As Sotheby’s London announced this week that it will auction an NFT of the original source code for the World Wide Web, NFTs might, after all, be more than a short-lived craze.
Last February, the Second Civil Division of the Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) published a decision (No. 2612 of 4 February 2021) involving the Oedipus Rex,… Read More »The Disputed Ownership of Oedipus Rex: a Never-Ending Saga
The Ivory Act 2018: Consultation on the guidance and implementation – final chance to have your say!
On 9 March 2021, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (“DEFRA”) released a long-awaited consultation on the implementation of the Ivory Act 2018… Read More »The Ivory Act 2018: Consultation on the guidance and implementation – final chance to have your say!
An opportunity for the UK to acknowledge that in the 21st century, video and light art installations can be imported as works of art
The answer to the question “what is art?” has evolved over time to reflect the reality that art takes a multitude of forms. The law… Read More »An opportunity for the UK to acknowledge that in the 21st century, video and light art installations can be imported as works of art
“Secretive”, “opaque”, “unscrupulous”, “shady” and “tailor-made for money laundering” are just some of the ways in which the art market is described in the press. … Read More »The Art Market is Susceptible to Whistleblower Claims. Is it Paying Attention?
On 28 January 2021, the European Commission published a draft regulation and guidance to ban the EU trade in ivory, subject to limited exceptions. Both… Read More »EU Commission proposes new rules to ban trade in ivory
On 15 January 2021, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in the Covid-19 Business Interruption Insurance (“BII”) test case of The Financial Conduct Authority v… Read More »Boost for galleries in relation to COVID-related insurance pay-outs
New York art dealers charged with fabricating provenance information and impersonating deceased collectors
On 22 September 2020, Erdal Dere and Faisal Khan of Fortuna Fine Arts Ltd (‘Fortuna’) in New York were arrested. They are alleged to have… Read More »New York art dealers charged with fabricating provenance information and impersonating deceased collectors
Finding in favour of Phillips Auctioneers LLC, Hon. Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York dismissed JN Contemporary Art LLC’s complaint against Phillips,… Read More »US Federal Court Rules “Covid-19 Pandemic is a Natural Disaster”
Issues around deaccessioning run to two fundamental and related questions: what are museums for and what does the term “public collection” mean? Is a public… Read More »Museums and deaccessioning during the Covid-19 pandemic
In a recent decision (Hickox v Dickinson), the London High Court called into question the sanctity of the art market’s long-standing tradition of confidentiality. The… Read More »Equity v Market Custom: High Court Orders Disclosure about Signac Painting
Constantine Cannon’s Art & Cultural Property Law Group Recognised as a Band 1 Leading Practice in Chambers UK 2021 Guide
We are delighted to announce that Constantine Cannon has been recognised as a Band 1 law firm for its distinguished Art & Cultural Property Law… Read More »Constantine Cannon’s Art & Cultural Property Law Group Recognised as a Band 1 Leading Practice in Chambers UK 2021 Guide
In our previous blog article, we discussed the implications of the FCA Business Interruption test case on art market participants. This article is directed at… Read More »FCA Business Interruption Test Case: are you covered?
Earlier this year the Chancellor unexpectedly announced the Government’s intention to impose an anti-money laundering levy on banks, insurance companies, law firms and all other… Read More »Economic Crime Levy – a significant blow for the British art market on the horizon?
The taxman’s preference on insolvency returns to England and Wales: things that art lenders should know (and borrowers too)
Finance Act 2020 reintroduces Crown preference in an insolvency – in respect of some taxes Following Royal Assent in the summer of 2020, the Finance… Read More »The taxman’s preference on insolvency returns to England and Wales: things that art lenders should know (and borrowers too)
On 15 September 2020, the High Court handed down judgment in the COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance test case brought by the FCA. Policies under review… Read More »Galleries to qualify for COVID pay-out from insurers
In February 2020, Lord Stevenson of Balmacara sponsored the Goods Mortgages Bill as a Private Member’s Bill starting in the House of Lords. This followed… Read More »The Goods Mortgages Bill – A Major Reform of the Bills of Sale Acts
On 30 July 2020, the UK Supreme Court rejected the application made by the Friends of Antique Cultural Treasures Ltd (“FACT”) for permission to further… Read More »Ivory Act: UK Supreme Court rejects application to appeal
On 20 May 2020, the Supreme Court of the UK handed down a judgment considering the categorisation as “listed buildings” of a pair of early… Read More »The Supreme Court considers the issue of Garden Ornaments under the Listed Buildings regime
Question: I have sold a painting on consignment, I have received payment from the buyer and I would like to delay paying the seller and… Read More »Q&A – Can I use client funds to pay business expenses?
