15 March 2021

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

The heirs to a Jewish collector are appealing a decision allowing the Stedelijk to keep a Kandinsky painting it acquired during World War II: The heirs of a Jewish collector are lodging an appeal against the Dutch Restitutions Commission’s decision to allow the Stedelijk Museum to keep a Wassily Kandinsky painting in its collection.

12.03.2021, Artnet: The heirs to a Jewish collector are appealing a decision allowing the Stedelijk to keep a Kandinsky painting it acquired during World War II

National Trust’s report on colonial and slavery history did not breach charity law, regulator says: The UK’s National Trust has been cleared of claims that it breached charity law by publishing a report examining the slavery and colonial history of the properties in its care. The Charity Commission, the government’s regulator of registered charities in England and Wales, said on 11 March that it found “no grounds for regulatory action” against the trust.

12.03.2021, The Art Newspaper: National Trust’s report on colonial and slavery history did not breach charity law, regulator says

Hergé’s heirs sue artist over his Tintin/Edward Hopper mashups: A French artist who imagines romantic adventures for the boy adventurer Tintin in the landscapes of Edward Hopper has been sued by the Tintin creator Hergé’s heirs, who said it was not funny to take advantage of Tintin by putting him in an erotic universe, especially as Hergé had chosen not to caricature women.

12.03.2021, The Guardian: Hergé’s heirs sue artist over his Tintin/Edward Hopper mashups 

Forging ahead with historic restitution plans, Dutch museums will launch €4.5m project to develop a practical guide on colonial collections: With a landmark government policy and a major new research project, the Netherlands is taking the lead in the movement to confront the colonial past in museums. On 29 January, the government of prime minister Mark Rutte became the first in Europe to approve a central mechanism for repatriating colonial loot. Adopting the recommendations of an advisory commission, it pledged to return unconditionally any objects in the national collections found to have been stolen from former Dutch colonies.

10.03.2021, The Art Newspaper: Forging ahead with historic restitution plans, Dutch museums will launch €4.5m project to develop a practical guide on colonial collections

Consultation on exemption process for Ivory Act launched: The UK Government has launched a consultation on how exemptions to allow the trade in some items under the Ivory Act will be implemented and processed. 

10.03.2021, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Consultation on exemption process for Ivory Act launched

United States

New York Supreme Court permanently bans gallery from showing ‘distorted’ image of artist’s work: The New York Supreme Court ruled on 10 March that Spanierman Gallery caused damage to the reputation of artist Pat Lipsky when, in 2019, used manipulated image of her 1969 painting Bright Music II, with wildly distorted colours and background, on an online art sales platform. A ruling on monetary damages is now due to take place.

11.03.2021, The Art Newspaper: New York Supreme Court permanently bans gallery from showing ‘distorted’ image of artist’s work

Met to pay staff salaries with funds from deaccessioned works: Just a month after raising hackles with its announcement that it was considering selling off some of its rarely or never-seen works to offset its budget gap, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has said it has temporarily approved the use of funds raised via deaccessioning to pay its workers’ salaries. In doing so, it follows a precedent established by the Brooklyn Museum and other US institutions that have taken advantage of the new Covid-era guidelines established by the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD).

10.03.2021, Artforum: Met to pay staff salaries with funds from deaccessioned works

08.03.2021, The Washington PostThe Met plans to use money from art sales to help it survive the pandemic. Critics say it’s a dangerous precedent.

Pre-Columbian artefacts returned to Mexico by Arizona officials: Ending two separate investigations of suspected smuggled Mexican artefacts, officials from the US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) returned 277 pre-Columbian objects to the Mexican consulate in Nogales, Arizona, in a repatriation ceremony last Tuesday.

10.03.2021, The Art Newspaper: Pre-Columbian artefacts returned to Mexico by Arizona officials

A battle in the legal war over Robert Indiana’s legacy ends as his estate settles with the artist’s longtime representative: One chapter in the protracted legal battle over the legacy of the late Pop artist Robert Indiana has come to a close. Indiana’s estate reached a out-of-court settlement with the artist’s longtime representative and holder of his copyrights, the Morgan Art Foundation, and the organisation that oversees his former home, the Star of Hope Foundation.

08.03.2021, Artnet: A battle in the legal war over Robert Indiana’s legacy ends as his estate settles with the artist’s longtime representative

World

Russian culture figures fear new law change will require government approval for museum tours, exhibitions and lectures: Russian legislators have approved amendments to an education law that cultural workers fear will place arbitrary ideological restrictions on museum tour and lecture content as well as other cultural activities.

15.03.2021, The Art Newspaper: Russian culture figures fear new law change will require government approval for museum tours, exhibitions and lectures

JPG file sells for $69 million, as ‘NFT Mania’ gathers pace: After a flurry of more than 180 bids in the final hour, a JPG file made by Mike Winkelmann, the digital artist known as Beeple, was sold by Christie’s in an online auction for $69.3 million with fees. The price was a new high for an artwork that exists only digitally, beating auction records for physical paintings by museum-valorised greats like J.M.W. Turner, Georges Seurat and Francisco Goya. Bidding at the two-week Beeple sale, consisting of just one lot, began at $100. 11.03.2021, The New York Times: JPG file sells for $69 million, as ‘NFT Mania’ gathers pace

09.03.2021, The Institute of Art and Law: NFTs – a flash in the pan or a sign of things to come?

13.03..2021, Bloomberg: Market manipulation chatter rises as digital art scene explodes

13.03.2021, The Financial Times: NFTs: Beeple juices up the digital art market

13.03.2021, The Art Newspaper: Virtual museum to be built to house Beeple’s record-breaking digital work

12.03.2021, Le Journal des Arts: Une œuvre numérique vendue aux enchères 69 millions de dollars

12.03.2021, The Guardian: Non-fungible tokens are revolutionising the art world – and art theft

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