14 April 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

New York court rules Call of Duty video game as art: A New York judge has ruled that a video game is “art” and thus protected under the US Constitution’s First Amendment, after the owners of US military vehicle brand, Humvee, took legal action against Activision, the makers of the popular video game series Call of Duty, for using their brand. The decision, made at the end of March, is an important landmark in the understanding of artistic license used in game development and on other virtual platforms. 

13.04.2020, The Art NewspaperNew York court rules Call of Duty video game as art  

Hackers take £2.4m from Constable sale: A rustic scene of Hampstead Heath painted by John Constable is at the centre of a dispute after computer hackers tricked its buyer into sending £2.4 million to the wrong bank account. 

13.04.2020, The TimesHackers take £2.4m from Constable sale  

Austrian galleries plan cautious re-openings as government eases lockdown: Some Austrian galleries are planning to re-open this week—with cautious measures such as masks for customers and reduced opening hours—after the government announced it is easing restrictions introduced to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. 

09.04.2020, The Art NewspaperAustrian galleries plan cautious re-openings as government eases lockdown  

In matters of export and art, the state always seems to have its way: When it comes to the export of works of art, the state always wins… or at least it can seem that way. The latest case to offer proof comes from the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in the matter of R (Simonis) v Arts Council England.  

07.04.2020, The Institute of Art and LawIn matters of export and art, the state always seems to have its way  

Italian museum directors demand national fund for culture:  More than 2,450 cultural figures and prominent members of the Italian arts scene, including Roberto Cicutto, the president of the Venice Biennale; Gabriella Belli, the head of the civic museums of Venice; and Hou Hanru, the artistic director of the MAXXI Museum in Rome, are petitioning the Italian government to set up a national fund for culture.  

07.04.2020, ArtforumItalian museum directors demand national fund for culture 

Almost 98 percent of ‘Eastern Mediterranean’ antiquities sold in Germany are of questionable origin, a new report has found: Released by the German Federal Cultural Foundation in March, the investigation looked at the more than 6,000 antiquities from the Eastern Mediterranean offered for sale in Germany over a three-year period. It found that a mere 2.1 percent had proven legal provenance. The numbers are particularly troubling as the funds from black market antiquities often make their way back to terrorist organizations. 

06.04.2020, The Art NewspaperAlmost 98 percent of ‘Eastern Mediterranean’ antiquities sold in Germany are of questionable origin, a new report has found

United States

Christie’s to pay up to $16.7 million fine over tax violations: As part of an agreement to avoid prosecution, Christie’s will pay up to $16.7 million for failing to properly collect New York sales tax from 2013 to 2017 on private purchases made in the state or ultimately delivered there, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said last Thursday. 

09.04.2020, The New York TimesChristie’s to pay up to $16.7 million fine over tax violations 

10.04.2020, ArtforumChristie’s faces $16.7 million fine over tax violations 

09.04.2020, Art NewsChristie’s incurs sales tax fine from Manhattan District Attorney  

09.04.2020, The Art NewspaperChristie’s settles $16.7m in tax claims with New York District Attorney  

Sotheby’s photographs online sale reaches $3m, led by Moholy-Nagy photogram: On Friday 3 April, Sotheby’s Photographs sale, which was originally scheduled to take place as a live auction at the company’s New York headquarters ended its online bidding period— offering a total of 199 lots, the sale saw a sell-through rate of just 61%, but reached a solid total result of $3 million. 

08.04.2020, The Art Market MonitorSotheby’s photographs online sale reaches $3m, led by Moholy-Nagy photogram 

Covid-19 relief fund to give $10 million to artists: A coalition of more than twenty national arts funders has launched an emergency relief fund that will provide millions of dollars to artists struggling financially in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, which has more than 400,000 confirmed cases of the virus. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation kick-started the initiative with a $5 million gift that was matched by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Ford Foundation, the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and the Willem de Kooning Foundation, among other charitable organizations. 

08.04.2020, ArtforumCovid-19 relief fund to give $10 million to artists

World

A team of archaeologists has been arrested in Peru for violating lockdown to excavate pre-Colombian tombs: An archaeologist and his team of nine students have been arrested in Peru for continuing to excavate at a pre-Colombian cemetery despite the country’s nationwide lockdown. 

08.04.2020, ArtnetA team of archaeologists has been arrested in Peru for violating lockdown to excavate pre-Colombian tombs 

UNESCO denounces construction project near Lebanon’s ancient archaeological site Nahr El-Kalb: UNESCO has issued an open letter criticising a construction project based at the ancient archaeological site of Nahr El-Kalb, north east of Beirut in Lebanon. The site was placed on the “tentative list” for potential nomination to UNESCO’s World Heritage roster but the decision by the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) political party to build their headquarters in the area, which dates back to the second-century BC, has drawn fire from UNESCO director, Mechtild Rössler. 

06.04.2020, The Art NewspaperUNESCO denounces construction project near Lebanon’s ancient archaeological site Nahr El-Kalb

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