20 January 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Van Gogh Self-Portrait Is Genuine, Study Finds, Ending Decades of Doubt: After years of doubts about its authenticity, experts in Amsterdam have confirmed that a Vincent van Gogh self-portrait was indeed painted by the Dutch master as he recovered in a French asylum from a mental breakdown. 

20.01.2020, BloombergVan Gogh Self-Portrait Is Genuine, Study Finds, Ending Decades of Doubt  

20.01.2020, The GuardianGloomy Van Gogh self-portrait in Oslo gallery confirmed authentic  

UK fails to save painting of ‘paramount importance’ as Getty export licence is granted: A major work by the 18th-century artist Joseph Wright of Derby, Two Boys with a Bladder (1769-70), will leave the UK for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles after a bid to keep it in the country failed. 

20.01.2020, The Art NewspaperUK fails to save painting of ‘paramount importance’ as Getty export licence is granted  

Five Old Masters return to German castle 40 years after theft: The paintings, including works by Holbein and Hals, were smuggled across the Iron Curtain in the 1980s and recovered in a secret operation last year. 

20.01.2020, The Art NewspaperFive Old Masters return to German castle 40 years after theft   

Painting found hidden in Italian gallery wall confirmed as long-lost Klimt: Italian authorities have confirmed a painting found hidden in the wall of a Piacenza art gallery is the long-lost “Portrait of a Lady” by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. 

18.01.2020, CNN StylePainting found hidden in Italian gallery wall confirmed as long-lost Klimt  

17.01.2020, The GuardianPainting found inside Italian gallery wall confirmed as a Gustav Klimt  

17.01.2020, ARCARecovered ‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Gustav Klimt deemed authentic by Italian Experts.  

Recovered: Divān Manuscript containing the poetry collection of Hafez – the 14th century Persian poet of Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran: Thanks to the ongoing work of private investigators and cooperating law enforcement, family heirs will soon have back a rare centuries-old Persian manuscript collected by their relative.  The 14th century text was stolen from the private possessions of Iranian art collector Djafar Ghazy, who had lived in Neuhausen, in the district of Enz in Baden-Württemberg in Germany until his death in September 2007.   

17.01.2020, ARCARecovered: Divān Manuscript containing the poetry collection of Hafez – the 14th century Persian poet of Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran  

17.01.2020, ArtnetIran Was on the Hunt for a Stolen Persian Book Worth $1.1 Million. But the ‘Indiana Jones’ of the Art World Beat Them to It  

Berlin restitutes painting to heirs of ‘degenerate’ artist for the first time: Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie has restituted a 16th-century painting by Hans Baldung Grien to the heirs of Hans Purrmann, a friend of Henri Matisse who was persecuted by the Nazis as a “degenerate” artist and was forced to sell the work from his collection after losing his livelihood. 

17.01.2020, The Art NewspaperBerlin restitutes painting to heirs of ‘degenerate’ artist for the first time  

National Portrait Gallery acquires 20 works from collecting couple: The Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery has acquired 20 portraits of well-known figures as a gift from the investment banking titan Ian Cumming and his wife, Annette. Ranging from a 2012 tapestry portrait of a smiling Barack Obama by Chuck Close to Robert McCurdy’s 2017 oil painting of Muhammad Ali, nearly all the works will go on view on 24 April as part of a broader exhibition celebrating the couple’s holdings, “Visionary: The Cumming Family Collection.” 

17.01.2020, The Art NewspaperNational Portrait Gallery acquires 20 works from collecting couple   

A Group of Principled French Art Dealers Teamed Up to Buy 27 Looted African Artifacts at Auction—So They Could Return Them to Benin: A group of antiques dealers in France joined forces to buy 27 objects looted from Benin in order to return them to Africa. The private initiative led by a Paris-based art dealer has upped the ante on the restitution of African art looted during the colonial era, as French museums face mounting pressure to respond to a ground-breaking report on the subject commissioned by President Macron. 

17.01.2020, ArtnetA Group of Principled French Art Dealers Teamed Up to Buy 27 Looted African Artifacts at Auction—So They Could Return Them to Benin  

Jaime Botin Is Sentenced to Prison in Picasso Smuggling Fiasco: Jaime Botin, the uncle of Banco Santander SA Chairman Ana Botin, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined 52.4 million euros ($58 million) for smuggling a Pablo Picasso painting out of Spain. 

16.01.2020, BloombergJaime Botin Is Sentenced to Prison in Picasso Smuggling Fiasco  

16.01.2020, Art NewsCollector Jaime Botín Sentenced to Jail for Smuggling $27.4 M. Picasso Painting Out of Spain  

16.01.2020, The TimesBanking chief Jaime Botín faces jail and €52m fine for smuggling Picasso  

Released but still under investigation: Russian couple embroiled in fraud scandal: Russian collecting couple, Igor and Olga Toporovsky, have been released from custody in Belgium. The pair were arrested late December on suspicion of fraud and money laundering according to The Art Newspaper Russia. No charges have yet been brought but the pair remain under investigation. 

