Art@Law | Constantine Cannon
Experts call for regulation after latest botched art restoration in Spain: Conservation experts in Spain have called for a tightening of the laws covering restoration work after a copy of a famous painting by the baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo became the latest in a long line of artworks to suffer a damaging and disfiguring repair.
22.06.2020, The Guardian: Experts call for regulation after latest botched art restoration in Spain
23.06.2020, The Times: Murillo’s Immaculate Conception botched by restorer
October Frieze fairs in London will be smaller, reconfigured and may be combined—if they can go ahead, organisers say: Grappling with ongoing uncertainty surrounding large-scale events in the UK, Frieze has sent a letter to its exhibitors saying that, if it can go ahead with its Frieze London and Frieze Masters fairs in early October, they will have to be smaller, with fewer visitors and may be combined into one tent for the first time. The organisers have asked galleries to confirm whether they would like to exhibit at the two fairs by next Friday 26 June, but stresses that it will refund 100% of stand rental fees to every gallery that commits, if it is forced to cancel.
19.06.2020, The Art Newspaper: October Frieze fairs in London will be smaller, reconfigured and may be combined—if they can go ahead, organisers say
‘A bricks-and-clicks approach is the way forward’: Berlin dealers report lively in-person sales at the Art Basel booths they built in their galleries: While dealers around the world were wringing their hands last Wednesday, wondering if Art Basel’s Online Viewing Room would deliver with all its tweaks and toggles since its first tech-addled edition for Hong Kong in March, art dealers in Berlin were hosting analogue versions of their Basel booths at their physical galleries. The event, Basel by Berlin, was planned in less than two weeks after a few dealers test-ran the idea this past spring in Berlin, where many lockdown restrictions have been lifted. “It brings back a little of the Eros we are missing,” says Daniel Wichelshaus from Société. The 32 participants even hosted an “exhibitor dinner” last Thursday as an homage to the festivities they’d normally be enjoying any other year.
Images of a stolen Van Gogh give experts hope it can be recovered: A private art detective investigating the case said he was sent the images of the work, which was taken from a Dutch museum in March. The photographs look like the sort of images that kidnappers distribute with a ransom demand to establish that their victim is alive. A newspaper’s front page is included and used as a time stamp to indicate that the images are recent.
18.06.2020, The New York Times: Images of a stolen Van Gogh give experts hope it can be recovered
18.06.2020, The Guardian: Dutch art detective says he has ‘proof of life’ of stolen Van Gogh painting
20.06.2020, Le Journal des Arts: Des photos d’un tableau volé de Van Gogh comme « preuve de vie »
Dealers report robust sales for top-dollar works at virtual Art Basel fair as art world migrates online: Following the virtual iterations staged with Art Basel Hong Kong and Frieze New York, the art market has largely acclimated to the swift move online, especially when it comes to offering high-value works to remote buyers. During the first day, dealers reported numerous big sales at the virtual Art Basel fair, which runs through June 26, indicating that galleries’ investments in building out their online offerings have paid off.
Legal wrangle into disputed Frans Hals painting continues as investment firm wins right to appeal: Last year auction house Sotheby’s won its case against Fairlight Art Ventures, the former business partner of Weiss. Now Fairlight Art Ventures has been granted the right to appeal the decision.
17.06.2020, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Legal wrangle into disputed Frans Hals painting continues as investment firm wins right to appeal
Masterpiece pulls out the stops for its first online edition: Accustomed as we have become to receiving news of events cancelled or pushed back, many will be relieved to see a familiar fixture remain on the calendar with the launch of Masterpiece Online (22–28 June). Taking in its stride an unexpected start to its second decade, the fair – now in its 11th edition – sees 138 exhibitors adapt to exhibiting online, each offering a digital presentation of works featured both on the fair’s newly redesigned website and an online viewing room hosted by Artsy.
16.06.2020, Apollo: Masterpiece pulls out the stops for its first online edition
18.06.2020, The New York Times: This year, a London art fair will happen everywhere
Art Fund unblocks £2m in grants to reopen UK museums and ‘prevent immediate insolvency’: The Art Fund is unlocking more than £2m in rapid-response funding to support UK museums and galleries preparing to reopen amid the Covid-19 pandemic, after months of lost visitor income.
