10 February 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Guidance for anti-money laundering regulation published: The new rules (applying the 5th Money Laundering Directive known as 5MLD) took effect on January 10 but the 111-page guidance has only just been released. 

07.02.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteGuidance for anti-money laundering regulation published  

07.02.2020, The British Art Market FederationGuidance on anti-money laundering for UK Art Market participants 

The €15m Van Gogh which was once sold in a farmyard auction for just £4: We all fantasise about discovering a Van Gogh, although it virtually always remains just a dream. But in the 1960s, it actually happened, when an Italian resident in north London bought a picture from a junk shop for £45. 

07.02.2020, The Art NewspaperThe €15m Van Gogh which was once sold in a farmyard auction for just £4  

Uffizi wins legal battle against ‘cybersquatter’ owner of Uffizi.com domain name: The Gallerie degli Uffizi in Florence has won a court battle in the US over the use of its name in online domains, preventing a third-party company from using web addresses that invite users to buy museum tickets online and skip the huge queues. “These websites have been exploited to date for the sale of tickets to the museum at grossly inflated prices through improper use of the name Uffizi in a deliberate attempt to trick visitors,” the museum says in a statement. The contested domain names include Uffizi.com and Uffizi.net; the official website for the museum is Uffizi.it. 

07.02.2020, The Art NewspaperUffizi wins legal battle against ‘cybersquatter’ owner of Uffizi.com domain name  

Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Calls Off Donation of 400 Works to Spanish Statz: When Ella Fontanals-Cisneros announced almost exactly two years ago that she would donate some 400 artworks to the Spanish state in order to establish a museum of Latin American art in Madrid, she was in a way bucking a recent trend that has seen top art collectors found their own private museums instead of giving their holdings to major institutions. Now, the Spanish-language newspaper El País reports that those plans have been called off. The choice to cancel on the donation, she said, was because of a disagreement with the Spanish culture minister and concerns over how the art would be displayed. 

07.02.2020, Art NewsElla Fontanals-Cisneros Calls Off Donation of 400 Works to Spanish State  

07.02.2020, El PaísElla Fontanals-Cisneros da por rotas las negociaciones para depositar su colección en España  

We will return Chief Crowfoot’s regalia . . . but not yet, museum says: A Devon museum has denied that it is refusing to hand over a 19th-century tribal leader’s regalia to his Canadian descendants amid a row over repatriation. To mark an 1877 treaty between the Crown and a number of tribes at Bow River in Alberta, Sir Cecil Denny, a British policeman who was one of its signatories, acquired Chief Crowfoot’s regalia. 

07.02.2020, The TimesWe will return Chief Crowfoot’s regalia . . . but not yet, museum says  

03.02.2020, The TimesMuseum refuses to return tribal relics  

Suspects Arrested for Theft of Banksy Work in Paris: The elusive street artist Banksy continues to make waves in the art world. In October, Sotheby’s withdrew a sculpture by the artist from a London sale when the British artist Andy Link claimed it was stolen from him. Now, two men, who are 35 and 32 years old, respectively, have been taken into custody in Paris for the September 2019 theft of a stencil work by Banksy that had been on view near the Centre Pompidou. 

06.02.2020, Art NewsSuspects Arrested for Theft of Banksy Work in Paris  

Judge Rules In Favor Of Nazi-Looted Art Database In Lawsuit Over Disputed Work: The German Lost Art Foundation, which was launched in 2015 by federal and state governments in Germany in an attempt to advance efforts to identify and return artworks and artifacts confiscated by the Nazis, was taken to court by the current owner of a painting registered on its website. While the collector argued that the work’s inclusion in the database made it “unsellable,” the judge ruled in favour of the foundation. 

05.02.2020, ArtforumJudge Rules In Favor Of Nazi-Looted Art Database In Lawsuit Over Disputed Work 

04.02.2020, The Art NewspaperGerman court rules in favour of Nazi-looted art database, although owners say a listing makes works unsellable  

In Post-Brexit London, Christie’s Imp-Mod, Surrealist Sales Net $138 M., Led by $24.6 M. Magritte, $21.2 M. Lempicka: With the United Kingdom having left the European Union last Friday, many have speculated about how Brexit might impact the art market in London. After a tepid sale at Sotheby’s on February 4, which brought in a total of £49.9 million ($64.9 million), the results at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern evening sale last  Wednesday, February 5, were much brighter, doubling that auction’s haul with a total of £107 million, or about $138 million. Of the 49 lots offered, all but 8 sold, yielding a strong sell-through rate of 84 percent. 

