01 July 2019

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Ministers block export of 18th century watercolour by “genius” landscape artist: An 18th century watercolour by the artist who John Constable described as a genius has been barred from export in the hope a UK buyer can be found.

29.06.2019, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Ministers block export of 18th century watercolour by “genius” landscape artist 

Plan to merge Uffizi and Accademia in Florence stokes row over Italian museums reform: The Italian culture minister, Alberto Bonisoli, is planning to merge the Gallerie degli Uffizi with the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence under a single administration. The surprising announcement comes after Italy’s populist coalition government approved a controversial decree on 19 June that will give the ministry in Rome greater control over state museums and heritage sites. Bonisoli’s reform rolls back the signature cultural initiative of the ousted centre-left Democratic Party government, which in 2015 and 2016 appointed new “super directors” to run 32 Italian institutions—including the Uffizi and Accademia—with special financial and administrative autonomy.

28.06.2019, The Art Newspaper: Plan to merge Uffizi and Accademia in Florence stokes row over Italian museums reform 

International organised crime group arrested in €2m rare books heist: Members of a crime gang believed to be behind the 2017 theft of 260 rare books in west London have been arrested in a joint operation with authorities across Romania, the UK and Italy.

27.06.2019, The Antiques Trade Gazette: International organised crime group arrested in €2m rare books heist 

Vindicating Car Fans the World Over, an Italian Court Determines That the Ferrari 250 GTO Is a Work of Art: The decision has granted the coveted designation to the Ferrari 250 GTO, offering the vehicle the same protections from reproductions and imitations as famous paintings and sculptures.26.06.2019, Artnet: Vindicating Car Fans the World Over, an Italian Court Determines That the Ferrari 250 GTO Is a Work of Art

United States

Trump’s proposed US tax on Chinese art imports ‘would harm local trade and benefit China’, trade officials told: The proposed 25% tariff on $300bn-worth of Chinese goods, including technology, food and chemicals, is part of President Donald Trump’s escalating US trade war with China.

28.06.2019, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Trump’s proposed US tax on Chinese art imports ‘would harm local trade and benefit China’, trade officials told 

Guggenheim Workers Vote to Join a Union, the Museum’s First: Workers at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum voted Thursday night to join Local 30 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, which will be the first organized bargaining unit at the institution.

28.06.2019, The New York Times: Guggenheim Workers Vote to Join a Union, the Museum’s First 

27.06.2019, Artnet: Art Installers and Maintenance Workers at the Guggenheim Have Voted ‘Yes’ to Joining a Union 

Six-Year Challenge to Ownership of Art Historian Paul Westheim’s Modernist Art Collection Dismissed in New York Supreme Court: A six-year-long restitution battle concerning the rightful owner of several works by key modernist artists appears to have finally come to an end.

28.06.2019, Art News: Six-Year Challenge to Ownership of Art Historian Paul Westheim’s Modernist Art Collection Dismissed in New York Supreme Court

A Beloved Detroit Street Artist Was Arrested for Vandalism While He Was Painting a Mural Commissioned by the City: Last Wednesday, graffiti artist Tashif Turner was painting a mural in northeast Detroit when he was arrested by two police officers.

26.06.2019, Artnet: A Beloved Detroit Street Artist Was Arrested for Vandalism While He Was Painting a Mural Commissioned by the City  

Met Museum Can Keep Famed Picasso Painting ‘The Actor,’ Following Court Decision in Restitution Case: Following an appeal in an ongoing restitution case, the United States Court of Appeals has decided to uphold a prior decision that New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is the rightful owner of a Pablo Picasso painting.

26.06.2019, Art News: Met Museum Can Keep Famed Picasso Painting ‘The Actor,’ Following Court Decision in Restitution Case 

27.06.2019, Artnet: An Appeals Court Says the Met Can Keep Its $100 Million Picasso, Ending a Drawn-Out Restitution Case 

Sotheby’s must face Russian billionaire’s lawsuit over art fraud – U.S. judge: A federal judge in New York rejected Sotheby’s bid to dismiss a $380 million lawsuit where Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev accused the auction house of helping his longtime art dealer’s scheme to overcharge him on dozens of masterworks. 

