New association for catalogue raisonné creators ‘will help stem flow of art fakes onto the market’

The International Catalogue Raisonné Association (ICRA) will launch on Monday, July 1 at the Royal Academy in London. ICRA is the brainchild of its board, chaired by art market lawyer Pierre Valentin, a partner at Constantine Cannon LLP who also founded PAIAM, the Professional Advisors to the International Art Market. The decision to set up an […]

Constantine Cannon LLP are delighted to announce the launch of ICRA in London on 1 July 2019.

ICRA is a not-for-profit, membership-based association whose mission is to support all those working on catalogue raisonné projects including artists, representatives of artists’ estates, academics, scholars, experts, lawyers and publishers.  It was inspired by CRSA, the Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association founded in New York in 1994. A catalogue raisonné is a comprehensive inventory of all […]

A New Wave of Cultural Restitution

In November 2018, scholars Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy published a report commissioned by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, entitled The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage.  Toward a New Relational Ethics (the “Report”).  The Report calls for the restitution of “African cultural heritage objects” currently held in French national collections and for a new era […]

Acting in Good Faith?

Cassirer v Thyssen-Bornemisza – Latest US Ruling Upholds Spanish Museum’s Ownership of a Pissarro Painting yet invites Spain to respect the Washington Principles We return to the ongoing proceedings between the Californian heirs of Lilly Cassirer and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection (“TBC”) in Madrid, Spain, which we last addressed in September 2017. This blog post brings […]

25th Anniversary

CONSTANTINE CANNON LLP CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY With offices in four cities, this law firm is home to among the most prominent practices in Antitrust, Whistleblower, and Art & Cultural Property Law NEW YORK, NY (April 5, 2019) – Constantine Cannon LLP is pleased to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Founded by Lloyd Constantine on April 4, […]

Christie’s Gets a Slap on the Wrist from the Advertising Standards Authority

A recent ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) reminds auctioneers that estimates in auction catalogues must make clear that charges apply in addition to the hammer price, and if VAT applies to those charges, they must be shown inclusive of VAT. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK’s independent advertising regulator, investigated a complaint […]

Architect of Washington Principles takes stock

On 26-28 November 2018, Germany hosted a conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the Washington Principles. Twenty years earlier, 44 governments had participated in the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets and endorsed eleven principles for dealing with “Nazi-confiscated art”. The most commonly-cited such principle calls for steps to be taken expeditiously to achieve a […]

The export office of the City of Bologna revokes the export licence granted for a portrait of Camillo Borghese by Gérard

The export office of the City of Bologna has recently attracted media attention following the revocation of an export licence granted for a portrait of Prince Camillo Borghese by the famous French artist Gérard. In February 2017, the gallery Robilant+Voena applied to export a portrait of Prince Camillo Borghese from Italy.  The export licence was […]

New Anti-Money Laundering Regulations Target the Art Market

Anti-money laundering laws in the UK are largely outlined in the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (“Regulations 2017”)[1].  The Regulations 2017, which came into force on 26 June 2017, implemented the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“4AMLD”).  4AMLD aligned EU money laundering laws with international standards, harmonised those laws across the EU and embraced a risk-based […]

New York Court Dismisses Claims Against Agnes Martin Authentification Committee

On 5 April 2018, a New York State court dismissed a complaint filed by the Mayor Gallery, a London-based art dealer, against Agnes Martin Catalogue Raisonné LLC (“AMCR”), Arnold Glimcher, the managing member of AMCR’s authentification committee and the owner of the Pace Gallery, Tiffany Bell, the catalogue’s editor, and other members of AMCR’s authentification […]

A (very) small step towards a liberalisation of Italian export controls

Traditionally considered among the strictest in Europe, Italian export regulations have just been amended following an almost three-year debate. The discussion on the reasons for the stagnation of the art market in Italy was originally promoted by Progetto Apollo, an association of art dealers, auction houses and other professionals operating in the art market. The legal advisor of the group, […]

The UK Money Laundering Regulations 2017: key changes and impact for art businesses

Introduction The UK Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (“Regulations 2017”) which implement the EU’s Fourth Money Laundering Directive (“4MLD”) came into force on 26 June 2017, repealing the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (“Regulations 2007”). The 4MLD seeks to give effect to the international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing developed by the Financial Action […]

The UK Competition and Markets Authority opens an investigation into auction services

On 22 November 2016, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an initial investigation into suspected anti-competitive practices in relation to the supply of auction services in the UK. In its announcement, the CMA stated that the investigation is focusing on suspected exclusionary and restrictive pricing practices, including most favoured nation provisions (MFNs) in […]

Series on Art Restitution – Nazi Looted Art

Introduction The field of art restitution generally concerns itself with artworks that were confiscated or seized from, forcibly sold by, or otherwise lost by their previous owners. Generally, these owners were subject to persecution.  There has been an array of (sometimes inconsistent) court decisions and differing opinions on how art restitution claims should be treated. […]

Series on Art Restitution – Stasi Looted Art

Introduction The field of Art Restitution generally concerns itself with artworks that were confiscated or seized from, forcibly sold by, or otherwise lost by the artworks’ previous owners. Generally, these owners had been subject to persecution or considerable duress.  Given the various categories of potential Art Restitution claims, there appears to have been an array […]

