25 July 2018

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Italian police recover two stolen paintings attributed to masters Rubens and Renoir: Police in northern Italy have located paintings attributed to Peter Paul Rubens and Pierre-August Renoir that were stolen from two art dealers last year by a thief posing as a rabbi. Monza police arrested six suspects including Nenad Jovanovic, a 44-year-old Croatian national who allegedly offered the dealers from Sardinia and London €26 million for the paintings, telling them that he was a rabbi with diplomatic immunity. 

20.07.2018, The LocalItalian police recover two stolen paintings attributed to masters Rubens and Renoir 

20.07.2018, The New York TimesPolice in Italy Find 2 Stolen Renoir and Rubens Paintings 

Art educators take London’s National Gallery to employment tribunal in ‘gig economy’ dispute: A group of 27 educators—including artists, art historians and lecturers—has so far raised more than £14,000 from a crowdfunding campaign to support a legal case against the National Gallery in London. The educators say they were unfairly dismissed by the gallery last October, and are demanding recognition as employees rather than freelance or self-employed workers. The full tribunal hearing for all claimants is due to take place in November. 

17.07.2018, The Art NewspaperArt educators take London’s National Gallery to employment tribunal in ‘gig economy’ dispute 

16.07.2018, FriezeArtists and Lecturers Dispute ‘Freelance’ National Gallery Employment 

Conflict-of-interest scandal at publicly funded UK arts centre Firstsite: Firstsite, the ill-fated arts centre in Colchester, Essex, that has received or been promised around £10m in Arts Council funding, is in crisis after revelations that its chairman and a trustee faced accusations of a conflict of interest over expenditure of more than £90,000 on consultancy services. In June, a confidential independent report on the affair led the Charity Commission to describe the payments as “a serious incident”. 

20.07.2018, The Art NewspaperConflict-of-interest scandal at publicly funded UK arts centre Firstsite 

Donald Trump’s UK visit sparks backlash from the art world: As Donald Trump touched down in the UK earlier this month, leading art world figures expressed their anger and concern over the US president’s stance on issues such as immigration and social welfare. Norman Rosenthal, the esteemed former exhibitions secretary at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, said past shows at Blenheim Palace by Ai Weiwei and Jenny Holzer were “severely compromised” by Trump’s banquet at the historical venue on 12 July. 

12.07.2018, The Art NewspaperDonald Trump’s UK visit sparks backlash from the art world  

Will blockchain deliver a registry of all traded works of art?: Speaking in London at Christie’s first art and technology summit, dedicated to blockchain and co-organised by the online art platform Vastari, Anne Bracegirdle, a specialist in Christie’s photography department, outlined how the technology’s permanent, immutable record-keeping properties could revolutionise the market. The idea, Bracegirdle said, is that auction houses and galleries “would feed verified information onto this blockchain that would be accessible to all clients”. 

23.07.2018, The Art NewspaperWill blockchain deliver a registry of all traded works of art? 

20.07.2018, The New York TimesHow Financial Products Drive Today’s Art World 

German Green Party politicians launch petition ‘for freedom of the arts’: Two members of parliament from Germany’s Green Party have launched an online petition calling for freedom of the arts and accusing right-wing governments in Austria, Hungary and Poland of “trying to direct the creative scene toward their own ends with a policy of national isolation”. Recent developments in the three countries are “a warning signal against nationalist cultural policies that also stand for restrictions and cutbacks in Germany,” Green Party deputies Erhard Grundl and Claudia Roth write in the petition. 

18.07.2018, The Art NewspaperGerman Green Party politicians launch petition ‘for freedom of the arts’ 

United States

Will Robert Indiana’s legacy get stuck in a legal battle?: What will become of Robert Indiana’s legacy, and who will be in charge of preserving it? The answer might only come out of a closely-watched legal battle over the artist’s estate and his recent output, which started the day before Indiana’s death on 19 May aged 89 and looks set to heat up this summer. The artist wanted his home to become a museum but his 2016 will is being challenged. 

19.07.2018, The Art NewspaperWill Robert Indiana’s legacy get stuck in a legal battle? 

US dealers move against Trump’s proposed 10% tariff on Chinese art and antiques: Art and antiques are among the thousands of items the Trump administration has threated to implement a 10% tariff on in its escalating trade war with China. The proposal has raised concern among Asian art dealers, who have started to mobilise ahead of public hearings on the tariffs due to take place in Washington, DC in August.  

20.07.2018, The Art NewspaperUS dealers move against Trump’s proposed 10% tariff on Chinese art and antiques 

Did Marlborough Gallery Steal One of China’s Greatest Artists? An Appeals Court Must Decide: A United States Appeals Court is soon expected to finally issue a ruling on an eleven-year legal battle between the Paris-based Enrico Navarra Gallery and the international dealership Marlborough Gallery. Navarra alleges that Marlborough inappropriately interfered in its contract with the Chinese-French abstract painter Chu Teh-Chun, and caused “financial, reputational, and emotional damage” to the gallery in the process. 

18.07.2018, ArtnetDid Marlborough Gallery Steal One of China’s Greatest Artists? An Appeals Court Must Decide 

The $835 Million Rockefeller Auctions Fueled a Record Half Year for Christie’s: It’s been a record-breaking six months for Christie’s. Sales were up across the board for the auction house, which reported first-half results for 2018 this week. Overall, sales spiked 26 percent to “almost £3 billion,” or $4 billion, compared to £2.35 billion ($3.1 billion) in the first half of 2017. The clearest boost to the bottom line came from the historic Rockefeller collection, a marathon series of auctions that pulled in $835 million in revenue. 