25.06.2019, Reuters: Sotheby’s must face Russian billionaire’s lawsuit over art fraud – U.S. judge 

28.06.2019, Le Journal des Arts: La justice américaine donne son feu vert pour le procès Rybolovlev-Sotheby’s   

New Museum Union Stages Action at Opening as Contract Negotiations Continue: As the New Museum and its newly formed union continue to negotiate a contract, workers took to the streets in front of the New York museum on Tuesday night as its summer exhibitions opened, handing out buttons and leaflets as attendees filed in to see work by Lubaina Himid, Mika Rottenberg, and others.25.06.2019, Art News: New Museum Union Stages Action at Opening as Contract Negotiations Continue

A Judge Has Rejected a $20 Million Lawsuit by a Former Studio Assistant Who Claims Famed Sculptor Dale Chihuly Didn’t Properly Credit His Work: A federal judge in Seattle has dismissed a lawsuit brought against artist Dale Chihuly by a man who claimed Chihuly owed him more than $20 million. Michael Moi, a Seattle-based contractor, worked on various paid projects for Chihuly from 1999 to 2014. In a lawsuit filed in June of 2017, Moi claimed he was owed for work he did on 285 paintings during that time, arguing that he co-authored the artworks. He also claimed that, despite there being no legal agreement in place, the artist promised to “take care” of him.

24.06.2019, Artnet: A Judge Has Rejected a $20 Million Lawsuit by a Former Studio Assistant Who Claims Famed Sculptor Dale Chihuly Didn’t Properly Credit His Work 

In a Bid to Keep the $275 Million Guelph Treasure, Germany Appeals Nazi Restitution Case to the US Supreme Court: The dispute over Germany’s famed Guelph Treasure, and whether its 1935 sale by Jewish art dealers to the Prussian government was made under duress, could be headed to the United States Supreme Court. The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, or SPK), which runs Berlin’s state museums, plans to appeal to the country’s highest court in an effort to prove that the US does not have jurisdiction in the case.

24.06.2019, Artnet: In a Bid to Keep the $275 Million Guelph Treasure, Germany Appeals Nazi Restitution Case to the US Supreme Court 24.06.2019, The Art Newspaper: Berlin museums appeal to US Supreme Court in dispute over €200m Guelph Treasure

World

Aliph global protection fund announces 14 projects across multiple war zones: Aliph, the Geneva-based global fund to protect cultural heritage in war zones spearheaded by France and the United Arab Emirates, has announced $6.3m funding for 14 new projects. These include $2m to safeguard the Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan after repeated attacks on the monument by the Taliban, and $85,000 to help rebuild the Raqqa Museum in northeast Syria.

28.06.2019, The Art Newspaper: Aliph global protection fund announces 14 projects across multiple war zones

Contested export of a Caillebotte painting raises questions about Canadian cultural law: A Canadian court recently overturned a ruling on the “national importance” of the French Impressionists’ work, sold at Heffel Auction House in 2016. 

25.06.2019, The Art Newspaper: Contested export of a Caillebotte painting raises questions about Canadian cultural law 

South Korea Embarks on a Museum Building Boom, Aiming to Open 186 New Museums by 2023: Is South Korea angling to become an international cultural hub? The Asian nation has unveiled a five-year plan designed to make its art and artifacts more accessible to the public, with its Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism announcing an ambitious goal of opening an additional 186 museums by 2023.

25.06.2019, Artnet: South Korea Embarks on a Museum Building Boom, Aiming to Open 186 New Museums by 2023 

Tehran’s art fair opens despite sanctions and growing tensions with US: In the face of rising tension between Iran and the US, the second Teer Art Fair opened its doors in Tehran, with almost double the amount of exhibitors as last year. Sanctions have made international sales increasingly difficult for Iranian dealers, and tighter security measures prevented two French galleries attending (up to two months were needed for background checks), but the fair has reached out across Iran with an open call to participants, its director says.24.06.2019, The Art Newspaper: Tehran’s art fair opens despite sanctions and growing tensions with US

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