25 February 2021

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Beloved Brancusi sculpture can be removed from Paris cemetery after legal battle: After nearly a century on view and a legal battle spanning more than a decade, a Constantin Brancusi sculpture that had been one of the top attractions in Paris’s Montparnasse Cemetery can be taken away from its longtime home. The French outlet Le Monde reports that in December a French court sided with the heirs of the person buried beneath the gravestone on which the Brancusi is set, meaning that the family can reclaim the work.

18.02.2021, Art News: Beloved Brancusi sculpture can be removed from Paris cemetery after legal battle

17.02.2021, Le Monde: Au cimetière du Montparnasse, le baiser de la discorde

Cy Twombly foundation ‘absolutely prepared to take legal action’ after Louvre ‘destroys’ artist’s ceiling painting in renovation works: The Cy Twombly Foundation has threatened the Musée du Louvre with legal action after the museum renovated a gallery that bears a ceiling painted by the US artist, according to the French newspaper Le Monde. While the ceiling remains undamaged, the surrounding changes to the walls and objects on display have altered Cy Twombly’s painting, the foundation says.

18.02.2021, The Art Newspaper: Cy Twombly foundation ‘absolutely prepared to take legal action’ after Louvre ‘destroys’ artist’s ceiling painting in renovation works 

16.02.2021, Art News: Louvre accused of ‘serious damage’ to massive Cy Twombly work after renovation

15.02.2021, Le Monde: La Fondation Cy Twombly dénonce un « affront odieux » du Louvre

Talks on UK-EU artists visa yet to start, admits minister: A UK minister admitted that the government had so far failed to open talks with EU countries to ease the plight of music, fashion, acting and other creative industries hit by post-Brexit bureaucracy.

16.02.2021, The Financial Times: Talks on UK-EU artists visa yet to start, admits minister

18.02.2021, Artnet: No longer able to easily work in Europe, UK artists are urging Boris Johnson to renegotiate Brexit terms to allow for visa-free travel

United States

Auction house suspends sale of 19th-century Jewish burial records: This month a rare relic of Cluj’s Jewish past surfaced at a New York auction house. A bound memorial register of Jewish burials in the city between 1836 and 1899 was one of 17 documents offered for, and then withdrawn from sale, at Kestenbaum & Company, a Brooklyn auction house that specializes in Judaica.

19.02.2021, The New York Times: Auction house suspends sale of 19th-century Jewish burial records

Christie’s auction house will now accept cryptocurrency: Last October, the digital artist Mike Winkelmann, who goes by Beeple, put a digital artwork in an edition of 100 up for sale. Each work cost $1, and the entire set sold out in less than one second. Today the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) representing the digital artworks are trading on Nifty Gateway, an NFT marketplace run by the Winklevoss twins, for “well over $50,000,” Winkelmann says. (The site lists the average resale price as $6,559, but the artist says that number is misleading, as it includes early, low-priced sales.)

18.02.2021, Bloomberg Christie’s auction house will now accept cryptocurrency

16.02.2021, Art News: Christie’s to sell its first fully digital work of art in test of emerging market

18.02.2021, Smithsonian Magazine: Entirely digital artwork will be sold by major auction house for the first time

19.02.2021, The Art Newspaper: Christie’s to accept cryptocurrency for first time

Met director defends move to consider deaccessioning for collections care rather than art purchases: The director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Max Hollein, defended the museum’s decision to consider selling art, known as deaccessioning, to finance care of its collections and salaries for its employees. A New York Times report that it was mulling sales for that purpose had brought a wave of criticism.

17.02.2021, The Art Newspaper: Met director defends move to consider deaccessioning for collections care rather than art purchases

World

Proposed resort and water park threaten ancient heritage of Angkor Wat in Cambodia: The Cambodian heritage site of Angkor, which encompasses the sprawling ancient temple complex of Angor Wat as well as the surrounding landscape, could be threatened by the forthcoming construction of a vast resort and theme park, much to the alarm of Unesco.

18.02.2021, The Art Newspaper: Proposed resort and water park threaten ancient heritage of Angkor Wat in Cambodia

Authenticity dispute over Hermitage Fabergé exhibit: The “Fabergé: Jeweler to the Imperial Court” exhibit at the Hermitage Museum finds itself at the center of a scandal about fakes. It began with an accusation by one Russian art dealer about another Russian art dealer. On Jan. 10 André Ruzhnikov, a London-based art and antiques specialist, wrote an open letter to the head of the Hermitage, Mikhail Piotrovsky, accusing the museum of exhibiting fake works by Fabergé. The letter was illustrated with annotated photographs of the suspect objects. 

17.02.2021, The Moscow TimesAuthenticity dispute over Hermitage Fabergé exhibit

Oaxaca museum in Mexico is locked in standoff with private foundation: The director and staff of the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (MACO) in the southeastern Mexican city of Oaxaca are mired in a bitter dispute with Los Amigos del MACO, the private foundation set up to safeguard the future of the museum.

10.02.2021, The Art Newspaper: Oaxaca museum in Mexico is locked in standoff with private foundation

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