Call to change UK cultural export law: Citing the facts surrounding the recent Rembrandt export licence application withdrawal, there has been a call by the head of the Art Fund to change the rules regarding cultural export controls in the United Kingdom. Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar refers to the process for obtaining an export licence as being run by way of “gentleman’s agreements”, open to abuse by wealthy (foreign) owners of national artistic treasures.
14.12.2015, Institute of Art and Law: Call to change cultural export law
07.12.2015, The Sunday Telegraph: “Loophole” lets foreign buyers take British art
Gurlitt Task Force Issues Fifth Recommendation for Restitution: As the original term of the Gurlitt Task Force (Taskforce Schwabinger Kunstfund) winds down, the panel has issued a report on a work that it deems appropriate for restitution: Interior of a Gothic Church (Inneres einer gottischen Kirche) by Adolph von Menzel (pencil drawing, signed/dated 1874). This is the fifth work on which the panel has made a public statement. The decision is interesting for many reasons, among them that any pronouncement about the works formerly in the possession of Cornelius Gurlitt has been rare, and that unlike the previous four, this opinion is much more formalistic.
15.12.2015, The Art Law Report: Gurlitt Task Force Issues Fifth Recommendation for Restitution
France’s Sapin Says Art Market Is A Source of Revenue for IS: The international art market is a source of revenue for the Islamic State, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on the country’s RFI radio station. The United Nations must take steps to regulate the art market better, Sapin said in the interview.
16.12.2015, Bloomberg: France’s Sapin Says Art Market Is A Source of Revenue for IS
Dutch museum renaming art for cultural sensitivity: Amsterdam’s acclaimed Rijksmuseum has started renaming works of art in its vast collection whose titles could be considered inappropriate by a modern audience. Through the initiative, called Adjustment of Colonial Terminology, museum officials expect to alter around 350 titles in a collection which numbers 1.1 million pieces.
15.12.2015, CNN: Dutch museum renaming art for cultural sensitivity
UK Copyright Law Change Will Impede Classic Designs From Being Photographed: The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 will extend copyright to artistic objects like designer furniture from 25 years after it was first marketed to 70 years after the creator’s death. In most cases that will be over a hundred years after the object was designed. During this period, photographing an item will require permission from the copyright holder, regardless of who owns the object or where it is placed in the photo.
13.12.2015, Artlyst: UK Copyright Law Change Will Impede Classic Designs From Being Photographed
There is no Nazi gold train, Polish scientists say: Scientists have quashed a claim by two amateur treasure hunters that they had discovered a legendary gold train hidden by the Nazis in a southern Polish railway embankment.
15.12.2015, The Guardian: There is no Nazi gold train, Polish scientists say
Historic England Asks The Public For Information On Stolen Public Art: Historic England has launched an appeal to trace some of the most important bronze sculpture of the 20th century, which has gone missing, over the last decade. It is thought that several major artworks created by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Lynn Chadwick have already been destroyed.
15.12.2015, Artlyst: Historic England Asks The Public For Information On Stolen Public Art
Regional museums given chance to buy renowned British art: Regional museums are being invited to pitch for some seriously expensive contemporary art, beyond the wildest dreams of their curators’ budgets, but now available through a new philanthropy project.
11.12.2015, The Guardian: Regional museums given chance to buy renowned British art
Jeff Koons Sued Yet Again Over Copyright Infringement: Jeff Koons is in trouble over copyright infringement, yet again. On Monday, New York photographer Mitchel Gray filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court over Koons’ 1986 artwork I Could Go For Something Gordon’s, from his series “Luxury & Degradation.” Gray claimed that Koons used his original 1986 photograph—which depicts a woman painting on the beach, with a man sitting beside her—“nearly unchanged and in its entirety” to create his I Could Go For Something Gordon’s piece. Besides Koons, Gray is also suing the auction house Phillips, which—according to the New York Post—sold the artist’s proof in 2008 in London for $2.04 million, as well as the unnamed former owner of the work.
15.12.2015, Artnet News: Jeff Koons Sued Yet Again Over Copyright Infringement
15.12.2015, The New York Post: Photographer sues pop artist Jeff Koons over gin-ad photo
16.12.2015, Artnet News: Experts Weigh In on Jeff Koons Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
Beverly Hills antiquities dealer sentenced to jail for smuggling scheme: The former Beverly Hills antiquities dealers Jonathan and Cari Markell were sentenced by a federal judge in Los Angeles on Monday for their roles in an antiquities smuggling and tax evasion scheme that triggered sweeping raids on California museums in 2008.
