24 December 2018

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Dutch policy on Nazi-loot restitutions under fire: The Dutch government’s policy in handling Nazi-looted art claims for works in public museums puts it “at risk of becoming a pariah” as the “smallest and most chilling distinctions are being made in order to allow museums to keep their collections intact,” two leading claimants’ representatives wrote in an opinion piece published on the website of NRC Handelsblad, a Dutch newspaper. 

21.12.2018, The Art NewspaperDutch policy on Nazi-loot restitutions under fire  

Britain’s pillaging of the Benin Bronzes begs for a reasonable resolution: In 1897, British troops marched on Benin City, the capital of the fabled West African kingdom of Benin, ruled over by a powerful Oba. The attack was called a “punitive expedition” because it was a retaliatory response to the Oba having massacred a British delegation of eight officials, two traders and local escorts the previous month.  

21.12.2018, The Art NewspaperBritain’s pillaging of the Benin Bronzes begs for a reasonable resolution  

Beyond Brexit: The new reality and changing landscape for the art and antiques market in 2019: The art market is not always what it seems. In August, Sotheby’s CEO Tad Smith made the extraordinary admission that just two lots – a $139m Modigliani nude sold in May and a £24m Picasso portrait in June – had reduced the firm’s entire commission margin by 1.1% for the first half of 2018. 

21.12.2018, Antiques Trade GazetteBeyond Brexit: The new reality and changing landscape for the art and antiques market in 2019  

UK approves ivory ban: The UK Parliament has approved an ivory ban, which now only requires Royal Assent, which is expected within days. This follows the bill’s third reading in the House of Lords on 11 December.  

19.12.2018, The Art NewspaperUK approves ivory ban  

20.12.2018, BBC NewsUK ivory ban: Elephants protected as new rules become law  

20.12.2018, Antiques Trade GazetteIvory bill receives Royal Assent from Queen to become the Ivory Act 2018  

20.12.2018, Gov.ukWorld-leading UK Ivory Bill becomes law  

Government to gain more powers to keep art treasures in the UK: Currently if an artwork is deemed significant then it can be prevented from export temporarily to allow time for UK buyers, such as museums, to raise the funds to match the price the owner paid to keep it in the UK. 

19.12.2018, Antiques Trade GazetteGovernment to gain more powers to keep art treasures in the UK  

The Times view on the Gentileschi painting: the spectre of Nazi looting must be acknowledged: Culture is universal, yet the holdings of the National Gallery in London are dominated by male artists. Of 2,300 works in its collection, only 20 are by women. Little wonder that the gallery should have stumped up £3.6 million this year to buy a masterpiece titled Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria by the 17th-century Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi.  

17.12.2018, The TimesThe Times view on the Gentileschi painting: the spectre of Nazi looting must be acknowledged  

United States

They Look Like the Emperors’ Clocks. But Are They Real?: To stroll through the Hall for Ancestral Worship deep within the Forbidden City is to appreciate the fascination that ornate mechanical timepieces held for successive emperors of China. Many were brought to the Ming and Qing courts as precious gifts by European ambassadors from the 17th century to the 19th. Others were later manufactured in local workshops in Beijing, Suzhou and especially, Guangzhou, in southern China. 

21.12.2018, The New York TimesThey Look Like the Emperors’ Clocks. But Are They Real?  

Art dealer lines up Picasso sale via blockchain: The art market spent much of 2018 trying to harness hyped cryptocurrencies, whose performance this year then proved dismal. There’s much work to do in this unproven field but Marcelo García Casil, chief executive of the blockchain-powered platform Maecenas, plans a second tokenised offering of a work of art in the new year — though this time with more stable digital currencies.  

21.12.2018, The Financial TimesArt dealer lines up Picasso sale via blockchain  

The recent protests at the Whitney show museum trustees’ dealings cannot be ignored: In the first days of the arrival of the “migrant caravan”, as President Trump described those travelling from politically unstable regions in Central America to seek asylum in the US, the news was filled with horrifying photos of women and children being gassed by US soldiers along the Mexican border.  

21.12.2018, The Art NewspaperThe recent protests at the Whitney show museum trustees’ dealings cannot be ignored  

This Artist Sued Museums for $100 Million for Declining to Show His Work. But a Judge Isn’t Buying It: Artists often feel like the art world is rigged against them. But so far, the courts don’t agree. A judge has thrown out an antitrust case brought by artist Robert Cenedella—also known as the “Art Bastard”—against the Metropolitan Museum of Art and four other major New York museums for allegedly conspiring to eliminate competition in the art market by showing only a small group of predetermined names. Surprisingly, however, he also left the door open for Cenedella to try again. 

