17 February 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

France Returns Nazi-Looted Porcelain to Family: After discovering that 17 Sèvres porcelain pieces in its holdings were looted by the Nazis during World War II, the French state has restituted the objects to the heirs of Lucy Jonquet, who once owned them. During the war, the 18th-century pieces were held by the Jeu de Paume, and in 1951, the works entered the collection of the Musée National de Céramique in Sèvres. The research that led to the restitution of the works was done by the Musées Nationaux Récupération. 

14.02.2020, ArtforumFrance Returns Nazi-Looted Porcelain to Family  

14.02.2020, Le Journal des Arts17 objets d’art restitués aux descendants d’une collectionneuse spoliée  

13.02.2020, The French Ministry of CultureRestitution de 17 objets d’art spoliés, faisant partie des œuvres dites Musées nationaux Récupération (« MNR »), aux ayants droit de Lucy Jonquet  

Charge of unlawful possession of items of cultural value has been added to existing charges against Vasil Bozhkov: During a news briefing on Thursday, 13 February, Bulgarian authorities announced that they have added two additional charges to add to those already filed against Vasil Bozhkov. 

14.02.2020, ARCACharge of unlawful possession of items of cultural value has been added to existing charges against Vasil Bozhkov  

11.02.2020, ARCAThe less than clear origins of fugitive Vasil Bozhkov’s Thrace and Private Collection  

British dealer James Butterwick cleared of defamation for describing Russian Avant-garde works in Mantua exhibition as fake: James Butterwick, the British dealer and specialist in the Russian Avant-garde, has been cleared by the Tribunale di Milano of charges of defamation brought by the organisers of the exhibition Avanguardie russe dal Cubofuturismo al Suprematismo held in Mantua from November 2013 to February 2014. In a ruling given on 29 January 2020, judge Stefania Pepe said that Butterwick’s opinion was based on his “proven and recognised competence and experience”, which, “although trenchantly stated”, was “never offensive or gratuitous”. There is no right of appeal. 

13.02.2020, The Art NewspaperBritish dealer James Butterwick cleared of defamation for describing Russian Avant-garde works in Mantua exhibition as fake  

Sotheby’s First Major Contemporary Art Auction After Brexit Brings in a Steady $120 Million, Led by Tepid Bidding on a Hockney Pool Painting: In London last Tuesday night, just two weeks after the official withdrawal of the UK from the European Union cast a gloomy shadow over the international art market, London’s winter contemporary art sales got under way at Sotheby’s. 

11.02.2020, ArtnetSotheby’s First Major Contemporary Art Auction After Brexit Brings in a Steady $120 Million, Led by Tepid Bidding on a Hockney Pool Painting  

Climate activists take over British Museum in all-night protest against BP sponsorship: Climate activists calling on the British Museum to cut ties with its longstanding corporate sponsor, the oil and gas giant BP, ended their 51-hour occupation of the London museum last Sunday morning after a day of mass demonstrations. 

10.02.2020, The Art NewspaperClimate activists take over British Museum in all-night protest against BP sponsorship  

United States

Recent case of ‘stolen’ Turing memorabilia highlights the complexities of the law of title: An intriguing series of events has led the US Government to commence court action over a collection of objects associated with Alan Turing, the British mathematician. Alan Turing is famous for his involvement in breaking the German Enigma code during WW2 and for his contribution to the field of computer science. This case raises questions around title to property, theft, conversion and the law of gift, highlighting just how complicated these issues can be. 

13.02.2020, The Institute of Art and LawRecent case of ‘stolen’ Turing memorabilia highlights the complexities of the law of title  

MoMA acquires historic Gordon Parks series The Atmosphere of Crime: The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York has acquired a full set of photographs by Gordon Parks from The Atmosphere of Crime series, a photographic essay examining crime in America he created on assignment with Life magazine in 1957. Along with 55 modern colour inkjet prints created from Parks’s transparencies, selected and bought in consultation with the Gordon Parks Foundation, the foundation has gifted a vintage gelatin silver print that matches a work already in MoMA’s collection, given by the photographer in 1993. Around 15 pieces from the series will go on view in a dedicated gallery on the fourth floor in May, along with an excerpt from his classic 1971 film Shaft and works by other artists from the collection, as part of the next reinstallation of the permanent galleries. 

11.02.2020, The Art NewspaperMoMA acquires historic Gordon Parks series The Atmosphere of Crime  

A Small Pennsylvania Museum Just Discovered It Has Owned a Rembrandt for 70 Years Without Knowing It: For five decades, a museum in eastern Pennsylvania believed it owned a painting that was made in the studio of Rembrandt van Rijn. After sending it out for routine maintenance, they learned that the 388-year-old work was in fact made by the Dutch Golden Age artist himself.  

10.02.2020, ArtnetA Small Pennsylvania Museum Just Discovered It Has Owned a Rembrandt for 70 Years Without Knowing It  

Metropolitan Museum of Art Will Investigate Painting That Belonged to Art Dealer Persecuted by Nazis: New research suggests that a 17th-century painting held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was likely owned by Jewish art dealer Siegfried Aram, who left the work in Germany when he fled the country in 1933. According to a report by the New York Times, the museum is launching an investigation into the work’s history. 

10.02.2020, Art NewsMetropolitan Museum of Art Will Investigate Painting That Belonged to Art Dealer Persecuted by Nazis  

World

Convictions in the Nizam Museum Theft: Two burglars, Mohammed Mubeen and Mohammed Ghouse Pasha, responsible for the jewelry theft from the Nizam Museum housed in the Purani Haveli palace have been found guilty and convicted by a local court in Hyderabad, India last Tuesday.  

12.02.2020, ARCAConvictions in the Nizam Museum Theft.  

Malaysian Artists Cry Foul as the National Gallery in Kuala Lumpur Censors Four Artworks for Their Political Content: Four artworks by the Malaysian artist Ahmad Fuad Osman were removed from his mid-career survey at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur after an unnamed board member complained about their political content. 

11.02.2020, The Art NewspaperMalaysian Artists Cry Foul as the National Gallery in Kuala Lumpur Censors Four Artworks for Their Political Content 

Cultural heritage trafficking is in decline, says dealer association report: The IADAA has revealed that recently published figures from the latest World Customs Organisation’s Illicit Trade Report shows that crimes related to cultural property represented 0.08% of illicit trade in goods globally. This is a decline from the already low figure of 0.2% in 2017. 

10.02.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteCultural heritage trafficking is in decline, says dealer association report  

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