08 July 2019

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Élysée Palace looks for its mass of lost art: Police are investigating the disappearance of artworks from the French presidency amid a growing scandal over the state’s inability to trace thousands of paintings, statues and antiques.

08.07.2019, The Times: Élysée Palace looks for its mass of lost art 

France retreats from report recommending automatic restitutions of looted African artefacts: The controversial French report recommending a systematic and unconditional return of African cultural heritage was all-but buried last Thursday at a conference in Paris. The report’s authors Bénédicte Savoy and Felwin Sarr raised alarm in French and European museums by recommending automatic restitutions to African states of all goods seized during the colonial era. In his opening speech at the symposium on Thursday, the French culture minister Franck Riester only pledged that “France will examine all requests presented by African nations” but asked them not to “focus on the sole issue of restitution.”

05.07.2019, The Art Newspaper: France retreats from report recommending automatic restitutions of looted African artefacts 

Tutankhamun sculpture sold for £4m despite Egypt’s objections: A 3,000-year-old stone sculpture of Tutankhamun has gone under the hammer at Christie’s for £4m, in spite of calls by the Egyptian government to halt the sale.

04.07.2019, The Financial Times: Tutankhamun sculpture sold for £4m despite Egypt’s objections 

05.07.2019, The New York Times: Tutankhamen Head Sells for $6 Million, Despite Protests from Egypt 

02.07.2019, The Times: Cairo battles to stop ‘stolen’ bust of Tutankhamun being auctioned at Christie’s 

05.07.2019, Le Journal des Arts: Une tête de Toutânkhamon vendue à Londres malgré la colère de l’Egypte 

Germany Hands Back the Sixth Nazi-Looted Painting Found in the Gurlitt Trove to Its Rightful Heirs: Germany has returned a painting looted by the Nazis that had been hoarded by Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of a notorious art dealer who traded in stolen works from occupied France during World War 2.

04.07.2019, Artnet: Germany Hands Back the Sixth Nazi-Looted Painting Found in the Gurlitt Trove to Its Rightful Heirs 

Boris Johnson wants to create six freeports and tax-free zones around the UK: Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to become the UK’s next prime minister, has announced plans to establish a series of freeports around the country, which can be used to store valuable works of art, cars and jewellery without incurring customs or sales tax. Johnson’s vision involves turning parts of the UK into Singapore-style tax-free zones, but the use of freeports in the European Union has sparked controversy.

03.07.2019, The Art Newspaper: Boris Johnson wants to create six freeports and tax-free zones around the UK 

04.07.2019, Le Journal des Arts: Boris Johnson veut créer six ports francs 

German City Rejects Claim for Mondrian Paintings by Artist’s Heirs: The German city of Krefeld rebuffed a claim from the heirs of the pioneering Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian who say that four works in a museum owned by the city had been lent, but not given, to the institution some 90 years ago.

02.07.2019, The New York Times: German City Rejects Claim for Mondrian Paintings by Artist’s Heirs 

03.07.2019, Artsy: Piet Mondrian’s heirs called on a German city to restitute four of his paintings. 

Nan Goldin and Anti-Opioid Activists Storm Louvre in Sackler Protest: US artist and activist Nan Goldin has taken her anti-opioids P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) campaign to the Louvre in Paris, calling for the museum to rename its Sackler wing. 

02.07.2019, Frieze: Nan Goldin and Anti-Opioid Activists Storm Louvre in Sackler Protest 

01.07.2019, Artforum: Nan Goldin Leads Action At Louvre In First Sackler Protest In Europe

01.07.2019, The Guardian: Artist Nan Goldin protests against Sackler wing at the Louvre 

France returns stolen ancient artifacts to Pakistan: France returned more than 400 stolen artifacts to the government of Pakistan last Tuesday, including ancient busts, vases, urns and goblets, some dating to the second and third millennia B.C. Many of the pieces turned up in France in September 2006, sent in parcels addressed to a gallery in Paris.

02.07.2019, Euronews: France returns stolen ancient artifacts to Pakistan 

Colonial art restitution: German museums need greater cultural awareness: The German Museums Association has underscored the importance of non-European perspectives when dealing with artifacts taken during German colonialism. Restitution is harder than with Nazi-looted art, an expert said.

02.07.2019, Deutsche Welle: Colonial art restitution: German museums need greater cultural awareness 

Germany to return Nazi-stolen painting Vase of Flowers to Italy: Germany says it will return a painting stolen by Nazi troops from the Uffizi Gallery in the Italian city of Florence in 1943.

29.06.2019, BBC News: Germany to return Nazi-stolen painting Vase of Flowers to Italy 01.07.2019, The Art Newspaper: Uffizi recovers Nazi-looted painting from Germany

United States

In Closely Watched Robert Indiana Royalties Case, District Court Dismisses Majority of Counterclaims: The year-long case surrounding the rights to Robert Indiana’s Pop art sculptures saw a new development in the United States District Court earlier this week.

03.07.2019, Art News: In Closely Watched Robert Indiana Royalties Case, District Court Dismisses Majority of Counterclaims 

03.07.2019, The Art Newspaper: Robert Indiana latest: New York judge dismisses majority of counterclaims made by artist’s estate against Morgan Art Foundation 

Andy Warhol’s ‘Prince Series’ Is Fair Use, Court Rules: Andy Warhol transcended a photographer’s copyright by transforming a picture of a vulnerable and uncomfortable Prince into an artwork that made the singer an “iconic, larger-than-life figure,” a judge ruled last  Monday.

02.07.2019, The New York Times: Andy Warhol’s ‘Prince Series’ Is Fair Use, Court Rules 

02.07.2019, Art News: Andy Warhol’s Prince Portraits Are ‘Fair Use’ of Lynn Goldsmith Photo, Federal Judge Rules 

02.07.2019, Artforum: Judge Rules In Favor Of Warhol Foundation In Copyright Lawsuit Over Prince Portraits04.07.2019, Le Journal des Arts: Pour la justice, Warhol n’a pas contrefait une photo de Prince

World

Tania Bruguera fights censorship by launching investigative journalism project in Cuba: The artist and activist Tania Bruguera says that she is planning to launch an investigative journalism initiative at her institution in Cuba—comprising workshops and awards—despite the government’s ongoing clampdown on freedom of expression.

05.07.2019, The Art Newspaper: Tania Bruguera fights censorship by launching investigative journalism project in Cuba 

Dramatic speech in Baku challenges Unesco’s support for damaging Venice cruise ship decision: The attempt made by the Unesco World Heritage Committee at their current meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, to pass over the subject of Venice and its problems in silence and permit a damaging decision regarding cruise ships and the city was challenged by the influential lobby group Europa Nostra.05.07.2019, The Art Newspaper: Dramatic speech in Baku challenges Unesco’s support for damaging Venice cruise ship decision

Who has the right to decide what art is made in Australia? Apparently not artists: How does public investment in the arts shape our culture? And why should we care? These are the questions facing New South Wales right now following the minister for the arts Don Harwin’s announcement that artist peer assessment for arts grants has been replaced by “art form boards” of his choosing, and that dedicated funding for artistic projects no longer exists. Artists will now have to compete directly with requests for major capital infrastructure in one and the same funding round, making NSW likely the only government in the world to end its commitment to artists as central to funding programs.

04.07.2019, The Guardian: Who has the right to decide what art is made in Australia? Apparently not artists 

How the Art World Can Fight a ‘Culture of Censorship’: Index on Censorship has launched an initiative to help artists navigate draconian limits on free-speech02.07.2019, Frieze: How the Art World Can Fight a ‘Culture of Censorship’

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