24.07.2018, ArtnetThe $835 Million Rockefeller Auctions Fueled a Record Half Year for Christie’s 

The FBI Has Recovered a Crimson Robert Motherwell Painting Stolen 40 Years Ago by a Moving Man: In 1978, Robert Motherwell employed a moving company to transport his paintings from one storage unit to another. Somewhere along the way, dozens of his works went missing. Earlier this month, the Manhattan District Attorney hosted a repatriation ceremony in downtown New York City to announce the recovery of an untitled abstract painting by the artist that was among those stolen 40 years ago.  

12.07.2018, ArtnetThe FBI Has Recovered a Crimson Robert Motherwell Painting Stolen 40 Years Ago by a Moving Man 

Mark Leckey’s Cult Classic Video ‘Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore’ Removed from YouTube Following Copyright Claim [Updated]: The internet has long been a hostile place for artworks. Now another cult classic has been taken off YouTube: Mark Leckey’s 1999 video Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore, which was uploaded by the artist in 2011 and had since been viewed more than 203,000 times. [The copyright claim has since been “released,” according to the artist, who told ARTnews that the video’s page has been reactivated.] 

18.07.2018, ARTnewsMark Leckey’s Cult Classic Video ‘Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore’ Removed from YouTube Following Copyright Claim [Updated] 

20.07.2018, ARTnewsMark Leckey’s ‘Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore’ Is Back on YouTube 

Warhol Foundation Calls on University of Kansas to Reverse Removal of Josephine Meckseper Flag: Joel Wachs, the president of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, has written a letter to officials at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, urging them to return a flag artwork by Josephine Meckseper to its original location atop a flagpole on campus that was removed earlier this month after allegations by politicians in the state that it represented a desecration of the American flag. 

23.07.2018, ARTnewsWarhol Foundation Calls on University of Kansas to Reverse Removal of Josephine Meckseper Flag

World

China Abruptly Evicts Galleries in a Beijing Arts District to Make Way for ‘Immediate Demolition’: Last week, the Beijing branch of de Sarthe Gallery announced in an email the “sudden, forced relocation” of its gallery in the city’s Caochangdi arts district. The gallery, which was founded in Paris in 1977 and has operations in Beijing and Hong Kong, said that it, “along with our neighbouring galleries, studios, and restaurants were given two weeks’ notice to vacate before the immediate demolition of our buildings.” Caochangdi was developed as an arts district by the artist Ai Weiwei, whose Beijing studio is still located there. 

23.07.2018, ArtnetChina Abruptly Evicts Galleries in a Beijing Arts District to Make Way for ‘Immediate Demolition’ 

German museum returns tattooed Maori skull to New Zealand: The Rautenstrauch Joest Museum of world cultures in Cologne returned a tattooed Maori skull, which has been in its collection for 110 years, to a delegation representing the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington in a ceremony on 26 June. The Cologne institution joins other German museums in the gradual repatriation of human remains, most of which entered collections in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

13.07.2018, The Art NewspaperGerman museum returns tattooed Maori skull to New Zealand 

‘An Israeli Act of Aggression’? Why a New Show in Tel Aviv Is Showing Work by Arab Artists Without Their Consent: Tensions between Israel and the Arab world have come to the fore at the 1:1 Center for Art and Politics in Tel Aviv, which opened its doors on 12 July with the inaugural exhibition “Stolen Arab Art.” True to its name, the show quite literally presents the work of Arab artists without the creators’ permission or consent. Adding to the controversy, video artworks—by Wael Shawky, Walid Raad, and two other yet-to-be-identified Arab artists—are uncredited.  

18.07.2018, Artnet‘An Israeli Act of Aggression’? Why a New Show in Tel Aviv Is Showing Work by Arab Artists Without Their Consent 

‘This Letter Is Illegal’: Jailed Turkish Artist Zehra Doğan Snuck Banksy a Heart-Wrenching Thank You Note From Her Cell: Last Tuesday, the anonymous street artist Banksy posted a handwritten letter on his Instagram account with a caption that identified Zehra Doğan as the writer. The jailed Turkish artist is currently serving a nearly three-year prison sentence in her home country for creating an artwork that depicted the wrecked Kurdish town of Nusaybin following its destruction by Turkish security forces. The painting included Turkish flags hanging from the bombed-out buildings, which immediately caught the attention of the Turkish government. Doğan was arrested at a cafe in July 2016. 

17.07.2018, Artnet‘This Letter Is Illegal’: Jailed Turkish Artist Zehra Doğan Snuck Banksy a Heart-Wrenching Thank You Note From Her Cell 

18.07.2018, The Art NewspaperImprisoned Turkish artist Zehra Dogan smuggles thank-you letter to Banksy 

Syrian museums seek Russian expertise to restore destroyed Palmyra sculptures: Syrian museum workers are consulting with Russian specialists on the restoration of statues from Palmyra, the ancient city that has been liberated twice from Islamic State (IS) since 2015, according to a news report circulated by the Russian defence ministry. The state-run Ria Novosti news agency quotes Mohammed Khalid al-Asaad, the director of the laboratory of the National Museum of Damascus, as saying that the consultants are from the Pushkin museum in Moscow. 

20.07.2018, The Art NewspaperSyrian museums seek Russian expertise to restore destroyed Palmyra sculptures 

Demolish or restore discoloured Taj Mahal, India’s Supreme Court tells government: The Taj Mahal in Agra could be closed unless the Indian government steps in and saves the neglected landmark, says India’s Supreme Court. “Either we shut down the Taj or demolish it or you restore it,” the two-judge committee told state officials earlier this month. In May, the judges said that the white marble monument was turning yellow, and even brown in parts, due to pollution and insect dung, and told the central government that it should seek foreign expertise to fix “the worrying change in colour”. 

16.07.2018, The Art NewspaperDemolish or restore discoloured Taj Mahal, India’s Supreme Court tells government

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