11 March 2019

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Italian scholars unveil Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘only surviving sculpture’: The curators of an exhibition in Florence have this week unveiled what they claim is the only surviving sculpture by Leonardo da Vinci. 

09.03.2019, The Guardian: Italian scholars unveil Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘only surviving sculpture’ 

Gerhard Richter’s jet fighter painting finally takes off at Phillips after bumpy legal battle: A 1963 Gerhard Richter painting of a jet fighter at the centre of a now resolved legal battle sold for £13.5m (£15.5m or $20.3m with buyer’s premium) at Phillips in London, just over two years after it was last offered by the auction house. 

08.03.2019, The Art Newspaper: Gerhard Richter’s jet fighter painting finally takes off at Phillips after bumpy legal battle 

Are These Paintings Really by Hitler? German Authorities Are Investigating: After the last of the regular artworks, furniture and stamps were sold on a recent Saturday, Kathrin Weidler read a short statement absolving Weidler’s auction house of any moral responsibility for what came next. 

06.03.2019, The New York Times: Are These Paintings Really by Hitler? German Authorities Are Investigating 

How I Lost My Marbles; or, Calling for Colonial Patricide: In 2017, the French government announced its intentions to revisit and reconsider the collections of its ‘ethnographic’ and ‘world’ museums. Commissioned by French President Emmanuel Macron and released in November 2018, Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy’s ‘Restitution Report’ stated that dealing with Europe’s colonial past is ‘one of Europe’s greatest challenges for the 21st century’. 

06.03.2019, Frieze: How I Lost My Marbles; or, Calling for Colonial Patricide 

Sotheby’s First Auction of an AI Artwork Fails to Incite a Robo-Frenzy, Fetching a Modest $51,000: Sotheby’s dipped its toes into the market for artwork created using artificial intelligence on Wednesday morning in London, selling a work by Mario Klingemann titled Memories of Passersby I. The innovative installation by a pioneer of AI art went for £40,000 ($51,012) with fees. The first auction of an AI work in Europe proved to be something of an anticlimax after Christie’s entered the market last October, selling a work attributed to an algorithm for an unprecedented $432,500 in New York. 

06.03.2019, Artnet: Sotheby’s First Auction of an AI Artwork Fails to Incite a Robo-Frenzy, Fetching a Modest $51,000 

06.03.2019, The Economist: Painting with zeroes and ones: AI art 

Vexed issue of vetting: force for good or conflict of interests?: Tefaf Maastricht’s (16 to 24 March) decision to remove dealers and auction house professionals as voting members of its vetting committee raises a thorny question. What—if a work of art’s approval by a such a committee offers no legal assurance to the buyer—is the point of them? 

05.03.2019, The Art Newspaper Vexed issue of vetting: force for good or conflict of interests? 

Draft bill seeks further reform for French auction system: For many years Conseil des Ventes, the auction house watchdog, has been calling for the relaxing of the legal framework that surrounds art and antiques sales, bringing the French system closer to ‘the Anglo-Saxon model’ that is based primarily on self-regulation. 

04.03.2019, Antiques Trade Gazette: Draft bill seeks further reform for French auction system 

Art world scrambles to ship art before Brexit deadline: British institutions and galleries are rushing to ship works to and from the European Union (EU) before the Brexit deadline of 29 March as uncertainty mounts over the free movement of goods in the event of a no-deal scenario. 

04.03.2019, The Art Newspaper: Art world scrambles to ship art before Brexit deadline 

Italy Has a Change of Heart, Is Now ‘Happy’ Lend Its Leonardo da Vinci Works to France for Anniversary Exhibition: Italy and France have resolved a months-long political stalemate that threatened to scuttle the Louvre’s plan to present an ambitious exhibition of works by Leonardo da Vinci to mark the 500th anniversary of the master’s death. 

04.03.2019, Artnet: Italy Has a Change of Heart, Is Now ‘Happy’ Lend Its Leonardo da Vinci Works to France for Anniversary Exhibition 

United States

Behind the Scenes of Two Disgruntled Jeff Koons Collectors’ Legal Battle With Gagosian: You can’t rush perfection. That’s the message Gagosian has been sending in court as it fights a two-front legal battle against disgruntled collectors who are furious that the gallery has not delivered on promised sculptures they bought by Jeff Koons. 