16.12.2015, The Art Newspaper: Beverly Hills antiquities dealer sentenced to jail for smuggling scheme
PETA and Opponents Sling Arguments In “Monkey Selfie” Copyright Case: One of the defendants in the “Monkey Selfie” copyright case, Blurb, Inc., the publisher of photographer David Slater’s picture, has moved to dismiss, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has responded. The back and forth is, well, something akin to the infamous barrel full of monkeys. Blurb’s motion to dismiss is short and to the point. As the introduction summarizes: “The Copyright Act affords no rights or protections to animals, the courts have repeatedly found that human authorship is required for copyright protection, and the U.S. Copyright Office has outright rejected any assertion that Copyright Act protects “photograph[s] taken by a monkey.” Accordingly, Next Friends cannot establish that Naruto owns a valid copyright, much less that it was infringed by Blurb.”
13.12.2015, The Art Law Report: PETA and Opponents Sling Arguments In “Monkey Selfie” Copyright Case
Defying Fears of a Cooling Market: “Buy the best, forget the rest” has become the conventional wisdom for collectors in today’s investment-minded art market. But what does “the best” mean? Clearly it meant different things to the 77,000 people who flocked to Art Basel Miami Beach this month.
11.12.2015, International New York Times: Defying Fears of a Cooling Market
Israeli museum hopes to solve mystery of looted painting: The Beggar by Eugeniusz (Eugene) Zak – a Jewish-artist born near Minsk, who lived and painted in Paris in the 1920s – depicts an elderly figure in orange clothes and with a sign around his neck in front of a purple building. For over half a century it has hung in the Museum of Art, in Ein Harod, Israel, but how it came to be there had not been questioned by curators. Looted in Paris by the Nazis, the story of Zak’s painting, and how it ended up Israel, is a testament to the continuing story not only of so-called orphaned works of art, where the owners cannot be traced – but also the complex and continuing politics of the identification and restitution of stolen Nazi art. The work was only recently identified as stolen by a visiting Polish graduate student, studying art stolen from the period.
16.12.2015, The Guardian: Israeli museum hopes to solve mystery of looted painting
15.12.2015, The Times of Israel: Artwork stolen by Nazis found… at Israeli museum
Russian Art Is Latest Oil Casualty as Auction Houses Pull Back: Plunging oil sent jitters through markets for high-yield bonds and energy stocks. Another casualty: Russian art. The latest Russian art sales at four London auction houses tallied 17.2 million pounds ($25.9 million) earlier this month, the lowest in records dating to 2007 and a 58 percent drop from a year ago, according to RussianArtandCulture.com. Christie’s is ending standalone sales of Russian art in New York, the company said, and Mark Moehrke is leaving as head of its Russian works of art department, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
15.12.2015, Bloomberg: Russian Art Is Latest Oil Casualty as Auction Houses Pull Back
Second Version of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ Discovered in Private Collection in St. Petersburg: The stream of news and discoveries about Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa are seemingly never ending. In a shocking twist, it’s now been reported that a second version of the iconic portrait might have been discovered in a private collection in St. Petersburg. Experts are now analyzing the artwork in order to establish whether it is a genuine work by Leonardo da Vinci or simply one of the many convincing replicas in existence around the world. The research is being coordinated by Italian expert Silvano Vinceti, who claims there’s already sufficient evidence to suggest the painting could be genuine.
14.12.2015, Artnet News: Second Version of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ Discovered in Private Collection in St. Petersburg
Christie’s Indian Sale Sets Record with $4.4m Gaitonde as Overseas Buyers Show Up in Mumbai: Christie’s is finding success in Indian art by holding sales in Mumbai but the buyers are coming from out of country with some flying to India from Philadelphia and California to participate.
16.12.2015, Art Market Monitor: Christie’s Indian Sale Sets Record with $4.4m Gaitonde as Overseas Buyers Show Up in Mumbai
16.12.2015, The Wall Street Journal: See the Record-Breaking Painting by Indian Artist Gaitonde That Just Sold at Auction for $4.4 Million
15.12.2015, Business Standard: We have big plans for India: Christie’s
Rich Chinese shaking up art market: More Chinese collectors are turning to Western art in recent years, a trend which may change the whole landscape of the global art market. According to Nanfang Daily, several local auction houses in Guangdong are introducing Western artwork at their sales.
16.12.2015, The Star Online: Rich Chinese shaking up art market
Santa Fe mayor proposes cultural district to fight fake art: Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales is proposing a cultural district to cut down on vendors selling faux Native American art. Gonzales has proposed an ordinance that would require vendors within the district to disclose the origins of their artwork or face the loss of their business license. The proposal comes less than two months after a federal sting operation that resulted in the arrest of three New Mexicans who were charged with violating the Indian Arts and Crafts Act by allegedly conspiring to sell Filipino-made jewlry as Native-made. According to data from the University of New Mexico, counterfeit art may make up as much as 40 to 90 percent of the Native arts market.
16.12.2015, News Channel 10: Santa Fe mayor proposes cultural district to fight fake art
15.12.2015, Santa Fe Reporter: Countering the Counterfeit Art Market
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