20 August 2021

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Poland passes controversial restitution law, sparking international outcry: A new federal law in Poland could shut down a number of longstanding restitution cases in the country. Shortly after the law was signed into action by the Parliament of Poland, leaders in Israel and the U.S. decried the legislation, alleging that it was disrespectful to victims of the Holocaust and their descendants.

16.08.2021, Art News: Poland passes controversial restitution law, sparking international outcry

Denmark now has two Little Mermaids. The famous one is suing: The mermaid that has watched over the harbor in the village of Asaa, in the north of Denmark, since 2016 is not an exact replica of the landmark in Denmark’s capital. But for the heirs of Edvard Eriksen, the artist who sculpted the Copenhagen statue, the Asaa mermaid bears too close a resemblance. They have initiated legal proceedings, demanding not just financial compensation, but that the sculpture in Asaa be torn down as well.

17.04.2021, The New York Times: Denmark now has two Little Mermaids. The famous one is suing

Banksy: Council ‘appalled’ at Lowestoft mural vandalism: The piece, featuring a rodent sipping a cocktail in a deckchair, was left by the elusive artist on a wall at North Beach, Lowestoft, Suffolk, during his “Great British Spraycation”. Security guards patrolling the area discovered someone defacing the work, East Suffolk Council said. The authority said it was “hopeful” it could be restored.

15.08.2021, BBC News: Banksy: Council ‘appalled’ at Lowestoft mural vandalism

16.08.2021, The Smithsonian Magazine: Banksy murals in England defaced, removed just days after appearing

Gunshots were fired at a Dutch Museum as two thieves tried to steal a Monet painting—and then dropped it on the way out: Shots were fired at the Zaans Museum in the Netherlands last weekend as robbers attempted to abscond with a prized Monet painting. 

16.08.2021, Artnet: Gunshots were fired at a Dutch Museum as two thieves tried to steal a Monet painting—and then dropped it on the way out

15.08.2021, ARCAMonet (almost) stolen and shots fired at the Zaans Museum in Zaandam, Netherlands.

Austrian museum won’t loan famed headdress to Mexico: Report: In 2020, Mexican officials made impassioned requests for the loan of a storied Aztec headdress held by Austria’s Weltmuseum Wien. This week, the Vienna institution officially denied those requests, ensuring that the headdress will not return to Mexico this year to tie in with the 500th anniversary of Spain’s conquest of the Aztec empire in 1521.

16.08.2021, Art News: Austrian museum won’t loan famed headdress to Mexico: report

United States

What constitutes art sales under duress? A dispute reignites the question: A fight over a landscape painting bought for Hitler is focused on the question of whether its sale was voluntary or forced by economic distress the Nazis helped create.

17.08.2021, The New York Times: What constitutes art sales under duress? A dispute reignites the question

World

The Taliban destroyed Afghanistan’s ancient treasures. Will history repeat itself?: As Alexander the Great did in 330 B.C., Taliban forces conquered the strategic cities of Herat and Kandahar while also taking a dozen other major towns across Afghanistan. The sudden victories caught the nation’s museum curators and archaeologists off guard, and they are scrambling to secure sites and artifacts still under their control. The fate of those within Taliban-run territory remains uncertain.

13.08.2021, National Geographic: The Taliban destroyed Afghanistan’s ancient treasures. Will history repeat itself?

16.08.2021, Artforum: Afghan museums imperilled as Taliban assume control of government 

17.08.2021, The Art Newspaper: Amid Taliban insurgency, culture sector fears looting as Kabul descends into chaos

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