07.03.2019, Artnet: Behind the Scenes of Two Disgruntled Jeff Koons Collectors’ Legal Battle With Gagosian 

Yemen Asks U.S. for Help to Curb Smuggling of Looted Ancient Artifacts: Yemen’s deputy culture minister, Abdulhadi al-Azazi, remembers standing two years ago amid the rubble of a national museum in his war-torn hometown, Taiz. 

06.03.2019, The New York Times: Yemen Asks U.S. for Help to Curb Smuggling of Looted Ancient Artifacts 

The AI-Art Gold Rush Is Here: The images are huge and square and harrowing: a form, reminiscent of a face, engulfed in fiery red-and-yellow currents; a head emerging from a cape collared with glitchy feathers, from which a shape suggestive of a hand protrudes; a heap of gold and scarlet mottles, convincing as fabric, propping up a face with grievous, angular features. These are part of “Faceless Portraits Transcending Time,” an exhibition of prints recently shown at the HG Contemporary gallery in Chelsea, the epicenter of New York’s contemporary-art world. All of them were created by a computer. 

06.03.2019, The Atlantic: The AI-Art Gold Rush Is Here 

An Eagle-Eyed Man Bought a $25 Painting at a Garage Sale. Turns Out It Was Worth 380 Times That—and Was Stolen in 1991: An intrepid garage sale treasure hunter struck gold with the $25 purchase of a rare painting by Italian-American artist Jon Corbino (1905–1964). But he soon discovered that the artwork was stolen property, taken from Sarasota’s Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in a 1991 art heist. 

04.03.2019, Artnet: An Eagle-Eyed Man Bought a $25 Painting at a Garage Sale. Turns Out It Was Worth 380 Times That—and Was Stolen in 1991  

Battle rages for ‘looted’ Matisse: The National Gallery is facing a showdown with the United States Supreme Court over a Henri Matisse portrait “stolen” in the ruins of Berlin after the Second World War. 

04.03.2019, The Times: Battle rages for ‘looted’ Matisse 

World

Majority Frieze Stakeholder Endeavor Quietly Returns Saudi Arabia’s $400 Million Investment: More than five months after the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the fallout is not over for Saudi Arabia, as major corporations and arts institutions continue to distance themselves from the nation or cut ties altogether. 

08.03.2019, Artnet: Majority Frieze Stakeholder Endeavor Quietly Returns Saudi Arabia’s $400 Million Investment 

08.03.2019, The New York Times: Endeavor Returns Money to Saudi Arabia, Protesting Khashoggi Murder 

Divine provenance: why we should care where an art work comes from: Some objects are valuable only because they belonged to someone famous — think David Beckham’s football boots, Bowie’s record player or just about anything belonging to Napoleon. Others have their value subtly — or not so subtly — enhanced by the person or people who owned them in the past. 

08.03.2019, The Financial Times: Divine provenance: why we should care where an art work comes from 

Investors Are Losing Millions on Overpriced Chinese Art: In her first foray into the world of art investing, Lucette d’Angelique got an offer that seemed too good to turn down. Buy a work of contemporary Chinese art, which was appreciating at as much as 20 percent a year, then lease it to a corporation for a guaranteed 6 percent annual return. 

06.03.2019, Bloomberg: Investors Are Losing Millions on Overpriced Chinese Art 

Artist accuses Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art of selling off works at a premium: A growing number of artists claim that their works in the collection of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA) have gone “missing” and may have ended up on the market without their knowledge. Rokni Haerizadeh, who was born in Iran and is now part of an artist collective in Dubai, has accused TMoCA of buying one of his paintings at a reduced rate and then selling it at a premium. Haerizadeh says his canvas, N Vel Ab 2 (2002-03) was consigned to Tehran Auction, selling on 12 January for 3.6 million rials ($86,680), a sum significantly over the price at which it was acquired. 

05.03.2019, The Art Newspaper: Artist accuses Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art of selling off works at a premium

Protests against Cuba’s censorship law continue as Havana Bienal opening nears: A month ahead of the Havana Bienal, and just a week after Cuban voters approved a new constitution affirming one-party rule, artists and civil rights groups continue to campaign for the repeal of the controversial Cuban law Decree 349, which they say will further censor artistic dissent in the Communist-run country. 

05.03.2019, The Art Newspaper: Protests against Cuba’s censorship law continue as Havana Bienal opening nears 

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