Prosecutors Raid Geneva Freeport in Search of David Nahmad’s Modigliani Painting: Swiss prosecutors have raided a storage facility in Geneva in search of the Modigliani painting Seated Man with a Cane (1918), revealed by the Panama Papers to belong to art supremo David Nahmad. Prosecutor Claudio Mascotto launched the search for the painting at a unit belonging to art storage company Rodolphe Haller at Ports Francs Geneva, as he believed the $25 million artwork to be inside.
11.04.2016, Artnet News: Prosecutors Raid Geneva Freeport in Search of David Nahmad’s Modigliani Painting
11.04.2016, Bloomberg: Modigliani With Nazi Links Sparks Geneva Criminal Probe
08.04.2016, Artnet News: Panama Papers Trace Nahmad Family to Contested Modigliani Painting
07.04.2016, BBC: Panama Papers may show £17m Modigliani painting’s owners
07.04.2016, The Guardian: Mossack Fonseca’s role in fight over painting stolen by Nazis
Panama Papers Shine Light On ‘Lost’ Collection of Greek Shipping Tycoon: A report released on April 7 by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reporter Jake Bernstein has provided what is perhaps the greatest amount of detail yet concerning secretive art maneuverings with respect to the leaked Panama Papers. Among the highlights of Bernstein’s story is his account of the collection of Greek shipping magnate Basil Goulandris, who passed away in 1994, leaving behind a collection of more than 80 artworks by stars such as Cézanne, Chagall, Giacometti, Kandinksy, Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Pollock, and Renoir.
08.04.2016, Artnet News: Panama Papers Shine Light On ‘Lost’ Collection of Greek Shipping Tycoon
10.04.2016, Greek Reporter: Panama Papers Show Trail to Priceless “Lost” Art Collection of Greek Shipping Tycoon
The Bouvier affair and the problem of secret commissions: In the course of 2015 a scandal of potential significance to dealers and their clients emerged. Allegations involving Yves Bouvier, the well-known art dealer and the largest private shareholder in the Geneva freeports (Ports Francs & Entreports de Geneve SA), came to light when Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Russian oligarch, brought civil and criminal proceedings against Bouvier in Monaco. Separate civil proceedings against Bouvier in Singapore (Accent Delight International Ltd v Bouvier) sought an order for the delivery up of a Mark Rothko painting (No. 6 Violet, Vert et Rouge). Rybolovlev alleged that Bouvier overcharged him by €60M for the Rothko painting. Bouvier had been an art consultant to Rybolovlev since 2003. The High Court in Singapore has now determined ( SGHC 40 (Lai Siu Chiu SJ)) that Singapore rather than Monaco is the appropriate forum for determining Rybolovlev’s civil complaints.
06.04.2016, Institute of Art and Law: The Bouvier affair and the problem of secret commissions
Access to Art: the good news and the not so good…: Significant developments on three of the stories we’ve been watching closely of late appeared in the news this week: Firstly, that the deferral on an export licence for the Sekhemka Statue has now been lifted, so it will almost certainly be leaving these shores before too long. Secondly, that pieces from the Gurlitt art hoard are set to be exhibited by galleries in Bern and Bonn later this year; and thirdly, that Rembrandt’s Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet, only recently under threat of export from the UK, is being loaned to the National Museum Cardiff, and went on public display this week.
07.04.2016, Institute of Art and Law: Access to Art: the good news and the not so good…
Bonn and Bern team up to show controversial Gurlitt collection: The Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and the Kunstmuseum in Bern announced plans for a joint exhibition of Cornelius Gurlitt’s controversial art collection later this year—even before it is clear who will inherit the hoarder’s trove or how much of it was looted by the Nazis. Exhibition aims to “contribute to transparency” as researchers investigate how much of the art was looted by the Nazis.
05.03.2016, The Art Newspaper: Bonn and Bern team up to show controversial Gurlitt collection
Germany: Photos linked to Gurlitt art trove made accessible: A German government-backed foundation says it is giving researchers access to photos from albums of the art company of Hildebrand Gurlitt, a dealer who traded in works confiscated by the Nazis and the father of collector Cornelius Gurlitt. The German Lost Art Foundation has been tasked with researching the origin of art hoarded by Cornelius Gurlitt, who died in 2014. He had kept over 1,200 works at his Munich apartment and 250 more at a property in Salzburg, Austria.
08.03.2016, AP: Germany: Photos linked to Gurlitt art trove made accessible
Austria partially returns Nazi-looted art to Jews: Vienna’s famous Leopold Museum on Thursday settled a long-running feud over five Nazi-plundered drawings by Austrian painter Egon Schiele with the descendants of the works’ Jewish former owner. The museum said it had agreed to return two of the watercolors – including a self-portrait of Schiele – to the New York-based heiress of Viennese art collector Karl Maylaender who was deported from Austria in 1941. The remaining three drawings will stay in the possession of the museum, which is home to the world’s largest permanent Schiele exhibition.
07.04.2016, Arutz Sheva: Austria partially returns Nazi-looted art to Jews
07.04.2016, The Art Newspaper: Leopold Museum returns two Schiele drawings to New York heir
Nazi-pillaged artwork pulled from Vienna auction: A Vienna auction house has cancelled the planned sale of a 17th century Dutch Master painting after France complained the work had been stolen by the Nazis, its co-manager said Monday. “Portrait of a Man” by Bartholomeus van der Helst, which had been due to go under the hammer on Tuesday, was part of a major art collection amassed by Adolphe Schloss, who was Jewish and died in Paris in 1910.
