16 March 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Historic, high-value paintings stolen from Oxford college gallery: Three high-value paintings have been stolen in a burglary at Christ Church Picture Gallery in Oxford, police said. Thames Valley police said burglars had broken into the gallery on St Aldates, which is part of Oxford University’s Christ Church college, at around 11pm last Saturday.  

15.03.2020, The GuardianHistoric, high-value paintings stolen from Oxford college gallery  

The German Art Dealers Association is calling on the government to drop sales tax on art to mitigate the market impact of Coronavirus: The German Association of Galleries and Art Dealers has sent out a call on the government to lower sales tax on art in order to alleviate the financial setback from the rapid spread of coronavirus. 

13.03.2020, ArtnetThe German Art Dealers Association is calling on the government to drop sales tax on art to mitigate the market impact of Coronavirus 

Hitler’s helpers? German dynasty’s restitution claim hangs on Nazi ties: The Hohenzollern family is seeking compensation for thousands of works and expropriated property. How far did the Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia go in helping the Nazis? This is the key question in deciding the current claim by his great-grandson, Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia, for compensation for thousands of paintings, sculptures, porcelain objects, medals, furnishings, books and documents from the German government and the states of Berlin and Brandenburg. 

12.03.2020, The Art NewspaperHitler’s helpers? German dynasty’s restitution claim hangs on Nazi ties  

UK budget: freeports, money for patching up national museums and new £250m culture fund confirmed: The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has confirmed in today’s budget that his government under Prime Minister Boris Johnson will establish a £250m fund to support local museums and neighbourhood libraries. The budget, the first delivered since the UK left the European Union in January, also paves the way for a series of controversial freeports to be built across the country. 

11.03.2020, The Art NewspaperUK budget: freeports, money for patching up national museums and new £250m culture fund confirmed  

Culture Workers Protest UK’s Withdrawal From Creative Europe Program: An open letter addressed to the newly appointed UK culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, and signed by more than 680 culture workers is protesting the government’s decision to leave the European Union–backed Creative Europe program, which has invested more than $175 billion into creative industries across the EU in the last six years. Liverpool Biennial director Fatoş Üstek, playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah, and Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery director Alistair Hudson are among the signatories. 

11.03.2020, ArtforumCulture Workers Protest UK’s Withdrawal From Creative Europe Program 

09.03.2020, The Art NewspaperHundreds of art organisations outraged as UK withdraws from €1.46bn Creative Europe fund  

British Film Institute And Southbank Centre Will No Longer Be Sponsored By Shell: Leading UK arts organizations the Southbank Centre—a complex encompassing the Hayward Gallery, the National Poetry Library, and the Royal Festival Hall, among other venues—and the British Film Institute (BFI) will no longer receive funding from the fossil-fuel giant Shell. They are the latest cultural institutions to end relationships with major oil companies in recent months—citing the climate emergency, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Galleries of Scotland severed ties with British Petroleum last year. 

10.03.2020, ArtforumBritish Film Institute And Southbank Centre Will No Longer Be Sponsored By Shell 

10.03.2020, The Art NewspaperFossil-fuel giant Shell ends its support of London’s Southbank Centre  

Anger at fate of Picasso murals on building Anders Breivik bombed: The Norwegian government has been accused of sacrilege for pressing on with the demolition of a modernist concrete office block adorned with two Picasso murals.  

09.03.2020, The TimesAnger at fate of Picasso murals on building Anders Breivik bombed  

United States

Researchers Discover Dead Sea Scrolls at Museum of the Bible Are Forgeries: They were the crown jewel of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.: 16 fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the ancient manuscripts that contain the earliest known Hebrew copies of biblical texts, which the institution’s founders are rumoured to have acquired for more than $1 million. But last Friday, independent researchers funded by the museum to investigate the authenticity of the fragments announced that months of testing has determined that all 16 pieces are forgeries. 

13.03.2020, Art NewsResearchers Discover Dead Sea Scrolls at Museum of the Bible Are Forgeries  

California Man Pleads Guilty in $6 Million Art Fraud Case: Philip Righter pleaded guilty in federal court in Florida to charges that he tried to sell more than $6 million in counterfeit art, which he falsely claimed was created by the likes of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, prosecutors said this week. 