05.02.2020, Art NewsIn Post-Brexit London, Christie’s Imp-Mod, Surrealist Sales Net $138 M., Led by $24.6 M. Magritte, $21.2 M. Lempicka  

Sales Take a Dive at Sotheby’s Post-Brexit London Auction: In the first serious test of the top end of the auction market since Brexit, Sotheby’s relied heavily on three works that had been looted by the Nazis and restored to the owners’ heirs in an underpowered sale last Tuesday of Impressionist, modern and Surrealist art that raised 49.9 million pounds, or $64.9 million. 

04.02.2020, The New York TimesSales Take a Dive at Sotheby’s Post-Brexit London Auction  

Judge Increases Jaime Botín’s Fine for Smuggling Picasso Painting to $101.2 M.: In January, the art world looked on as Spanish collector and banker Jaime Botín was sentenced to 18 months in jail for smuggling Pablo Picasso’s Head of a Young Woman (1906) out of Spain. But now it seems that Botín will face even greater consequences, as a Spanish judge has prolonged his jail sentence and upped the fine he will have to pay. 

04.02.2020, Art NewsJudge Increases Jaime Botín’s Fine for Smuggling Picasso Painting to $101.2 M.  

04.02.2020, The Sunday TimesJaime Botín’s jail sentence for smuggling Picasso is doubled  

United States

Artist-Run Galleries Defy the Mega-Dealer Trend in Los Angeles: The gallery M+B sold out its show of surreal, cloud-dappled landscapes by Leo Mock over the summer. The work was enigmatic, with images of long, birdlike legs stepping through the paintings. The official “artist bio” was also mysterious, saying only that Mr. Mock had graduated from ArtCenter College of Design and “lives and works in Los Angeles.” 

07.02.2020, The New York TimesArtist-Run Galleries Defy the Mega-Dealer Trend in Los Angeles  

Artist Eric Doeringer to Sell Faked Basquiats and Koonses in Los Angeles for $1,000 Each: Those familiar with the market for Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work knew in spring 2016 that his untitled painting of a head from 1982 would soar to new heights. It was a very rare and great example of the artist’s paintings of heads. It skyrocketed: Japanese collector Yusaku Maezawa paid $110 million for the picture. The only painting that is arguably on par with that one—or, let’s face it, maybe even a little better—is owned by Los Angeles mega-collector Eli Broad, and it doesn’t look like Broad will ever part with the painting, which hangs in the Broad, the private museum he opened in Los Angeles five years ago. 

07.02.2020, Art NewsArtist Eric Doeringer to Sell Faked Basquiats and Koonses in Los Angeles for $1,000 Each  

New York dealer sues artist Derek Fordjour for $1.45: New York art dealer Robert Blumenthal is suing artist Derek Fordjour for $1.45m, according to court documents filed in a New York supreme court on Tuesday. 

06.02.2020, The Art NewspaperNew York dealer sues artist Derek Fordjour for $1.45m  

Draft Executive Order Would Give Donald Trump a New Target: Modern Design: Should every new government building in the nation’s capital be created in the same style as the White House? A draft of an executive order called “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” would establish a classical style, inspired by Greek and Roman architecture, as the default for federal buildings in Washington and many throughout the country, discouraging modern design. 

05.02.2020, The New York TimesDraft Executive Order Would Give Donald Trump a New Target: Modern Design  

05.02.2020, The Art NewspaperTrump may order all new government buildings to be designed in the Neoclassical style  

Military Veterans Call For MoMA To Divest From “Toxic Philanthropy: Forty-five United States military veterans have banded together in support of the artists who are demanding the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1 in New York divest from controversial donors who “profit from the suffering of others.” 

04.02.2020, ArtforumMilitary Veterans Call For MoMA To Divest From “Toxic Philanthropy” 

Flash sales and no-fee subscription scheme fuel up-start New York gallery: From music to television and even fashion, subscription services like Spotify, Netflix or Gilt have changed the way we consume media and luxury goods. The art world’s primary market, however, has remained a steadfastly traditional retail experience despite a growing number of similar online sales platforms, such as Artsy. 