12.04.2016, The Times of Israel: Nazi-pillaged artwork pulled from Vienna auction
Is the Israel Museum’s Birds’ Head Haggadah Nazi-era loot?: A 13th-century book used in the celebration of Passover, now in the collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, is at the centre of an ownership row. The manuscript, known as the Birds’ Head Haggadah for its colourful illustrations, was once owned by the family of the German-Jewish politician Ludwig Marum, who was an early victim of the Nazi regime. His heirs are pushing to have their title to the work recognised and receive compensation, but they say they want the book to remain on public view at the museum.
06.04.2016, The Art Newspaper: Is the Israel Museum’s Birds’ Head Haggadah Nazi-era loot?
Why You Should Worry About Germany’s Radical New Cultural Protection Laws: The German government’s planned amendment to the country’s cultural protection legislation has been derided by art professionals as potentially damaging the art trade in Germany. But how will it affect the international art market? The law seeks to tighten export regulations so that all artworks, even those traveling within the EU, require a government-issued export permit if the works are older than 70 years and valued over €300,000 ($326,000).
06.04.2016, Artnet News: Why You Should Worry About Germany’s Radical New Cultural Protection Laws
07.04.2016, Artnet News: Art Cologne Director Calls New German Art Law ‘Idiotic’
Export ban placed on £1.5m Florentine table tops by culture minister: A temporary export ban has been placed on a pair of antique Florentine table tops worth £1.5m so a buyer can be found to keep them in the UK, the culture minister said.
11.04.2016, BBC: Export ban placed on £1.5m Florentine table tops by culture minister
Wikimedia Sweden found guilty of violating copyright with database of images of public art: The Swedish Supreme Court has ruled that Wikimedia Sweden’s free database of images of public works of art violates copyright laws. The Visual Copyright Society in Sweden (BUS) had sued Wikimedia, part of the non-profit foundation that oversees Wikipedia, for providing the public with a database of royalty-free images without the artists’ permission.
05.04.2016, The Art Newspaper: Wikimedia Sweden found guilty of violating copyright with database of images of public art
Bipartisan bill to remove hurdles for heirs seeking Holocaust-era art: A bill to eliminate any legal hurdles for the heirs of Holocaust victims to claim works of art looted by the Nazis was introduced into Congress on 7 April. The legislation is sponsored by Texas Republican Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, as well as Democratic New York Senator Chuck Schumer and Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal. The Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act would insure that claims to Nazi-confiscated art are not unfairly barred by statutes of limitations and other similar legal procedures but are resolved on their merits. The bill describes how over the past 70 years, many victims of Holocaust-era persecution and their heirs have taken legal action to recover Nazi-looted art.
11.04.2016, The Art Newspaper: Bipartisan bill to remove hurdles for heirs seeking Holocaust-era art
10.04.2016, Jewish Telegraphic Agency: Senate bill eases path to claims on art stolen by Nazis
09.04.2016, The Art Law Report: HEAR Act Introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz to Create Federal Standard for Holocaust Art Claims
07.04.2016, The Katy News: Cornyn, Cruz, Schumer and Blumenthal Introduce Bill to Help Recover Nazi-Confiscated Art
07.04.2016, CBS News: Ted Cruz cosponsors bill with New York Democrat to recover Nazi-confiscated art
Suit Questions Mapplethorpe Self-Portraits: A photographer is suing the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation and several prominent New York museums and galleries for $65 million, alleging copyright infringement over images of Mapplethorpe in drag that have long been identified as self-portraits.
07.04.2016, The Wall Street Journal: Suit Questions Mapplethorpe Self-Portraits
Fate of Pasadena Museum’s Masterpieces, Once Looted by Nazi Leader, Hangs in the Balance: The true ownership of “Adam’’ and “Eve” paintings dated 1530 literally hangs in the balance as a trial date has now been set, after a series of court rulings spanning nine years, to determine if Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum or the sole surviving heir of a Dutch-Jewish art dealer can claim them.
06.04.2016, Pasadena News Now: Fate of Pasadena Museum’s Masterpieces, Once Looted by Nazi Leader, Hangs in the Balance
What the Panama Papers Reveal About the Art Market: The so-called Panama Papers — the leak of 11.5 million files from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca — have given us a deep look into the many ways offshore shell companies are used to conceal the ownership of art.
11.04.2016, The New York Times: What the Panama Papers Reveal About the Art Market
11.04.2016, Artnet News: What You Need to Know About Art’s Role in the Panama Papers Thus Far
08.04.2016, The Art Newspaper: Panama Papers expose art world’s offshore secrets
08.04.2016, Artnet News: Panama Papers Reveal Secret Behind Billionaire’s Involvement in Ganz Collection
04.04.2016, The Art Newspaper: Panama Papers: Dmitry Rybolovlev used offshore company to hide art from wife, leaked documents reveal
08.04.2016, Artnet News: One of Azerbaijan’s Biggest Art Patrons Is Implicated in Panama Papers
08.04.2016, Artnet News: Chinese Auction House King Named in Panama Papers
Russian claims of ISIS profits from looted antiquities ‘do not add up,’ dealer body says: Russian allegations that ISIS is netting $150-$200m annually from the sale of looted Syrian and Iraqi antiquities have been dismissed by the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art (IADAA).
08.04.2016, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Russian claims of ISIS profits from looted antiquities ‘do not add up,’ dealer body says
Fake Brett Whiteley paintings sold for more than $3.6 million, court told: Two men created and sold fake paintings by famous Australian artist Brett Whiteley for more than $3.6 million, a court has heard. Supreme Court Justice Michael Croucher, when outlining the Crown case to the jury on Monday against art dealer Peter Gant and fine art restorer Mohamed Aman Siddique, said the pair had allegedly been involved in a joint criminal enterprise.
11.04.2016, The Age: Fake Brett Whiteley paintings sold for more than $3.6 million, court told
11.04.2016, The Australian: Brett Whiteley paintings ‘were made after artist died’
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