Much has been written about the controversial Directive (EU) 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on copyright and… Read More »Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market
The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has handed down a judgment in the judicial review proceedings brought by a group of antique dealers and collectors (Friends of Antique Treasures Limited, or “FACT”) against the Ivory Act 2018 (the “Act”), one of the world’s toughest bans.
Facts In February, the scientific committee of the Uffizi resigned en masse. They objected to the director’s decision to loan Raphael’s portrait of Pope Leo… Read More »Debate over Raphael Loan Leads Entire Scientific Committee of Uffizi Gallery to Resign
In recent years, artworks by appropriation artist Jeff Koons have come under scrutiny in French courts. In 2018, the High Court of Paris ordered Jeff… Read More »Jeff Koons – A creative process under scrutiny
Introduction On 10 January 2020, the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (Regulations 2019) came into force in the United Kingdom. Regulations 2019… Read More »Anti-Money Laundering – What has changed
Question: I need liquidity and I am looking at taking out a loan against my stock, what are my options and what do I need… Read More »Q&A – Raising cash against stock when cash is in short supply
After one of the world’s toughest bans on ivory trade received Royal Assent in the UK late last year, a group of antique dealers and… Read More »Ivory Act UK: High Court Judgment and Permission to Appeal
On 15 November 2019, the Special Advisor for Holocaust Issues to the US government, Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, delivered a keynote speech at the French… Read More »Eleven action points proposed for better implementation of Washington Principles
In September 2018, Ares Design Modena S.r.l. (“Ares”), a Modena-based coachbuilder, announced that it would produce and commercialise a modern replica of the Ferrari 250… Read More »The Ferrari 250 GTO is a work of art, says Italian Court
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,… Read More »New association for catalogue raisonné creators ‘will help stem flow of art fakes onto the market’
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,… Read More »Constantine Cannon LLP are delighted to announce the launch of ICRA in London on 1 July 2019.
As reported in a prior blog, the EU is looking to tackle the trade in illicit cultural goods by introducing import controls at EU borders.… Read More »Adoption of the Regulation on the Import of Cultural Goods: Start Preparing Now!
Pest Control Office Limited (the company acting on behalf of the artist Banksy) has recently sued 24 Ore Cultura S.r.l. (part of the 24 Ore… Read More »Banksy’s (visual) protest brought to Court in Italy
The French Supreme Court has put an end to an eight year-long legal battle over the payment of the artist’s resale royalty in France. The… Read More »Artist’s Resale Right in France: A new decision
At the end of 2018, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) opened a consultation on the proposed changes that would introduce a… Read More »DCMS Consultation on National Treasures: Final Chance To Have Your Say!
2018 was the European Year of Cultural Heritage, during which the EU pledged to take action to stem the illicit trafficking of cultural goods both… Read More »The Proposed EU Regulations on the Import of Cultural Goods
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… Read More »Christie’s Gets a Slap on the Wrist from the Advertising Standards Authority
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… Read More »Architect of Washington Principles takes stock
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… Read More »The export office of the City of Bologna revokes the export licence granted for a portrait of Camillo Borghese by Gérard
What is a Catalogue Raisonné? The purpose of a catalogue raisonné is to record all known artworks by an artist and to provide information such… Read More »Preserving the Œuvre: The Significance of Catalogues Raisonnés
Anti-money laundering laws in the UK are largely outlined in the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (“Regulations 2017”). The Regulations 2017, which came into force on… Read More »New Anti-Money Laundering Regulations Target the Art Market
A few months ago, the Piero Manzoni Foundation published a video showing the destruction of 39 alleged forgeries that were attributed to Piero Manzoni by… Read More »The Piero Manzoni Foundation and the destruction of 39 works
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… Read More »New York Court Dismisses Claims Against Agnes Martin Authentification Committee
Following last summer’s amendments to the Italian export legal framework (see our blog of 27 September 2017), additional changes to the export licensing process have… Read More »Another small step towards a liberalisation of Italian export controls
For businesses in the art sector and beyond, legal compliance is becoming increasingly crucial, as infringements have the potential to undermine the very survival of… Read More »Data protection reform brings significant risk to UK art businesses