04.02.2020, The Art NewspaperFlash sales and no-fee subscription scheme fuel up-start New York gallery

World

With changes come opportunities’: first reactions to the cancellation of Art Basel in Hong Kong: Local galleries are greeting the news that Art Basel in Hong Kong has cancelled its 2020 edition with resignation and determination to forge ahead even without the marquee event, and the concurrent Art Central, which has also been called off. “It seemed inevitable that Art Basel would have to cancel this year’s fair. But we know they will be back next year better than ever. Hong Kong will remain the most important venue in Asia for Art Basel,” says Fred Scholle, the founder of Galerie du Monde, the city’s oldest existing art gallery.  

07.02.2020, The Art Newspaper‘With changes come opportunities’: first reactions to the cancellation of Art Basel in Hong Kong  

You Can Own a Fraction of a Warhol. But Should You?: Jonathan Sharpe, a 25 year-old accountant in Greensboro, N.C., never thought of himself as a “baseball guy,” but when he saw a 1909 Honus Wagner T206 baseball card valued at $520,000, he decided to buy it. Not all of it, though. The card was being issued through the fractional ownership collectibles site Rally Rd.—there were 10,000 shares valued at $52 apiece. “I thought it was a good idea,” Sharpe says. “They broke it down into enough shares that it was affordable.” He had the Rally Rd. app open when the card listed and bought a single share; less than 20 minutes later, every single share had sold. “It was insane,” he says. 

07.02.1010, BloombergYou Can Own a Fraction of a Warhol. But Should You? ` 

The value of collecting is not in the dollar signs: One must then ask: How can collecting art — a personal passion and luxury — serve this world in turmoil, rather than become an emblem of excess in a stratified society of haves and have-nots? How might the art world play a more assertive role in what we see as the crisis in the culture? How should artists, collectors and gallerists grapple with this existential threat to the sustainability of the greater art world? 

07.02.2020, The Financial TimesThe value of collecting is not in the dollar signs  

Invest in Art or Stocks? Keynes Has an Answer (Well, Sort Of): John Maynard Keynes was an economist, an investor, and an art patron. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, his eponymous flavor of economics has become fashionable again. After a faltering start losing money in the currency markets, Keynes enjoyed a glorious run as a stock picker, building an endowment that still benefits his alma mater King’s College, Cambridge. For those wanting to emulate his prowess collecting paintings, a new study attempts to calculate how his art investments have fared compared with market returns. 

06.02.2020, BloombergInvest in Art or Stocks? Keynes Has an Answer (Well, Sort Of)  

Leverage Is Exploding in the Fine-Art World: A $28 million Warhol. A $35 million Basquiat. A $70 million Twombly. Hedge-fund manager Daniel Sundheim has acquired all these works — and more — while wielding one of the most powerful tools in finance: leverage. Time was, art aficionados rarely talked openly about borrowing money against their paintings to build collections, make investments or just pay the bills. 

05.02.2020, BloombergLeverage Is Exploding in the Fine-Art World  

Looted ancient temple sculpture—seized by UK police—will go home to Afghanistan: The recovery of an ancient limestone temple sculpture stolen from the National Museum of Afghanistan almost 30 years ago sends out a “powerful message” that related pieces looted at the same time can now be tracked down, says St John Simpson, assistant keeper of the Middle East department at the British Museum. The second-century work, which adorned a temple sanctuary, was part of a composite frieze; the other looted limestone blocks are still missing. 

05.02.2020, The Art NewspaperLooted ancient temple sculpture—seized by UK police—will go home to Afghanistan  

Heritage on the edge: new Google project reveals climate change damage to Unesco sites: Google Arts & Culture has launched a new online initiative calling attention to five Unesco World Heritage sites under threat from climate change. The Heritage on the Edge series reveals how rising sea levels, coastal erosion and extreme weather patterns are endangering landmarks across the world: the ancient moai heads of Rapa Nui (Easter Island); the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh; the ruined port of Kilwa Kisiwani off Tanzania’s south coast; the mosque city of Bagerhat in Bangladesh; and the pre-Columbian adobe city of Chan Chan in the Peruvian desert. 

05.02.2020, The Art NewspaperHeritage on the edge: new Google project reveals climate change damage to Unesco sites 

Arabic calligraphy to be registered as UNESCO intangible heritage: The Saudi Ministry of Culture on Sunday hosted a workshop and coordination meeting to register Arabic calligraphy on UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Riyadh. 

03.02.2020, Arab NewsArabic calligraphy to be registered as UNESCO intangible heritag

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