Goya’s Marquesa de Santa Cruz is back in London: Goya’s Marquesa de Santa Cruz is back in London. Those with long memories will know that this painting by Spanish artist Francisco Goya had been taken out of Spain in the mid-1980s and brought to auction at Christie’s in London, only to incur the ire of the Spanish government. The work had left Spain in 1983 accompanied by forged export documents. As an obvious national treasure, there was otherwise no way the Marquesa would have been allowed to leave the Iberian Peninsula.
12.10.2015, Institute of Art & Law Art Blog: Guess who’s back?
London Judge Rules Artworks by Graham Ovenden Must Be Destroyed: Artworks by an English artist convicted of pedophilia should pay the ultimate price, says a London judge who ruled that his paintings and photographs of naked or partially naked children are not fit for public or private eyes. Painter Graham Ovenden’s collection includes photographs and paintings by artists including 19th-century figures like French artist Pierre Louys and German-born artist Wilhelm von Pluschow. Those objects, as well as Ovenden’s works, must be destroyed, said District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe at Hammersmith Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
14.10.2015, Artnet News: London Judge Rules Artworks by Graham Ovenden Must Be Destroyed
The saga of Cornelius Gurlitt continues: After months of relative inactivity, there was news this week in the saga of Cornelius Gurlitt, the reclusive German man from whose apartments in Munich and Salzburg more than 1,280 objects were seized as part of a tax investigation, objects that came under suspicion of Nazi looting because of the privileged position held by his father Hildebrand Gurlitt. Representatives of the Ministry of Culture revealed this week that it intends to display next year some of the works found in the apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt nearly four years ago. According to Der Spiegel, the exhibition will show works that may have had Jewish owners in the Kunsthalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Art Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany) sometime near the end of 2016.
13.10.2015, Art Law Report: Gurlitt Collection May be Displayed Next Year, Real Progress Still Elusive as Focus Remains on Public Relations
Italy under pressure to steamline its cultural heritage laws: The top lots in London this week are two Fontana La Fine di Dio works. Meanwhile, a group of interested parties are working behind the scenes to get Italy to steamline its cultural heritage laws in the hopes of improving access to works so valued by the global market.
13.10.2015, Art Market Monitor: Italians Star in London As Industry Lobbies Milan to Loosen Laws, Improve Market
17.10.2015, Antiques Trade Gazette: Italian Trade Lobby to Change Export Laws
Private Property or Patrimony? The Fight Over a Picasso: After a team of customs agents seized a Picasso portrait of a longhaired woman with dark eyes from a yacht in the Mediterranean in July, the Spanish government flew the precious cargo back in a special plane fit for a work it considers a national treasure. The painting, “Head of a Young Woman,” from 1906, which is valued at 26 million euros, or $28.3 million, remains locked away in the Spanish capital in government custody. And the man who had owned the Picasso for 40 years, Jaime Botín, a billionaire banker and public figure in Spain, is furiously fighting for its return, asserting that the painting is his private property and has no national significance.
09.10.2015, New York Times: Private Property or Patrimony? The Fight Over a Picasso
Artist Served With Cease and Desist Order Over Nike Branded Handguns: A British artist’s interpretation of Nike’s classic AirMax sneaker landed him in a legal tangle with the American sportswear giant after he reimagined the branded shoe as handgun. In an interview with the athletic footwear trade magazine Sneaker Freaker, Phil Robson, who also goes by the name of Filfury, revealed that Nike slapped him with a cease and desist order for the design. According to Complex Magazine, the Nike-branded handguns bore the company’s iconic “tick” logo and recognizable features from their Nike Air Max 90 “Infrared” and Air Classic BW “Persian” shoes, which was a bit too controversial for the multinational corporation.
15.10.2015, Artnet News: Artist Served With Cease and Desist Order Over Nike Branded Handguns
Glasgow to compensate heirs of Nazi victim: It was reported this summer that Glasgow City Council has followed an earlier recommendation of the UK’s Spoliation Advisory Panel (SAP) in relation to a 16th century tapestry fragment held at the city’s Burrell Collection. The November 2014 report recommended that an ex gratia payment (literally meaning ‘for favour’) be made to the descendants of Emma Budge, a German-Jewish women whose family was deprived of the profits when the tapestry was sold after her death in 1937.
09.10.2015, Institute of Art & Law Art Blog: Glasgow to compensate heirs of Nazi victim
New Sentencing Guidelines Address Heritage Loss: On 6 October 2015, the Sentencing Council has published new guidelines for how offenders convicted of theft should be sentenced. The guidelines also set out for the first time that if an offence involves the theft of historic objects or the loss of the nation’s heritage, this can make an offence more serious.
06.10.2015, Sentencing Council News: Theft offences: new sentencing guidelines announced
17.10.2015, Antiques Trade Gazette: Sentencing Guidelines address heritage and emotional loss (paper copy)
Swiss politician quizzed over Nazi-looted painting: A painting by Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler which its Jewish owner was forced by the Nazis to sell in 1938 has turned up in the art collection of prominent Swiss politician Christoph Blocher.