Like so many court cases dealing with claims to Nazi-looted art, the Cassirer v Thyssen-Bornemisza case has placed much emphasis on the following questions: Which… Read More »Cassirer v Thyssen-Bornemisza: California Court revives claim to Pissarro yet again
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… Read More »A (very) small step towards a liberalisation of Italian export controls
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,… Read More »The UK Money Laundering Regulations 2017: key changes and impact for art businesses
Certain types of businesses fall within the regulated sector for EU anti-money laundering, such as banks, wider financial institutions, law firms, accountancy businesses and estate… Read More »The Regulation of the Art Trade for Anti-Money Laundering in the EU
In a recent judgment, a Milan Court rejected a claim for the loss of value of a sculpture loaned by an Italian public entity to… Read More »An Italian story of bad luck and lack of diligence
On 27 February 2017, a New York State Court held that Lisa Jacobs, a fine art dealer and private curator, breached the fiduciary duties she… Read More »Faithless Servants and the Law: Fine Art Dealers Beware
On 9 March 2017, a French High Court held that a 1988 sculpture by appropriation artist Jeff Koons, Naked, infringed on the copyright of the… Read More »Appropriation Art Takes Another Hit in European Courts
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… Read More »The UK Competition and Markets Authority opens an investigation into auction services
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… Read More »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 the… Read More »Series on Art Restitution – Bolshevik 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… Read More »Series on Art Restitution – Stasi Looted Art
It is said that when a messenger brought the news to Louis XVI that the Bastille had been taken, the monarch asked: is this a… Read More »Is this a rebellion? No Sir, this is a revolution
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… Read More »Update – New German Export Provisions for the “Protection of Cultural Property” now in force
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… Read More »A new Guarantee Facility for the Culture and Creative Sectors
The Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (“CNMC”) is the independent authority in charge of both competition and regulatory matters in Spain. Its… Read More »Spain: Competition Authority investigates Art Logistics Companies
Last month, collectors Domenico and Eleanore De Sole settled their claims against the now defunct Knoedler Gallery and its former president and director, Ann Freedman.… Read More »De Sole v. Knoedler Gallery – A Field of Red Flags
Since 1955, it has been possible for Germany’s 16 states to register on a list of objects of national cultural importance artworks that are considered… Read More »Protecting national heritage or stifling the German Art Market?
Since 1 January 2016, art collectors and art businesses dealing in art, or storing art, in Switzerland must comply with new anti-money laundering and terrorist… Read More »Switzerland revisits laws on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing
Lending against art is on the rise. In a survey conducted by Deloitte and ArtTactic for their Art and Finance Report 2014, 48% of collectors… Read More »Reform of Bills of Sale could offer a welcome boost to England’s Art Lending Market
In November 2015, the (UK) Museums Association approved a new version of the Code of Ethics for Museums. The Code is one of a series… Read More »The New Code of Ethics of the Museums Association
On 4 December 2014, Larry Gagosian won a protracted, hostile, and expensive court battle against his long-time friend and client Ronald Perelman. The dispute arose… Read More »When it comes to business, a longstanding friendship will not save the day
On 15 June 2015, the New York State Senate approved a bill, S1229A-2015 (the “Bill”) to amend New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law (“NYACAL”)… Read More »A New York State Bill Seeking to Protect Art Authenticators
Off-Premises Sales: the Consumer Goes on an Excursion… At the Art Business Conference last September organised in London by Art Market Minds, a delegate asked… Read More »The pitfalls of selling art to consumers – Three short stories
Foundations are often established to manage large art collections after the death of the art collector. Unfortunately, the interests of the collector’s heirs do not… Read More »Peggy Guggenheim – when the heirs and the foundation disagree
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… Read More »The impact of new consumer protection on dealer and gallery sales
French courtrooms are no strangers to disputes over the authenticity of artworks. Over the past 15 years, the French judiciary has repeatedly been called upon… Read More »Expert opinion: a U-turn by the French Supreme Court
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… Read More »The new UK payment surcharges regulations and their effect on art market transactions
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… Read More »Considering the murky world of AIFMD and its impact on art fund managers
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… Read More »Changes in the law make auction rings easier to prosecute, but is the regulatory framework still fit for purpose?
