16 November 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Jewish collections looted by the Nazis to be examined and traced in new database: A new database that aims to provide a comprehensive registry of all the Jewish collections looted by the Nazis has announced a pilot project focussing on the fate of the collection of Adolphe Schloss, whose store of Dutch Old Masters was seized by the Gestapo from the French chateau where they had been hidden for safekeeping. One third of the collection is still missing.

20.11.2020, The Art NewspaperJewish collections looted by the Nazis to be examined and traced in new database

A French court acquits four anti-colonial activists who removed a spear from a museum, saying the gesture counts as free speech: A French court has cleared four activists of theft charges after they removed a spear from the city’s Museum of African, Oceanic, and Amerindian Arts over the summer to raise awareness of the importance of restitution and protest French museums’ holding of African heritage.

19.11.2020, ArtnetA French court acquits four anti-colonial activists who removed a spear from a museum, saying the gesture counts as free speech

Authorities make arrests in $1.2 b. Dresden jewel theft:Almost exactly a year after three 18th-century jewelry sets estimated to be worth some €1 billion (around $1.2 billion) were stolen in Germany, investigators have detained three German citizens suspected of committing the heist, according to a report in the Guardian. The arrests were made after 18 raids in Berlin involving over 1,600 police officers occurred last Tuesday morning, and officials said they had linked the Dresden theft to a crime syndicate, which they also said was responsible for another theft in Berlin.

17.11.2020, Art NewsAuthorities make arrests in $1.2 b. Dresden jewel theft
17.11.2020, The Art NewspaperGerman police arrest three suspects in Dresden jewel heist investigation
18.11.2020, Le Journal des ArtsVol au musée de Dresde : la police tient des suspects mais cherche les diamants

Dispute over allegedly forged Frans Hals Painting heads back to court in the UK: A legal dispute over an allegedly forged Frans Hals painting that passed through Sotheby’s is back in court, according to a report by the Art Newspaper. In December 2019, a London High Court ruled that the consignor of the painting, the company Fairlight Art Ventures, owes the house repayment for offering it. But now Fairlight has appealed the decision, reportedly using a legal particularity defining their role in the transaction to claim that they do not owe Sotheby’s.

16.11.2020, Art NewsDispute over allegedly forged Frans Hals Painting heads back to court in the UK:
16.11.2020, The Art NewspaperSeller contests having to repay Sotheby’s for allegedly forged Frans Hals

United States

US museums groups raise concerns as settlement deal over Nazi-looted Pissarro heads back to court: Léone-Noëlle Meyer, a French heiress who in 2016 agreed to share her family’s Nazi-looted painting with the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art in a landmark restitution deal, has changed her mind. The once settled case is now back in court, as Meyer, 81, seeks to prevent Camille Pissarro’s La Bergère Rentrant des Moutons (or The Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep) (1886), from returning to Oklahoma for three years as part of a court-stipulated exchange, raising concerns from US museum groups. Last week, in a joint letter backing the earlier deal, the leaders of the American Association of Museums (AAM) and the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) wrote: “We hope that the current matter can be resolved quickly as in accordance with the settlement agreement so that not only will the painting be on view as contemplated, but, more important to us, that future potential consensual resolutions to Nazi-era claims will not be negatively affected by the current proceedings.”

22.11.2020, The Art NewspaperUS museums groups raise concerns as settlement deal over Nazi-looted Pissarro heads back to court

Smithsonian and National Gallery of Art will shut down again amid spike in coronavirus cases: Amid a wave of US museum shutdowns, all eight of the Smithsonian Institution’s reopened facilities in the Washington, DC area and the National Gallery of Art (NGA) announced that they were closing again in response to a steep rise in local and national Covid-19 cases.

19.11.2020, The Art NewspaperSmithsonian and National Gallery of Art will shut down again amid spike in coronavirus cases

Nearly a third of U.S. museums remain closed by pandemic, survey shows: A survey by the American Alliance of Museums makes clear that nearly one in three museums in the United States remains closed because of the pandemic, and most of those have never reopened since the initial shutdown in March.

17.11.2020, The New York TimesNearly a third of U.S. museums remain closed by pandemic, survey shows
19.11.2020, Le Journal des ArtsUn tiers des musées américains toujours fermés

World

Banks are the ‘New Medici’ when it comes to art collecting: Seventy-eight percent of the International Association of Corporate Collections of Contemporary Art’s 56 members have continued to acquire art during Covid, says Loa Haagen Pictet, chair of the Geneva-based organization. 

22.11.2020, BloombergBanks are the ‘New Medici’ when it comes to art collecting

Where next for museums? Four key takeaways from Louvre Abu Dhabi symposium on the post-pandemic future: More than 60 museum experts from five continents came together on 16-18 November to participate in Reframing Museums, a virtual symposium organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi and New York University Abu Dhabi. Speakers included the directors of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, the Museum of Black Civilisations in Dakar, the not-yet-open Lucas Museum in Los Angeles and Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi. The event marked Louvre Abu Dhabi’s third anniversary and NYU Abu Dhabi’s tenth anniversary.

20.11.2020, The Art NewspaperWhere next for museums? Four key takeaways from Louvre Abu Dhabi symposium on the post-pandemic future
 

‘A crisis is always a good time to unite’: Russian art galleries form new alliance to boost industry: A group of Russia’s contemporary art galleries have teamed up to form an association that aims to simplify the country’s notoriously tricky customs processes and boost the market with the help of some government funding.

20.11.2020, The Art Newspaper‘A crisis is always a good time to unite’: Russian art galleries form new alliance to boost industry

Metropolitan Museum of Art appeals for protection of cultural heritage sites in Nagorno-Karabakh: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York issued a plea for the preservation of cultural heritage sites in the Nagorno-Karabakh region as Azerbaijan moves to take control of swaths of territory under a Russian-brokered peace deal for the enclave.

17.11.2020, The Art NewspaperMetropolitan Museum of Art appeals for protection of cultural heritage sites in Nagorno-Karabakh


Africa’s art market grows even amid adversity:While many European and US art fairs, biennials and other larger cultural events have been—and continue to be—cancelled or postponed well into 2021 due to concerns related to Covid-19, their African counterparts are going ahead—with caution. They are, however, finding not only support but success, stoking optimism for more emerging markets amid a global economic downturn.

17.11.2020, The Art NewspaperAfrica’s art market grows even amid adversity

NOTE: Please note that most excerpts come from the original publication and any credit must go to the author of the publication, not to Constantine Cannon LLP.  Any views or opinions expressed in the excerpts and/or articles belong solely to the author of the publication.  Constantine Cannon LLP does not approve or endorse any view or opinion contained therein.  Due to some copyright restrictions, please doot redistribute this email without our consent.  Should you like to include someone in the mailing list, please let us know.  We will be happy to do it! If you do not wish to receive the Art Law News Update, please unsubscribe through the link below.