15.10.2015, Thelocal.ch: Swiss politician quizzed over Nazi-looted painting
Can DNA Verification End Art Forgery Forever?: High-profile art forgery cases are on the increase. Cases such as the Knoedler scandal and the Wolfgang Beltracchi scandal have cost collectors and institutions billions of dollars. According to some estimates, as many as two in five artworks sold on the market today are fakes. In response, the University of Albany and Aris insurers have developed unique marking technology which could provide artworks with a unique synthetic DNA tag.
15.10.2015, Artnet News: Can DNA Verification End Art Forgery Forever?
12.10.2015, New York Times: Art Forgers Beware: DNA Could Thwart Fakes
13.10.2015, Art Market Monitor: Synthetic DNA Gets Its Day in Authentication
Lawsuits in Knoedler Forgery Case Are Set for Trial: Two lawsuits in the Knoedler & Company gallery forgery case, one of the art market’s more stunning scandals, are set to go to trial in January because there is “ample circumstantial evidence” for a jury to decide whether the gallery’s former president knew that some paintings she was selling were fake, a federal judge said in a ruling on Friday.
11.10.2015, New York Times: Lawsuits in Knoedler Forgery Case Are Set for Trial
12.10.2015, Art Market Monitor: Judge: Cases Against Ann Freedman Can Go Forward
Hollywood Sues Obscure Austrian Art Prize Over ‘Oscar’ Brand: Evidently the world’s not big enough for two Oscars. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences successfully convinced the Vienna Chamber of Commerce’s art trade committee to change the name of its honorary award for outstanding services to the arts. The so-called OscART has been awarded bi-annually to Austrian museums, art dealers, galleries, and collectors since 2011.
12.10.2015, Artnet News: Hollywood Sues Obscure Austrian Art Prize Over ‘Oscar’ Brand
Shepard Fairey Appears in Detroit Court: Street artist Shepard Fairey, facing felony charges on two counts of malicious destruction of property, made a brief court appearance in Detroit on Friday. The case against him stems from nine illegal pastings Fairey allegedly created earlier this year while he was in town to create a massive mural.
09.10.2015, Artnet News: Shepard Fairey Appears in Detroit Court
Art is a weapon as Russia and US fight cultural war: A US court decision threatens to erode cultural relations between Russia and the US even further. On 10 September, a federal judge in Washington, DC, fined Russia $43.7m for failing to hand over a collection of books and religious documents to a Jewish Orthodox organisation in Brooklyn. The collection belonged to Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch group, which was based in Russia for centuries. He fled the Soviet Union in the 1920s, leaving behind part of the library. Other books taken by him to Warsaw were looted by the Nazis and then seized by the Red Army and returned to Moscow in 1945.
12.10.2015, The Art Newspaper: Art is a weapon as Russia and US fight cultural war
Investment in art reaches £846m: Investment in the art market has reached $1.3bn (£846m), according to a report from Deloitte on art and finance. Buyers worldwide are increasingly acquiring collectibles from an investment viewpoint, which will most likely increase the need and demand for professional and wealth management services relating to the management and planning, preservation, leverage and enhancement of these assets, the report added.
14.10.2015, Financial Times Advisor: Investment in art reaches £846m
ICC Brings Antiquities Destruction Charges: A Malian civil servant has been brought on charges connected to 2012 destruction in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Timbuktu, the first such case to be brought since the Rome Statute was adopted in 2002. Defendant Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi was brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, where he entered no plea on charges alleging his involvement in a 2012 incident that saw Islamic militants destroy 14 of 16 mausoleums in Timbuktu.
09.10.2015, Blouinartinfo: ICC Brings Antiquities Destruction Charges
30.09.2015, ICC Press Releases: Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi makes first appearance before the ICC
Indian tribunal sets aside refund order for Osian’s art scheme: The Indian Securities Appellate Tribunal on Tuesday set aside an order that directed Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art to refund Rs 102 crore to investors. The Osian’s scheme is promoted by Neville Tuli, an art dealer.
13.10.2015, Business Standard: Tribunal sets aside refund order for Osian’s art scheme
Stolen Art in India: Indian artist Shruthi Venkataraman initiated legal action after finding out that her artwork was ripped off and used on various products sold online. Shruthi’s case comes close on the heels of the $750,000 lawsuit which made headlines recently, when Brooklyn muralist Maya Hayuk sued a global coffee chain for allegedly stealing her art.
15.10.2015, The Times of India: Are you buying stolen art?
Australian art gallery to return 2000 year old Buddha idol to India: An Australian art gallery has agreed to give a 2,000-year-old Buddha sculpture back to India.
11.10.2015, The Indian Express: Australian art gallery to return 2000 year old Buddha idol to India
Does The Asian Art Market Really Slow Down?: The first chance to assess whether the economic slowdown in China would have an impact on the art trade came in Hong Kong this week, with the autumn sales series at Sotheby’s and inaugural sales by Bonhams and Artcurial. Sotheby’s evening sale of modern and contemporary Asian art saw a healthy 85.7 per cent of the offerings finding buyers, and racked up HK$596m (US$76m).
09.10.2015, Financial Times: The Art Market: Slowdown? What slowdown?
13.10.2015, Art Market Monitor: Hong Kong Sets the Tone for Asian Market
Artist Stephen Bambury wins $139,000 in court case against gallery: A prominent Auckland artist was short-changed of over $139,000 in commissions by his dealer gallery, the High Court has found.
13.10.2015, AucklandNow: Artist Stephen Bambury wins $139,000 in court case against gallery
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