11 May 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Art arbitration panel in The Hague steps up a gear to tackle complex disputes: The specialist Court of Arbitration for Art [Cafa] in The Hague is upping its expertise by appointing around 170 international neutrals (arbitrators and mediators) to its panel to tackle complex disputes in the sector. 

08.05.2020, The Art NewspaperArt arbitration panel in The Hague steps up a gear to tackle complex disputes  

England’s museums look to Arts Council to secure £250m government bailout: Museums rushed to donate face masks and gloves to health workers at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, museum managers are wondering where they can buy protective equipment for their staff as institutions across Europe prepare to reopen. But the cost of masks, hand sanitiser and regular deep cleans will be the tip of a financial iceberg that lies ahead for cultural institutions. 

07.05.2020, The Art NewspaperEngland’s museums look to Arts Council to secure £250m government bailout 

Fake Mesopotamian antiquities seized at Heathrow airport with help of Border Force officers and the British Museum: The 190 clay tablets arrived at Heathrow airport from Bahrain and were due to be delivered to a private UK address in July 2019. Border Force spotted them and sought advice from the British Museum. Experts in the department of the Middle East examined the photographs and objects. In a statement the museum said: “Suspicions arose almost immediately as the ‘cuneiform’ tablets seemed to represent a virtually complete range of basic types known from ancient Mesopotamia. It was as if the whole genre of ancient Mesopotamian writing was represented in one shipment: an entire collection ready for a single uninformed buyer. But it was immediately clear that there was a problem – not one of the objects was ancient.” 

05.05.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteFake Mesopotamian antiquities seized at Heathrow airport with help of Border Force officers and the British Museum  

04.05.2020, ArtnetA trove of artifacts inscribed with gibberish was intercepted at Heathrow. They may reveal an alarming front in the war on forgery 

EBay a la cote auprès des marchands:  C’est un secret de polichinelle. De nombreux marchands ayant ou non pignon sur rue, recourent depuis longtemps à la plateforme en ligne eBay, essentiellement pour vendre, mais parfois aussi pour acheter. En ces temps de crise sanitaire et de confinement – boutiques fermées et salons de printemps annulés –, c’est tout naturellement que leur activité s’est recentrée sur Internet, que ce soit sur leurs sites respectifs, les plateformes spécialisées (Anticstore, Proantic…), mais aussi sur eBay, le géant américain fondé en 1995, qui organise essentiellement des ventes immédiates, et parfois aux enchères. « Les gens sont étonnés que les marchands vendent sur eBay, mais c’est un fait », déclare l’un d’entre eux, installé dans une grande ville de province. « Il y en a même qui vendent plusieurs objets par semaine », confirme un autre, à Paris. 

05.05.2020, Le Journal des ArtsEBay a la cote auprès des marchands 

Director of France’s national furniture collection defends plans to sell 100 items at auction to aid healthcare foundation: The director of France’s national furniture collection, Hervé Lemoine, has defended plans to sell off 100 items at auction this autumn in aid of French healthcare workers, stressing that “no major pieces of furniture” will be consigned for sale.  

04.05.2020, The Art NewspaperDirector of France’s furniture collection defends plans to sell 100 items at auction to aid healthcare foundation

United States

Portland Museum of Art wins appeal over disputed bequest: The state’s top court has sided with the Portland Museum of Art in a lawsuit over a disputed bequest. The museum will now stand to collect a $4.6 million judgment from a civil trial last year. A Cumberland County jury determined in July that Annemarie Germain had coerced the wealthy woman she looked after into changing her will, which had named the museum as primary beneficiary. Germain filed an appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which affirmed the verdict Tuesday but did not write an opinion to explain that decision. 

05.05.2020, The Press HeraldPortland Museum of Art wins appeal over disputed bequest

World

International crackdown on art trafficking leads to 101 arrested and 19,000 artefacts recovered: Interpol reports that a coordinated crackdown in 103 countries targeting arts and antiquities traffickers has resulted in 101 arrests and the recovery of 19,000 artefacts and other works of art. 

08.05.2020, The Art NewspaperInternational crackdown on art trafficking leads to 101 arrested and 19,000 artefacts recovered  

07.05.2020, ArtnetA massive international sting operation spanning 103 countries has recovered thousands of stolen artworks and antiquities  

Sotheby’s prepares to reopen galleries in New York and London: The first real test of the art market since the coronavirus outbreak could come as soon as next month as Sotheby’s forges ahead with plans to hold its bellwether Impressionist, Modern and contemporary art auctions in New York during the week of 29 June. 

05.05.2020, The Art NewspaperSotheby’s prepares to reopen galleries in New York and London 

05.05.2020, Art Market MonitorSotheby’s CEO confirms plans to reopen, addresses long-term changes to market 

Cache of Russian avant-garde works surfaces in regional museum’s basement: A leading Russian avant-garde expert says he has identified dozens of works by artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova languishing in an obscure history museum in the Kirov region, 800km away from Moscow. 

04.05.2020, The Art NewspaperCache of Russian avant-garde works surfaces in regional museum’s basement 

Sotheby’s and Christie’s hail online sale results but turnover will depend on future of flagship auctions: While both firms have been forced to put some sales on hold and at least 200 members of staff at each have been furloughed worldwide according to reports, the future of the flagship art and antiques auctions scheduled for June and July is likely to determine to what extent the overall turnover of the big two auction firms will be affected. 

04.05.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteSotheby’s and Christie’s hail online sale results but turnover will depend on future of flagship auctions 

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