Over a period of seven months, the Paris Court of Appeal has reached two different decisions over whether Christie’s France can collect from the buyer… Read More »Artist’s Resale Right in France: The Economic Burden Revisited
In Europe, banks and other specialist providers of loans against art, antiques and collectible items have often no choice but to take possession of the… Read More »Art Finance – Leaving the art on the borrower’s walls
Under EU law, consumers buying goods from a trader at a distance, or from a trader face-to-face but outside the trader’s usual business premises, have… Read More »Danger Ahead – Auctions Undermined by New Consumer Protection
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… Read More »The Recovery of Unlawfully Exported Cultural Property with the European Union – The European Commission has a Plan
The importation of goods into the European Union is subject to import VAT. The rate of import VAT varies from EU country to EU country.… Read More »Import VAT and the Free Movement of Goods within the European Union
HMRC have announced changes to the UK bonded warehousing regime. The purpose of the bonded warehousing regime (the technical phrase is “Customs Warehousing”) is to… Read More »Changes to the UK Bonded Warehousing Regime
The payment of bribes to foreign customs officials to facilitate the importation of goods in a foreign country has recently been in the spotlight after the Ralph Lauren Corporation made facilitation payments to Argentinian customs officials in connection with the importation of goods into the country.
On 22 April 2013, it was reported that the Ralph Lauren Corporation (a US company) would pay over USD 1.6 million to US authorities as part of a settlement for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. This followed the discovery that the Argentinian subsidiary of the corporation paid bribes and made gifts to Argentinian customs officials between 2005 and 2009, to ensure that goods were imported into the country without inspection and without necessary paperwork. The corporation discovered the misconduct during an internal review and promptly reported it to the regulators. As a result of its co-operation with the authorities, the Ralph Lauren Corporation has not been charged with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Read More »Crack down on Bribery: a warning to galleries and dealers
The Customs Information Paper introducing changes to the temporary removal of goods from Customs Warehousing (see the article on this blog on Changes to the UK Bonded Warehousing Regime) refers to a previous Customs Information Paper (Ref: (10) 44 effective 18 June 2010). The Annex to that Customs Information Paper seeks to clarify certain procedures for the importation of works of art and antiques for display at galleries, fairs and exhibitions.
The second paragraph of the Annex reads: “Some art works currently being imported into the UK are described as “art installations” or “light installations”. These typically include some form of audio visual presentations or light display and current practice was to classify these installations according to their constituent parts and not as “art” in Chapter 97 of the Tariff”. This is a reference to HMRC’s inept argument that a video installation (e.g. by artist Bill Viola) or a light installation (e.g. by artist Dan Flavin) cannot be imported in the UK as an artwork simply because it is disassembled and crated for shipping. The fact that these art pieces are imported packed in boxes means, so argues HMRC, that they must be taxed as light bulbs, video screens and electric wires, because this is how these artworks appear to HMRC officials when they are wheeled through Customs. The sub-text is that HMRC officials are so devoid of natural intelligence that they cannot make the difference between an artwork by a world-famous artist (even when it is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist) and a bunch of wires. Tax should be levied, HMRC go on to say, at the rate applied to electrical and video apparatus, i.e. currently 20% instead of 5% for works of art. Customs duty should be levied too, as it applies to electrical and video equipment, not to works of art. This might have been mildly ridiculous, had HMRC not also argued that the higher rate of tax and duty should be applied not on the retail value of the electrical or video equipment (a few hundred pounds) but on the value declared by the importer being the value of an artwork by the artist (typically several hundred thousand pounds).Read More »The Importation of Video and Light Installations
You may regard yourself as an art collector. Occasionally you may sell an artwork or two. You expect to be taxed on those sales as… Read More »The Fine Line between Collecting and Dealing
Richard Prince has won his appeal against a first instance ruling in the US that 30 of his works infringed copyright in photographs by Patrick… Read More »Appropriation art found not to infringe copyright
The London Upper Tax Tribunal accepts that an old master painting is a wasting asset, thereby escaping capital gains tax upon its sale. In November… Read More »Is an old master painting a wasting asset?
New legislation is introduced in New York requiring galleries to hold sale proceeds owed to artists on a separate account. Galleries do not always segregate… Read More »Segregating sale proceeds owed to artists
French Court rules that the resale right must be borne by the seller. In December 2012, the French Court of Appeal held that where the… Read More »Artist’s resale right: the economic burden