25 August 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Frank Bowling is locked in a $39.2 million legal battle with his former London gallery: The painter Frank Bowling is currently locked in a £30-million ($39.2 million) legal battle with London-based Hales Gallery, with both parties accusing the other of breach of contract. The 86-year-old artist alleged that the gallery, which represented him from 2010 to 2019, has wrongly held on to 110 of his paintings, cumulatively valued at £14 million ($18.3 million), and has continued to sell his work despite the alleged termination of their partnership in October of last year. Bowling additionally accused the gallery of failing to keep him updated on the status of his artworks and finances, claiming that he is owed at least £1.8 million ($2.3 million) in sales. 

24.08.2020, ArtsyFrank Bowling is locked in a $39.2 million legal battle with his former London gallery.  

Hunt is on for rightful owner of Nazi-looted French painting: A 19th-century oil painting stolen from Nazi-occupied France during the second world war has gone on display in an attempt to trace its rightful owners, after being returned by the son of the German soldier who was ordered to take it. 

20.08.2020, The GuardianHunt is on for rightful owner of Nazi-looted French painting  

It’s official: galleries and art fairs at risk of collapse can apply for UK’s £1.57bn rescue package: The British government has announced that commercial arts organisations, including galleries and art fairs, are eligible to apply for its £1.57bn coronavirus rescue package—if firms can prove they are no longer trading viably by the end of this financial year. 

19.08.2020, The Art NewspaperIt’s official: galleries and art fairs at risk of collapse can apply for UK’s £1.57bn rescue package  

Ivory Act: no more challenges to new law says Supreme Court: Friends of Antique Cultural Treasures (FACT) Ltd, a company set up to fight the act’s near-total ban on the trade in antique ivory, had hoped to challenge the decision of the Court of Appeal in May this year. However, an order from the Supreme Court was issued on August 10 stating that permission to appeal had been refused. 

17.08.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteIvory Act: no more challenges to new law says Supreme Court 

United States

Bathurst family sues art lender over Gainsborough painting offered as collateral by disgraced dealer: Members of a British noble family, led by Rupert Edward Ludlow Bathurst, 4th Viscount Bledisloe, are suing the New York firm Art Finance Partners LLC and its owner Andrew Rose over a Thomas Gainsborough painting which the disgraced dealer Timothy Sammons allegedly gave the company as collateral for a loan, despite not being its rightful owner. In their complaint, the family members say that Art Finance Partners should have known that the work did not belong to Sammons, and they are asking for its return as well as damages.  

24.08.2020, The Art NewspaperBathurst family sues art lender over Gainsborough painting offered as collateral by disgraced dealer  

American authorities have returned 10 looted antiquities worth a combined $1.2 million back to India: A group of looted antiquities seized in the US are making the long journey home. At a ceremony at the Indian Consulate in New York on August 14, India’s independence day, officials from the US Department of Homeland Security returned to India 10 stolen antiquities valued at a combined $1.15 million. 

20.08.2020, ArtnetAmerican authorities have returned 10 looted antiquities worth a combined $1.2 million back to India 

A Spanish museum can keep a Nazi-looted Camille Pissarro painting despite family’s objections, an appeals court rules: A long-running and complex legal battle over a valuable Camille Pissarro painting stolen from its owners by Nazis on the eve of World War II may have at last reached its conclusion. An appeals court in Pasadena, California, upheld a district court’s ruling in favour of Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, which currently owns the painting, Rue Saint-Honoré in the Afternoon, Effect of Rain (1897). 

18.08.2020, ArtnetA Spanish museum can keep a Nazi-looted Camille Pissarro painting despite family’s objections, an appeals court rules 

19.08.2020, The Art NewspaperUS appeals court rules—with regret—that Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation can keep Nazi-looted Pissarro  

23.08.2020, Le Journal des ArtsLa justice américaine s’oppose à la restitution d’un Pissarro à une famille spoliée

World

How does a thief unload stolen art? here are 5 ways criminals actually profit from museum heists: The FBI estimates that art crime is multi-billion-dollar-a-year illicit industry, and while much of it is made up of low order theft, the plundering of a museum never fails to steal headlines.  

24.08.2020, ArtnetHow does a thief unload stolen art? here are 5 ways criminals actually profit from museum heists 

Belarus art collector Viktor Babariko, rival to President Alexander Lukashenko, jailed before election: Belarus’s most prominent art collector, Viktor Babariko, has been jailed after launching a challenge to strongman president, Alexander Lukashenko. Babariko, widely seen as Lukashenko’s main rival, was arrested in June, ahead of this month’s elections and sent to a Belarus KGB pre-trial detention centre on charges of laundering $430m, but the arrest is widely regarded as politically motivated. 

24.08.2020, The Art NewspaperBelarus art collector Viktor Babariko, rival to President Alexander Lukashenko, jailed before election  

Kariye Museum in Istanbul to be turned into a mosque: President Erdogan of Turkey issued a decree to allow the Kariye (Chora) Museum to be used as a mosque. The structure, originally the Church of Christ in the Chora Monastery, is decorated with frescoes that are considered masterpieces of Byzantine art. After the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, the church was converted into a mosque; in 1945, it was declared a national monument. The move follows the ruling in November 2019 by the country’s top administrative court that the use of the building as a museum was unlawful on the grounds that it violates the Ottoman decree dedicating it to Muslim worship. The latest decree in turn follows one issued last month transferring the Hagia Sophia to the Religious Affairs Directorate and allowing it to be used as a mosque. 

21.08.2020, ApolloKariye Museum in Istanbul to be turned into a mosque  

24.08.2020, The Art NewspaperFirst Hagia Sophia, now Turkey’s ‘Sistine Chapel of Byzantium’ will be turned back into mosque  

24.08.2020, Artnet: Months after turning the Hagia Sophia back into a mosque, Turkey’s government is converting the Chora museum too 

UNESCO, ICOM and Louvre rally to help Beirut as museums tackle extensive explosion damage: A coalition of international museums and heritage organisations are co-ordinating “cultural first aid” for Beirut institutions affected by the devastating explosions of 4 August. 

17.08.2020, The Art NewspaperUNESCO, ICOM and Louvre rally to help Beirut as museums tackle extensive explosion damage

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