02 September 2019

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Paris court rules against one family’s request for restitution of art seized during WWII: When Claire Touchard entered the Paris courthouse on Thursday, she was hoping the judges would rule in her favour and force the state to return three paintings that belonged to her grandfather, art collector René Gimpel, before World War II. But as her lawyer received the ruling from the clerk’s office, Touchard’s hopes were dashed. The court ruled there was too much uncertainty to determine whether the paintings, all by Fauvist artist André Derain, had been plundered and sold during the war. The valuable works of art will therefore remain where they are now, at the Modern Art Museum of Troyes and Marseille’s Cantini Museum.

29.08.2019, France 24: Paris court rules against one family’s request for restitution of art seized during WWII  

31.08.2019, Le Journal des Arts: Toiles de Derain : pas de restitution pour les héritiers d’un marchand d’art juif spolié

Performance art-only fair in Brussels faces challenge of materiality: The organisers of A Performance Affair, a fair dedicated exclusively to performance art due to take place in Brussels this month (5-8 September), say that the “discipline is still struggling to find its place in the market” despite its growing popularity at both fairs and cultural institutions. 

29.08.2019, The Art Newspaper: Performance art-only fair in Brussels faces challenge of materiality

How have the Italian museum reforms fared?: It is four years since the Italian government implemented radical reforms of the country’s museum system. In August 2015, the then Italian culture minister, Dario Franceschini, announced the first 20 ‘super directors’ of national museums, granting those institutions fiscal autonomy for the first time and, in theory at least, far greater managerial independence. With seven non-Italian nationals among those appointed, it looked as though Italian museums were finally taking on a more international outlook.

27.08.2019, Apollo: How have the Italian museum reforms fared? 

‘The elephant in this gallery is the cultural property seized by British troops in the 19th century’: Britain’s museums hold a troubling inheritance from the 19th century, a period in which British troops captured cultural property. Objects such as the Maqdala Treasures, seized in a military campaign against the Ethiopian Emperor Tewodros II in 1868, now sit in the galleries and storerooms of the British Museum, the British Library and the Victoria & Albert Museum. They may no longer be displayed proudly as trophies of war, but there are increasingly pressing calls for their repatriation.

27.08.2019, Apollo: ‘The elephant in this gallery is the cultural property seized by British troops in the 19th century’ 

France sends its Parthenon marble back to Greece: A marble piece of the Parthenon, displayed at the Louvre for more than 200 years, will be lent to Athens in exchange for unseen ancient Greek treasures that have never left the country, according to officials.26.08.2019, The Times: France sends its Parthenon marble back to Greece

United States

The final Knoedler Forgery Lawsuit Over a $5.5 Million Fake Rothko Has Been Settled, Closing the Book on a Sordid Drama: After more than eight years of legal wrangling over tens of millions of dollars worth of forged artworks sold through the Knoedler Gallery, the 10th and final federal lawsuit, over a $5.5 million fake Mark Rothko, was settled earlier last month.

30.08.2019, Artforum: The final Knoedler Forgery Lawsuit Over a $5.5 Million Fake Rothko Has Been Settled, Closing the Book on a Sordid Drama

Trump Opens Door To Restitution Claims On Art Seized By Cuba: A provision of a 1996 law toughening sanctions against Cuba, recently put into effect by US President Donald Trump, allows US citizens to sue for the recovery of property including art seized by the island nation’s Communist regime since the Cuban Revolution of 1959.

30.08.2019, The Art Newspaper: Trump opens door to restitution claims on art seized by Cuba 

Brother Sues Brother Over Warhol ‘Moonwalk’ Print: Last Wednesday, Keith Donaldson filed a suit against his Robert Donaldson in Hennepin County District Court in Minnesota over what the lawsuit alleges was an “unauthorized” sale of Keith’s Warhol.

30.08.2019, Art News: Brother Sues Brother Over Warhol ‘Moonwalk’ Print 

Wall Street Art Collector’s Suit for ‘Balloon Venus’ Moves Ahead: Steven Tananbaum paid Gagosian Gallery Inc. $13 million to deliver three giant sculptures. He came a step closer to getting them, or millions of dollars in place of them, when a judge ruled last week that a lawsuit he filed in April 2018 can go forward. New York State Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla trimmed back some of Tananbaum’s claims, including breach of good faith, but allowed breach-of-contract claims to continue.

30.08.2019, Bloomberg: Wall Street Art Collector’s Suit for ‘Balloon Venus’ Moves Ahead 

Sacklers in talks over multibillion-dollar settlement of opioid crisis lawsuits: The Sackler family, which owns the drug maker Purdue Pharma, is said to be in talks over a multibillion-dollar agreement to settle thousands of federal and state lawsuits related to the US opioid epidemic.

28.08.2019, The Art Newspaper: Sacklers in talks over multibillion-dollar settlement of opioid crisis lawsuits 

Is the writing on the wall for the private funding of museums?: Simmering resentment within the creative industries about privileges and protections afforded the affluent has boiled over in the new gilded age of Donald Trump. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, scrutiny of allegedly ill-gotten gains by arts donors has followed. Social media has given voice to arts employees beyond the executive offices. Mounting antipathy to the fruits of a century-old system of tax-deductible patronage has produced self-reported data documenting compensation gaps, along with staff protests, unionisation, and calls for the resignation of trustees.

27.08.2019, Apollo: Is the writing on the wall for the private funding of museums? 

A Street Artist Is Suing a Grocery Chain for Allegedly Using His Work in a Super Bowl Ad Without His Consent: Chris Williams, an artist based in Des Moines, Iowa, who goes by the pseudonym CAW, has filed a copyright infringement suit against national grocery store chain Hy-Vee after the company allegedly used images of a mural he created in an advertising campaign narrated by Oprah Winfrey without his permission.

27.08.2019, Artnet: A Street Artist Is Suing a Grocery Chain for Allegedly Using His Work in a Super Bowl Ad Without His Consent 

A New Art Fair Makes Exhibitors an Unusual Offer: A Cut of Its Profits: As small and medium-sized galleries have shuttered at an alarming rate in recent years, many of their owners have pointed to the high price—and huge risk—of participating in art fairs. Now one startup thinks it has found a more sustainable model for dealers.26.08.2019, Art News: A New Art Fair Makes Exhibitors an Unusual Offer: A Cut of Its Profits

World

US-China trade war and protests bring uncertainty as Hong Kong auction houses head into busy autumn season: Hong Kong’s autumn sales are clouded by uncertainty amid a precarious economic outlook in the region brought by the China-US trade war and anxieties over the ongoing pro-democracy protests in the Special Administrative Region.

29.08.2019, The Art Newspaper: US-China trade war and protests bring uncertainty as Hong Kong auction houses head into busy autumn season 

International Museum Association Calls For Reopening Of Aichi Triennale Exhibition Following Censorship Controversy: The International Committee of Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) has added its voice to the growing backlash against the organizers of the Aichi Triennale in Japan over their decision to shutter the exhibition “After ‘Freedom of Expression,’” a presentation of artworks that were previously censored in the country, on August 3, days after it opened.29.08.2019, Artforum: International Museum Association Calls For Reopening Of Aichi Triennale Exhibition Following Censorship Controversy

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