14 December 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Treasure, treasure everywhere – Government plans to update Treasure Act: On Friday 2nd December 2020 it is likely that many archaeologists, curators and metal detectorists woke up pleased at the announcement from the Government that the definition of treasure for the Treasure Act 1996 will be revised. However, it is also equally probable that the same number were perplexed and worried as to how this change, amongst others, would be implemented. The Government announced back in February 2019 that it was holding an open consultation to consider various changes to the Act. The IAL covered the announcement and also provided an overview of its response to the consultation here.

11.12.2020, The Institute of Art and Law: Treasure, treasure everywhere – Government plans to update Treasure Act

10.12.2020, The Antiques Trade Gazette: More items found by metal detectorists to be saved for the nation as Treasure definition set to be changed

04.12.2020, BBC News: Government to ‘redefine treasure finds’ in England and Wales

Prague does not own Alphonse Mucha masterpiece, court rules: The District Court of Prague has ruled against the capital in a case regarding a seminal cycle of paintings by the Czech Art Nouveau painter and designer Alphonse Mucha. The lawsuit was filed by the artist’s grandson John, who claimed that the city had violated the terms of a 1913 agreement between Mucha and his benefactor, the American philanthropist Charles R. Crane, which stipulated that the works would be gifted to Prague on the condition that the city build a pavilion to house them.

09.12.2020, Art News: Prague does not own Alphonse Mucha masterpiece, court rules

Painting in Brussels hall turns out to be an original by Flemish master Jacob Jordaens: A painting that hung for decades in a municipal building in Brussels has been authenticated as the work of Flemish master Jacob Jordaens. After analysis including dendrochronology – dating works from the wood panels they are painted on – experts determined that it is the oldest known version of The Holy Family by Jordaens, painted in the early 17th century.

09.12.2020, The Guardian: Painting in Brussels hall turns out to be an original by Flemish master Jacob Jordaens

09.12.2020, Art News: Experts authenticate Flemish master painting found in Brussels municipal building

09.12.2020, Artnet: Art historians have discovered an exceptional work by a famed Flemish Old Master hiding in plain sight in a Brussels town hall

Dutch panel for looted art claims must change course, report finds: A review commissioned by the Dutch culture minister found that the country’s art restitution panel showed too little empathy to victims of Nazi aggression and sided too often with museums.

07.12.2020, The New York Times: Dutch panel for looted art claims must change course, report finds

08.12.2020, Art News: New report recommends Dutch Restitutions Commission be ‘more empathic’ in handling claims

07.12.2020, TheArt Newspaper: Dutch policy on Nazi-looted art should be more humane and transparent, panel finds

The art trade benefits from the UK’s low import duty. What will happen to it after Brexit?: The UK has long been a tax efficient entry point for the import of art and other assets into the EU single market. However, with the Brexit transition period coming to an end on 31 December and still no deal having been reached, it is unclear what the UK import rules will look like from January.

07.12.2020, The Art Newspaper: The art trade benefits from the UK’s low import duty. What will happen to it after Brexit?

09.12.2020, The Institute of Art and Law: Brexit and importing cultural goods

United States

Smithsonian and Berlin museums join forces to investigate Asian art provenance: The Smithsonian Institution and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, the organisation which runs Berlin’s museums, have joined forces to establish an international network of provenance researchers focussed on Asian art, including expert exchanges, webinars and a public programme of events.

10.12.2020, The Art Newspaper: Smithsonian and Berlin museums join forces to investigate Asian art provenance

Supreme Court hears arguments in landmark cases over art stolen by Nazis during Holocaust: The US Supreme Court is wrestling with the vexed question of whether art and other property stolen by the Nazis from Jews in Germany and Hungary can be recovered or recouped through the US courts. 08.12.2020, The Guardian: Supreme Court hears arguments in landmark cases over art stolen by Nazis during Holocaust

08.12.2020, The Art Newspaper: US Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Guelph Treasure claim

Artist sues museum and city of L.A. after his work is accidentally thrown away: But is it art? That’s the question at the center of a dispute between a Los Angeles museum and an artist who showed there. Artist David Lew, who goes by the name Shark Toof, has sued the Chinese American Museum and the city of Los Angeles, among other defendants, for throwing his work in the trash after displaying it

07.12.2020, The Los Angeles Times: Artist sues museum and city of L.A. after his work is accidentally thrown away

08.12.2020, The Art Newspaper: Artist sues Los Angeles and the Chinese American Museum for junking his work

World

The most Important moments in art in 2020: This was a year of protests and pivots. Monuments fell, museums looked inward. On the bright side, galleries persisted despite the pandemic’s grip and curators rolled out magisterial retrospectives.

12.12.2020, The New York Times: The most Important moments in art in 2020

What should the museums of tomorrow be?: The pandemic is only the latest blow in what has been a dramatic series of shocks to museums, throwing into question their role in society, their governance and even their very existence. These shocks have ranged from the ethics of sponsorship, accusations of racial injustice and lack of diversity, decolonisation issues to turmoil about the very definition of a museum.

10.12.2020, The Financial Times: What should the museums of tomorrow be?

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