16.06.2020, The Art Newspaper: Art Fund unblocks £2m in grants to reopen UK museums and ‘prevent immediate insolvency’
16.06.2020, Artforum: UK’s Art Fund to award $2.5 million in Coronavirus relief for cultural institutions
A $10 million Basquiat and a $35 million Barnett Newman are the latest big-ticket lots secured for the socially distanced summer auction season: In an attempt to fight virtual-event fatigue, auction houses are getting creative with their summer sales—and they are securing major lots to do it. Phillips announced today that a prized Jean-Michel Basquiat work estimated at $10 million will highlight its upcoming 20th century and contemporary art evening sale in New York. Meanwhile, Onement V, a Barnett Newman zip painting from 1948 (estimated at $30 million to $40 million) will lead Christie’s ONE: A Global Sale of the 20th Century, a virtual “relay-style” auction that will take place across four cities and three time zones on July 10.
18.06.2020, Art News: Christie’s unveils $30 M. Barnett Newman to lead global ‘ONE’ Auction in New York
New York galleries can now legally reopen for business by appointment: On Monday, June 8, New York City entered phase one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s four-phase reopening plan, becoming the last region in the state to do so. For the first time since mid-March, art dealers in the city were allowed to resume in-person business, albeit in a drastically different fashion. “Delivery, curbside, and in-store pick-up service only” were the blanket orders issued by the state to those businesses (including ones in the construction, manufacturing, and wholesale supply sectors) that were allowed to resume operations.
17.06.2020, Artnet: New York galleries can now legally reopen for business by appointment
As galleries begin to re-open, dealerships that survived the Spanish Flu reflect on art sales in the age of pandemics: Galleries across Europe are already beginning to open, as are a few intrepid and socially distanced ones in the UK and US. Yet a study conducted by The Art Newspaper has found that a third of galleries (33.9%) do not expect to survive the coronavirus crisis. Surprisingly, however, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic had little impact on the livelihoods of some dealers. Then, as now, the key to survival is to keep clients close—and competitors closer.
19.06.2020, The Art Newspaper: As galleries begin to re-open, dealerships that survived the Spanish Flu reflect on art sales in the age of pandemics
Fifty years on: the meaning of the 1970 UNESCO Convention: Amidst the sad turmoil (for some) and the uncertainty (for all) brought on by the pandemic and the resultant lockdown, it is perhaps more forgivable than usual to miss an important anniversary. 2020 marks 50 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, an international instrument that set out to curb the illicit trade in looted cultural property, including – though not exclusively – antiquities. This anniversary is particularly special because we are now twice as far removed from the Convention’s enactment as the Convention was from the end of the Second World War (1945) and the establishment of the modern international order. In addition, the last 25 years have seen the Convention really come into its own. There might in fact be far more to celebrate at the 50th anniversary than there had been at the 25th, when the future of the Convention looked most uncertain indeed.
18.06.2020, The Institute of Art and Law: Fifty years on: the meaning of the 1970 UNESCO Convention
‘Embarrassingly out of kilter’ law destroys 46,000-year-old Aboriginal sacred sites: The destruction of 46,000-year-old sacred Aboriginal rock shelters in Western Australia has prompted a national inquiry and calls for urgent reform of Indigenous cultural heritage law. During a mine expansion project, Rio Tinto detonated explosives in the Juukan Gorge in May, destroying two deep cave sites of the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura People (PKKP).
17.06.2020, The Institute of Art and Law: ‘Embarrassingly out of kilter’ law destroys 46,000-year-old Aboriginal sacred sites
How artists are adapting their work to virtual fairs and online viewing rooms: In the absence of the flesh-pressing, glass-clinking fervour of real life art fairs, many artists are embracing the seclusion of lockdown and readily adapting to the art world’s newfound digital status, creating works specifically with virtual fairs and online viewing rooms in mind.
17.06.2020, The Art Newspaper: How artists are adapting their work to virtual fairs and online viewing rooms
Chris Burden Estate files copyright infringement lawsuit against Indonesian theme park: A new lawsuit claims that an Indonesian theme park attraction is infringing on the copyright of one of Los Angeles’s most iconic artistic landmarks. On June 4, the Estate of Chris Burden filed suit against the Rabbit Town park in Bandung, West Java, and its owner, Henry Husada, in the Commercial Court at the Central Jakarta District Court. The suit alleges that Rabbit Town’s Love Light looks too similar to Burden’s famed Urban Light (2008) sculpture, which is permanently installed on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and has become one of the most identifiable works of public art in the world.
16.06.2020, Art News: Chris Burden Estate files copyright infringement lawsuit against Indonesian theme park
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