16.01.2020, The Art NewspaperReleased but still under investigation: Russian couple embroiled in fraud scandal  

United States

UK light artist sues Miami botanical garden over ‘unauthorised replicas’ of his work: The UK artist Bruce Munro, best known for his immersive, light-based installations, is suing the Florida-based Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens for copyright infringement. Munro claims that the Miami botanical gardens intentionally imitated his works for The NightGarden, a holiday illuminations event which ran from 15 November to 11 January. 

15.01.2020, The Art NewspaperUK light artist sues Miami botanical garden over ‘unauthorised replicas’ of his work  

Artists Pen Letter Protesting Moma’s Ties To Controversial Donors: Almost half of the artists currently featured in MoMA PS1’s exhibition “Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991–2011” have signed an open letter urging New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and PS1 to divest from “any trustees and sources of funding that profit from the suffering of others.” The letter arrives a little over two months after British artist Phil Collins pulled his work from the show days before its opening, and specifically targets the museum’s relationship to Leon Black, the chairman of MoMA’s board of trustees and an ex-officio member of PS1’s board, for his links to the US-based private security firm Blackwater. 

14.01.2020, ArtforumArtists Pen Letter Protesting Moma’s Ties To Controversial Donors 

15.01.2020, The Art NewspaperArtists in PS1 Gulf War show urge museum to sever ties with toxic philanthropy  

Carnegie Library rare books theft: men plead guilty in US county court: Two men pleaded guilty in connection with the theft of rare books and manuscripts from the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

14.01.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteCarnegie Library rare books theft: men plead guilty in US county court 

Secret papers on famous artists including Gauguin, Renoir and Monet to be revealed: The tension between the art world’s traditional secretiveness and today’s desire to share data spilled out in a question at the inaugural meeting of the International Catalogue Raisonné Association at Christie’s London in November. “If you let people know which works by artists are ‘location unknown’, fakers may supply the missing work,” said one attendee. 

14.01.2020, The Art NewspaperSecret papers on famous artists including Gauguin, Renoir and Monet to be revealed 

World

Trial begins with the testimony of witnesses in the case against Raouf Boutros Ghali, while Egypt continues to seek the arrest of Italy’s former honorary consul in Luxor, Ladislav Otakar Skaka: During a court hearing on Sunday, January 19, the Cairo Criminal Court of Abdin, headed by Counselor Mohamed Ali Mostafa El-Feky, began hearing the first of witness testimony in the trial against Raouf Boutros Ghali and others on various charges related to the smuggling of Egyptian antiquities into Europe.  During that hearing the Egyptian prosecution laid out its investigation into the case into the smuggling of 21,855 Egyptian artifacts which had earlier been seized by Italian authorities.  

20.01.2020, ARCATrial begins with the testimony of witnesses in the case against Raouf Boutros Ghali, while Egypt continues to seek the arrest of Italy’s former honorary consul in Luxor, Ladislav Otakar Skakal 

The fraught business of removing and selling street art murals: Banksy is well known for creating murals in the dead of night, frequently addressing social ills like homelessness or poverty. Tourists and fans gather around each of his new creations, often spurred to the site by a post on the anonymous artist’s Instagram account. So the idea of removing one of these works from public view and selling it is bound to stir up strong emotions. 

20.01.2020, CNN StyleThe fraught business of removing and selling street art murals  

Recovered Kushan sculpture to be repatriated to Afghanistan: Last Friday the Art Loss Register (ALR) announced the forthcoming repatriation of a sculpture to Afghanistan. The fragment has been recovered after being offered for sale at TimeLine Auctions, a UK auction house, in late 2019. 

17.01.2020, The Art Loss Register NewsRecovered Kushan sculpture to be repatriated to Afghanistan  

Russian government quits as Putin rewrites constitution—with the help of key cultural leaders: In a shock announcement last Wednesday, the Russian president Vladimir Putin called for sweeping constitutional changes. To be approved by a popular vote, the amendments are being widely interpreted as a bid to stay in power beyond the end of his fourth presidential term in 2024. His speech was followed by the Russian government resigning en masse, including the highly controversial culture minister, Vladimir Medinsky, further confusing Kremlin watchers. 

16.01.2020, The Art NewspaperRussian government quits as Putin rewrites constitution—with the help of key cultural leaders  

16.01.2020, ArtnetVladimir Putin Has Asked Two Russian Museum Directors to Help Him Rewrite the Country’s Constitution So He Can Stay in Power  

The Art Market — Art Basel Hong Kong takes a hit: Art Basel confirms that three galleries have pulled out of its Hong Kong fair — Luxembourg & Dayan (London and New York), Tyler Rollins Fine Art (New York) and SCAI The Bathhouse (Tokyo) — after organisers offered extra time for committed exhibitors to pay a reduced withdrawal fee (75 per cent of the booth cost rather than 100 per cent). Fifteen per cent of exhibitors have also taken up an offer to reduce the size of their booths, lowering their financial commitment, a spokeswoman confirms. Art Basel Hong Kong (ABHK) runs from March 19-21 and has committed to a refund of at least 75 per cent if forced to cancel, given the ongoing unrest. 

15.01.2020, The Financial TimesThe Art Market — Art Basel Hong Kong takes a hit

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