22 October 2021

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Northern Ireland’s art market mired in post-Brexit confusion: Northern Ireland’s art market is facing post-Brexit confusion, while new asset seizure powers (which encompass art) are being introduced to support criminal investigations into unexplained wealth. The UK National Committee of the Blue Shield, a voluntary body that aims to protect cultural heritage, raised concerns in May, when the UK began to repeal the EU’s Import of Cultural Goods Regulations (2019), but not Northern Ireland (NI).

19.10.2021 The Art NewspaperNorthern Ireland’s art market mired in post-Brexit confusion

Berlin museum restitutes—and then buys back—Nazi-looted Pissarro painting: Berlin’s Alte Nationalgalerie has restituted and bought back a painting by Camille Pissarro that the heirs of Armand Dorville, a Jewish lawyer, were forced to auction in France in 1942. Dorville acquired the 1867 painting, A Square in La Roche-Guyon, in Paris in 1928. His collection comprised around 450 works, including paintings by Renoir, Bonnard, Vuillard, Delacroix and Manet. After the German army occupied Paris in 1940, Dorville fled to the south of France, taking some of his collection with him. He died in July 1941, leaving his estate to his three siblings and four nieces, who were also persecuted as Jews in Vichy France.

18.10.2021 The Art NewspaperBerlin museum restitutes—and then buys back—Nazi-looted Pissarro painting

Italian police recovers Nazi-looted drawings offered online:

Italian police have recovered two chalk studies by Giacomo Cavedone that were looted by the Nazis from the villa of Arthur Feldmann, a Jewish lawyer who died of a heart attack in prison in 1941 after being arrested and tortured. The two drawings by Cavedone (1577-1660), on either side of a single sheet of paper, are Study of a Priest Holding a Book and A Study of the Standing Figure of a Young Soldier. They are among more than 750 drawings by Dutch, Italian and French 16th- and 17th-century artists seized when the Nazis evicted Feldmann from his home in Brno, Czechoslovakia, in March 1939. 18.10.2021, The Art NewspaperItalian police recovers Nazi-looted drawings offered online

Cambridge University to return Benin bronze to Nigeria in historic moment: Cambridge University is due to return a Nigerian artifact looted during a British raid to its country of origin, in a historic first. Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments will receive a Benin bronze cockerel from Cambridge’s Jesus College later this month — in a move the university called the “first institutional return of its kind.”

16.10.2021, CNN Style: Cambridge University to return Benin bronze to Nigeria in historic moment

Young female painters and bored apes turn heads at Christie’s £64.6m auction: The first non-fungible token to come to auction in Europe—and only minted in September—sold for just shy of one million pounds to a bidder sat in the room at a Christie’s auction in London today. A triptych of NFTs from the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC)—one of the most popular NFT projects online—sold for £982,500 (with fees) after a quick flurry of bids.

15.10.2021, The Art Newspaper: Young female painters and bored apes turn heads at Christie’s £64.6m auction

Italian mayor launches underwater excavation to find third Riace bronze: In a sensational discovery almost 50 years ago, Italian Carabinieri hauled two exceptionally well preserved ancient Greek bronze warriors out of the sea near Riace in Calabria. Now, Antonio Trifoli, the town’s mayor, is organising a major underwater excavation in a bid to find a third bronze. The search is one of several initiatives planned in Riace to mark the golden anniversary of the discovery next year, with a new museum, international conferences and a newly commissioned bronze statue all in the pipeline.

15.10.2021, The Art Newspaper: Italian mayor launches underwater excavation to find third Riace bronze

Banksy world record as shredded work sells to Asian collector for £18.6m at Sotheby’s: The hotly anticipated shredded Banksy work Love is in the Bin shot to a new world record for the artist hammering at £16m (£18.5m with fees) at Sotheby’s contemporary art sale in London. 14.10.2021, The Art Newspaper: Banksy world record as shredded work sells to Asian collector for £18.6m at Sotheby’s

14.10.2021, Antiques Trade Gazette:Banksy’s shredded canvas ‘Love is in the Bin’ fetches a record £16m at Sotheby’s

United States

The heirs of a Jewish collector are suing the Museum of Fine  Arts, Houston, for the return of a Bellotto painting: The heirs of Jewish art collector Max Emden are suing the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, for the return of Bernardo Bellotto’s Marketplace at Pirna (ca. 1764), which they claim he sold under duress to an art buyer for Adolf Hitler in 1938.

19.10.2021, Art NetThe heirs of a Jewish collector are suing the Museum of Fine  Arts, Houston, for the return of a Bellotto painting

Stunning $30m Van Gogh watercolour resurfaces at Christie’s New York following complex behind-the-scenes deal: The auction house—which estimates the painting at $30m—helped broker a deal between the seller and the descendants of two Jewish families who had it in the Nazi era 14.10.2021, The Art NewspaperStunning $30m Van Gogh watercolour resurfaces at Christie’s New York following complex behind-the-scenes deal

14.10.2021, The New York TimesVan Gogh watercolor, once seized by Nazis, to be sold at auction

19.10.2021, CNN Style: Nazi-looted Van Gogh painting could fetch $30million

Antiquities dealer admits mass producing fakes he sold for years: The owner of a longtime Manhattan gallery said in court that while some customers thought they were buying ancient items, they were actually modern knockoffs, just made to look old.

13.10.2021, The New York Times: Antiquities dealer admits mass producing fakes he sold for years

World

Art crime flourished during pandemic year, Interpol survey shows: Crimes involving cultural property flourished during 2020, despite restrictions on travel and access to public institutions during lockdowns, a new Interpol survey has found. Police in 72 Interpol member countries seized a total of 854,742 objects, more than half of them in Europe, according to the survey. It also reported marked increases in illicit excavations in Africa, the Americas and Asia and the South Pacific. Crimes in museums, however, declined in all regions except the Americas.

20.10.2021, The Art Newspaper: Art crime flourished during pandemic year, Interpol survey shows

Machu Picchu is sending Inca Empire treasures on tour for a rare series of international exhibitions and virtual-reality experiences: The Boca Raton Museum of Art is hoping to bring the magic of Machu Picchu to Florida this fall with an unprecedented showcase of golden treasures paired with a virtual reality experience that will transport visitors to the famed Inca city in the clouds.

18.10.2021, Art NetMachu Picchu is sending Inca Empire treasures on tour for a rare series of international exhibitions and virtual-reality experiences

And so it begins: Germany and Nigeria sign pre-accord on restitution of Benin bronzes: The German government and the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments have signed a memorandum of understanding setting out a timetable for the restitution of artefacts looted from the royal palace of Benin in a British military raid in 1897.

15.10.2021, The Art NewspaperAnd so it begins: Germany and Nigeria sign pre-accord on restitution of Benin bronzes

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