13.03.2020, The New York TimesCalifornia Man Pleads Guilty in $6 Million Art Fraud Case  

13.03.2020, The Miami HeraldL.A. man pleads guilty to selling forgeries of art by Haring, Basquiat to Miami gallery  

11.03.2020, The GuardianUS man pleads guilty to duping art buyers with fake Basquiats and Warhols  

New York’s Major Cultural Institutions Close in Response to Coronavirus: Several of New York’s largest and most prestigious cultural institutions — including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic — announced last Thursday that they would temporarily shut down in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

12.03.2020, The New York TimesNew York’s Major Cultural Institutions Close in Response to Coronavirus  

Cleveland Museum Of Art Receives Largest Gift In More Than Sixty Years: Ohio-based collectors Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley have pledged to donate more than one hundred Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and modern European and American paintings, drawings, and prints, as well as Chinese and Japanese ceramics and other artworks, to the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA). The promised gift is valued at more than $100 million and is the largest donation the CMA has received since 1958. 

11.03.2020, ArtforumCleveland Museum Of Art Receives Largest Gift In More Than Sixty Years 

The US Supreme Court’s silence on Nazi art theft fails Holocaust survivors: The US Supreme Court failed Holocaust victims and their families last week, when it refused to hear an appeal over the ownership of Picasso’s $100m masterpiece The Actor, which was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1952, and still hangs there. The case would have provided much-needed clarity on limitations for reclaiming Nazi-looted art under the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act (HEAR Act), which took effect in 2016 and opened a six-year window for victims and their heirs to pursue art lost due to Nazi persecution from 1933-1945. 

11.03.2020, The Art NewspaperThe US Supreme Court’s silence on Nazi art theft fails Holocaust survivors  

A Nonprofit Founded by Jonas Mekas Is Suing Online Auctioneer Paddle8 for Allegedly Failing to Hand Over the Proceeds From a Charity Auction: A cinema non-profit co-founded by the late filmmaker Jonas Mekas is suing online auctioneer Paddle8, along with several of its executives, in New York State Supreme Court for allegedly misappropriating funds from a charity auction that Paddle8 held for the non-profit, the New American Cinema Group, in November. 

10.03.2020, ArtnetA Nonprofit Founded by Jonas Mekas Is Suing Online Auctioneer Paddle8 for Allegedly Failing to Hand Over the Proceeds From a Charity Auction

World

In the Face of Sanctions, Supporting Artists in Iran is Difficult. One Ambitious Collector Is Trying to Change That: The acclaimed show, “Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians,” which was comprised of works from the holdings of Iranian-born art collector Mohammed Afkhami, is being revived for its East Coast debut at New York’s Asia Society Museum in October. It will arrive at a time of political turmoil: tensions between the US and Iran are as strained as they’ve been in decades and sanctions have sapped the latter nation’s arts economy. 

12.03.2020, ArtnetIn the Face of Sanctions, Supporting Artists in Iran is Difficult. One Ambitious Collector Is Trying to Change That  

Alarm sounds for art fairs across the world: Tefaf Maastricht bravely went ahead with the opening of its 33rd edition on March 7. But in an unprecedented move on March 11, the management had to cut short the fair — which was due to run until March 15 — after news that one of its exhibitors had tested positive for Covid-19. Their statement made no mention of the exhibitor who was taken unwell but The Art Newspaper reports that the person in question was an Italian modern art dealer and had left the fair on March 9. 

11.03.2020, The Financial TimesAlarm sounds for art fairs across the world  

Zambia claims Rhodesian Man, the 250,000-year-old fossilised skull at London’s Natural History Museum: The Zambian government is pursuing a claim, first made in 1972, for the return of the famed Rhodesian Man from the Natural History Museum in London. However, the UK government has refused to release key documents relating to the case. The 250,000-year-old fossilised skull was discovered in a mine in what was then Northern Rhodesia in 1921. The skull represents a Homo species that lacks some of the characteristics of extinct Neanderthals and modern mankind. 

09.03.2020, The Art NewspaperZambia claims Rhodesian Man, the 250,000-year-old fossilised skull at London’s Natural History Museum

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