia has appropriated thousands of monuments, unlawfully exported and exhibited museum artefacts, conducted unauthorised archeological digs, and subjugated its Muslim population in a campaign to dominate the Black Sea peninsula that it annexed in 2014.

16.09.2021, The Art Newspaper: Unesco report reveals extent of Russian threat to Crimean heritage

Smaller dealers see sales dip despite overall improvement according to new report: Dr Clare McAndrew’s report Resilience in the Dealer Sector: A Mid-Year Review 2021 analysed the global dealer sector in the first half of 2021 reflecting the continued challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, focusing on employment structures and sales. It is based on responses from over 700 dealers operating in art and antiques markets in 54 regions or countries.

15.09.2021, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Smaller dealers see sales dip despite overall improvement according to new report

Incheon Airport pins hope on bid for world-renowned museum: Incheon Airport has pinned its hopes on a bid to set up a globally renowned museum at the airport by 2024. If the plan is realized, the airport will allocate two sites for the museum, including Terminal 2, which is currently undergoing an expansion.

11.09.2021, The  Korea Herald: Incheon Airport pins hope on bid for world-renowned museum

Maqdala treasures looted by British troops returned to Ethiopia in ‘largest single restitution’: A collection of Maqdala objects, seized by British troops in 1868, was handed over to the Ethiopian ambassador in London. This summer they had been bought by the writer Tahir Shah, through his Scheherazade Foundation, in order to restitute them to Ethiopia.

10.09.2021, The Art Newspaper: Maqdala treasures looted by British troops returned to Ethiopia in ‘largest single restitution’

Looted 18th-Century church doors restituted to Cyprus: A pair of 18th-century iconostasis doors looted from the Church of Agios Anastasios in Cyprus nearly 50 years ago has been restituted to the country’s government. The repatriation ends a legal dispute dating back more than two decades. In the 1990s, Tasoula Hajidtofi, the former honorary consul of Cyprus known for her work in helping to repatriate artifacts looted from her home country, found the doors were located at the Kanazawa College of Art in Osaka, Japan. According to her 2017 memoir The Icon Hunter, the college acquired the works for 14 million yen ($140,000) from a Dutch art dealer in the Hague.

10.09.2021, Art News: Looted 18th-Century church doors restituted to Cyprus

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