20.12.2018, ArtnetThis Artist Sued Museums for $100 Million for Declining to Show His Work. But a Judge Isn’t Buying It  

The Itsy-Bitsy, Teenie-Weenie, Very Litigious Bikini: On a sunny summer day in Montauk, Ipek Irgit was in the familiar situation of not knowing what she was doing with her life. It was 2012, and she was 34 years old. Earlier in the year, after having her heart broken, she had taken a vacation in Brazil, visiting Rio de Janeiro and the beach towns of Bahia. Now she was on the beach on Long Island, wearing a handmade-looking bikini with crochet and exposed elastic straps, trying to figure out what to do and who to be. 

20.12.2018, The New York TimesThe Itsy-Bitsy, Teenie-Weenie, Very Litigious Bikini  

“Pushing The Boundaries Of What An Art Fair Can Be”: New Curators for Frieze New York 2019: An unprecedented number of museum leaders will collaborate on new themed sections and artist commissions at the 2019 edition of Frieze New York. “It is an honor to collaborate with these institutional leaders who are at the forefront of shaping the art and ideas of today. With their contribution, Frieze New York 2019 will offer an experience that is both dynamic and challenging – pushing the boundaries of what an art fair can be.” (Loring Randolph, Artistic Director, Frieze) 

20.12.2018, Frieze“Pushing The Boundaries Of What An Art Fair Can Be”: New Curators for Frieze New York 2019  

These street artists once feared being arrested. Now they’re painting condos and offices: As a teen, Daniel Fila was tossed out of Miami-Dade’s DASH — Design and Architecture High School — after getting in trouble for tagging a wall with graffiti. By the time he was 21, he’d been arrested three times. Today he’s making “a solid living” as a Miami-based artist and helping other street artists do the same, thanks in part to the growing appetite for bringing street art inside. 

20.12.2018, Miami HeraldThese street artists once feared being arrested. Now they’re painting condos and offices  

Church Leaders Sue Princeton Over ‘Stolen’ Manuscripts: They are simultaneously sacred texts and works of art, three illuminated Byzantine-era manuscripts that are more than 1,000 years old and that for decades have been part of a heralded collection at Princeton University. The college received the items as a gift in 1942 from a trustee and alumnus who had bought them from a German auction house nearly 20 years earlier. 

14.12.2018, The New York TimesChurch Leaders Sue Princeton Over ‘Stolen’ Manuscripts

World

Old Masters — and Mistresses: a review of the year’s trends in art: Defying expectations and most of the odds, the market for Old Master paintings and drawings has been stronger in 2018 than it has looked in years. Having just survived the virtual collapse of the middle market, a seismic shift in taste and an ageing dealer/collector-base, it has emerged subtly different. This Old Master market is less “old”: an enthusiastic new generation of younger dealers, saleroom specialists and museum curators has been working hard and imaginatively to find and nurture the next generation of their collector peers. 

21.12.2018, The Financial TimesOld Masters — and Mistresses: a review of the year’s trends in art  

21.12.2018, Le Quotidien de l’ArtMarché de l’art : ce qu’il faut retenir de 2018  

Museums must confront the big issues: Public museums “are the true teachers of a free people”. So said Gottfried Semper—architect, democrat and social reformer—when making the case for London’s South Kensington Museum (later the Victoria and Albert Museum) in the mid-19th century. Semper thought that the rising tide of democracy in the 1800s meant that public collections had a pivotal duty to educate “our future masters”. 

20.12.2018, The Art NewspaperMuseums must confront the big issues  

What does the reopening of the National Museum of Damascus mean for Syria?: The National Museum of Damascus, which reopened in October six years after civil war forced its closure, is one of the world’s great collections of archaeological and historical treasures.  

19.12.2018, ApolloWhat does the reopening of the National Museum of Damascus mean for Syria?  

Freshly Out of Jail, Artist Tania Bruguera Files a Defamation Lawsuit Against Cuba: Artist Tania Bruguera has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Cuban government, an action she claims is the first of its kind. Bruguera, who has been detained and imprisoned by the Cuban government on several occasions, most recently earlier this month, is currently campaigning alongside fellow artists to protest Decree 349, a proposed law that would curtail freedom of expression in the country. 

18.12.2018, ArtnetFreshly Out of Jail, Artist Tania Bruguera Files a Defamation Lawsuit Against Cuba  

Award-Winning Photographer Lu Guang Went Missing in Xinjiang; Now Chinese Authorities Admit He Was Arrested: The disappearance of award-winning photographer Lu Guang in China’s troubled Xinjiang region last month finally has an explanation.  

18.12.2018, FriezeAward-Winning Photographer Lu Guang Went Missing in Xinjiang; Now Chinese Authorities Admit He Was Arrested  

Shifts among the major auction houses could spell serious change: The brain drain of executives from auction houses continues apace. In the third shock departure in roughly as many weeks, Loic Gouzer, Christie’s co-chairman of post-war and contemporary art in the Americas, announced today, 17 December, he will leave the firm at the end of the year. 

17.12.2018, The Art NewspaperShifts among the major auction houses could spell serious change

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