The Tale of the Two Cranachs

On 9 August 2016, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court of California summarily dismissed a lawsuit against the Norton Simon Museum brought by the heirs of a Dutch dealer, Jacques Goudstikker, to recover two sixteenth century oil paintings, entitled “Adam” and “Eve” by Lucas Cranach the Elder.[i]  Granting the Museum’s motion for summary […]

Update – New German Export Provisions for the “Protection of Cultural Property” now in force

Earlier this year we reported that Germany’s government was in the process of legislating to protect objects of national heritage and restrict their export from Germany. The new Act for the Protection of Cultural Property automatically (and practically, overnight) adds to the list of items declared as national cultural property, all items: owned by the […]

A new Guarantee Facility for the Culture and Creative Sectors

On 30 June 2016, the European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) launched a €121 million guarantee initiative, the “Cultural and Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility”, to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the cultural and creative sectors via financial institutions. The new guarantee facility will be offered through “Creative Europe” (see here), a […]

Brexit: the long road ahead

Less than a week after the British EU Referendum, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the vote to “Leave” has settled nothing. This is because the question on the ballot was fundamentally flawed. The Prime Minister should have delayed the process until the Leave supporters put forward a coherent, persuasive alternative to the status quo […]

Rothko Revisited

Earlier this year, we wrote about the claim brought by Dallas art collector, Marguerite Hoffman, against three defendants, L&M Arts, Studio Capital and David Martinez. The subject of the claim was the purported breach of a confidentiality clause in the contract for the sale of Hoffman’s 1961 Mark Rothko oil painting, Untitled. The contract was […]

Changes to Copyright Exceptions

As of 1 October 2014, three new exceptions to copyright infringement have come into force in the UK. The new exceptions affect the way in which copyrighted works can be used and have come about as a result of increasing pressure on UK legislation to reflect the fast-paced digital age that we live in. These […]

The impact of new consumer protection on dealer and gallery sales

New regulations aimed at protecting consumers come into force in the UK on 13 June 2014.  The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 apply to sales between traders and consumers.  Sales amongst professionals are not caught by the regulations. The regulations consider different types of trader-to-consumer sales: on-premises sales, distance sales and […]

The new UK payment surcharges regulations and their effect on art market transactions

As part of the broader EU reform of consumer protection, the UK has implemented a number of legislative changes substantially strengthening consumer rights. One of those changes is enshrined in the Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012, which came into force on 6 April 2013 and directly impact art market professionals accepting payment by card. […]

Considering the murky world of AIFMD and its impact on art fund managers

In response to the perceived risk to investors and to the stability of the European financial market, the activities of alternative investment fund managers are being more strictly regulated.  The EU Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (“AIFMD”) aims to create a harmonised regulatory framework for managers of alternative investment funds within the European Union.  […]

Changes in the law make auction rings easier to prosecute, but is the regulatory framework still fit for purpose?

Art dealers regularly bid at auction in partnership with other art dealers.  The law does not object to joint bidding provided that certain conditions are met.  If they are not, the bidding arrangement can turn into an illegal auction ring.  The risk if the bidding arrangement amounts to an auction ring is not simply pecuniary; […]

The Price of Confidentiality

When, in 2007, Marguerite Hoffman, a prominent Dallas art collector, decided to sell a major painting by Mark Rothko (Untitled, 1961), she insisted on confidentiality.  Her husband had died the year before.  She did not want to draw attention to her finances. The painting was well known.  So was the fact that the Hoffmans owned […]

Out of the Shadow of the Third Reich

The discovery in a Munich flat of a hoard of over 1400 artworks acquired by Hildebrand Gurlitt in dubious circumstances during the Second World War has been making headline news.  The current value of the collection of artworks has been estimated at over €1 billion and contains previously unknown works by Matisse, Chagall, Picasso and […]

Online Trading – Art Dealers Beware

An increasing number of dealers in art and antiques are making sales online.  Whilst legal principles relevant to the sale of goods in person apply to sales on the Internet, consumers buying online are offered an additional protection.  In particular, they have the unconditional right to cancel online purchases for any reason within a ‘cooling […]

Borrowing Against Your Art

Art collectors are often unable to display their entire collection in their homes. They keep part of it in storage, or they lend it to museums. Why not leverage artworks in storage or hanging on museum walls by borrowing against them? Art finance is a growing industry. Citibank pioneered art finance in the 1970’s.  Last year, […]

Trading with the Enemy

International sanctions are actions taken by one country against another, either unilaterally or multilaterally. Their aim is to change the behaviour of the target country’s regime in order to maintain or restore international peace and security, or to improve the situation in that country. International sanctions are generally imposed by the United Nations or the […]

The Destruction of Fakes

The destruction of fakes at the behest of artist committees is a long standing practice in France. In two recent decisions both involving artworks signed “Miro”, the Court of Appeal of Paris ordered the destruction of the artworks. In the first case (Lotz -v- A.D.O.M., 12 June 2013), Mr Lotz, an Austrian national, bought a […]

The Recovery of Unlawfully Exported Cultural Property with the European Union – The European Commission has a Plan

The European Commission has unveiled plans to strengthen the Restitution Directive. Council Directive 93/7 EEC on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State (also known as the Restitution Directive) was adopted in 1993, when the internal frontiers amongst Member States were abolished, in order to protect cultural objects […]