26 April 2021

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Is there loot lurking in your collection? Find out—before someone else does: A good reputation takes years to build but, frustratingly, can be lost in an instant. A public revelation that an art collection contains works looted by the Nazis can cause serious damage to the reputation of its owners. Even if you are the lawful owner of a work, unaware of its dark history, if it was unlawfully dispossessed by the Nazis, a cloud hangs over it. You will struggle to find a reputable dealer or auctioneer willing to sell it, let alone a willing buyer. Read Isabel von Klitzing (owner, Provenance Research & Art Consulting), Pierre Valentin and Till Vere-Hodge’s advice for collectors in this month’s Art Newspaper.

22.04.2021, The Art Newspaper: Is there loot lurking in your collection? Find out—before someone else does

Museum extension allows Indigenous Sámi people to welcome home more than 2,000 artefacts held in Finland:The National Museum of Finland in Helsinki will later this year return 2,200 artefacts to the Indigenous Sámi peo ple thanks to an agreement with the Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Siida, in Inari, northern Lapland.

23.04.2021, The Art Newspaper: Museum extension allows Indigenous Sámi people to welcome home more than 2,000 artefacts held in Finland

23.04.2021, Art News: National museum of Finland will return more than 2,000 artifacts to Sámi People

Sotheby’s to sell prized porcelain collection restituted by Dutch government: Around 100 pieces from the collection of Franz Oppenheimer, a Jewish businessman whose early 18th-century Meissen porcelain was seized by the Nazis, is headed to Sotheby’s in New York this September. Oppenheimer’s collection, valued at more than $2 million, includes items once owned by nobility such pieces from the holdings of Augustus the Strong, the Elector of Saxony and the King of Poland, who established Europe’s first porcelain factory in 1710.

22.04.2021, Art News: Sotheby’s to sell prized porcelain collection restituted by Dutch government

22.04.2021, The Art Newspaper: Sotheby’s to sell $2m Meissen porcelain collection restituted by Dutch government to heirs of Jewish industrialist

Going against official recommendations, Dutch Museum settles with heirs of Jewish owner of Baroque painting: As debates surrounding restitution rage on in the Netherlands, one Dutch museum has reportedly opted to compensate the heirs of a Jewish owner, effectively going against a set of recommendations issued by a 2013 governmental panel.

19.04.2021, Art News: Going against official recommendations, Dutch Museum settles with heirs of Jewish owner of Baroque painting

19.04.2021, The Art Newspaper: Dutch museum settles with Jewish businessman’s heirs on painting sold in Nazi era, defying government panel

United States

Andy Warhol Foundation fights back in fair use case: Lawyers for the foundation claim a US Court of Appeals decision conflicts with precedent and threatens historically significant contemporary art work.

24.04.2021, The Art Newspaper: Andy Warhol Foundation fights back in fair use case

More museums are taking advantage of pandemic-era rule changes to sell art at auction, including a $12 million Childe Hassam: The New-York Historical Society is the latest institution to sell art amid snowballing fallout from the pandemic. This season, it’s joining six other museums (the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Newark Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum), most of which are taking advantage of temporarily loosened deaccessioning regulations. Notably, the majority of the works on offer are in the American art category, a sector that has seen mostly lackluster sales since the financial crisis. 

19.04.2021, Artnet: More museums are taking advantage of pandemic-era rule changes to sell art at auction, including a $12 million Childe Hassam

World

Looted statue returned to Nepal with help of Art Institute of Chicago: A looted sculpture of a Hindu deity has been sent back to Nepal with the help of the Art Institute of Chicago. The work, known as a linga, is a representation of the Hindu deity Shiva with four faces. Also called a caturmukhalinga, the schist sculpture dates back to the 6th century.

20.04.2021, Art News: Looted statue returned to Nepal with help of Art Institute of Chicago

Asian art market continues rapid ascent at Sotheby’s $270 m. Hong Kong sales: Sotheby’s three live-streamed evening sales of modern and contemporary art held on Sunday and Monday night in Hong Kong brought in a hammer total of HKD 1.46 billion, or HKD 2.1 billion with premium ($269.8 million), exceeding the collective pre-sale low estimate of HKD 1.4 billion ($179 million), across 91 works sold. Seventeen of those lots were guaranteed at a collected low estimate of HKD 661.5 million ($85.2 million). The results from this series further indicate the ascendance of the Asian market. 

19.04.2021, Art News: Asian art market continues rapid ascent at Sotheby’s $270 m. Hong Kong sales

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