26 August 2019

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

After 30 Years, a Stolen Renaissance Masterpiece Returns to Italy With a Show in the Artist’s Hometown: It took nearly 30 years, but the Italian police have recovered Pinturicchio’s missing masterpiece Madonna and Child. The Italian police’s cultural heritage protection unit found the painting, which was stolen from a private home in 1990, but have revealed little about its whereabouts since. It will soon be returned to its owners, but first it’s going on view at the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria in Perugia, Pinturicchio’s hometown.

23.08.2019, Artnet: After 30 Years, a Stolen Renaissance Masterpiece Returns to Italy With a Show in the Artist’s Hometown 

The battle for Italy’s art: Late last month, 75 years after it was stolen from Italy by retreating Nazi troops, an 18th-century Dutch still life was returned to the Pitti Palace in Florence. In a grand, tapestried room, Italy’s culture minister and Germany’s foreign minister each pulled back a red curtain to reveal Jan van Huysum’s “Vase of Flowers”.

23.08.2019, The Financial Times: The battle for Italy’s art 

Fresh government warning ahead of Brexit for import and export of CITES-listed natural history specimens: In the event of a no-deal Brexit on October 31 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published an alert on the changes to the transit of CITES-listed items.

22.08.2019, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Fresh government warning ahead of Brexit for import and export of CITES-listed natural history specimens

British Council condemns Iran court upholding ten-year sentence for UK-based curator: The British Council says it will continue to reject all accusations of espionage against one of its former employees, Aras Amiri, who lost her appeal against a ten-year conviction in Iran earlier this week. In May, Amiri was sentenced for “cultural infiltration by the British intelligence services in Iranian internal affairs”, the Iranian authorities say. The former student of Kingston University in London was detained in March 2018 while visiting her grandmother; she is serving her sentence in Evin prison in Tehran.

21.08.2019, The Art Newspaper: British Council condemns Iran court upholding ten-year sentence for UK-based curator 

500 Art World Figures Condemn Mishandling of Nazi-tainted Architectural History: Almost 500 artists, curators, collectors, academics and gallerists in Germany have signed open letters to German politicians and administrators, including the country’s president Frank Walter Steinmeier, taking issue with the loaded reconstruction of Potsdam’s Garrison Church. Signatories include gallerist Gisela Capitain, curator Kasper König, artists Alice Creischer, Thomas Demand, Simon Denny, Hans Haacke, Judith Hopf, Henrike Naumann, Gregor Schneider and Andreas Siekmann, the Ludwig Stiftung’s Brigitte Franzen and collector Harald Falckenberg.

21.08.2019, Frieze: 500 Art World Figures Condemn Mishandling of Nazi-tainted Architectural History 

German Nazi loot panel divided on Max Stern painting—but returns it to his heirs anyway: The dispute over a painting sold by the Jewish dealer Max Stern, who fled Nazi Germany in 1938, has exposed a rift in Germany’s advisory panel on Nazi-looted art claims. Though the panel recommended a conditional restitution of Hans von Marées’s Ulanen auf dem Marsch (Uhlans on the March, 1859), it also, for the first time, published a dissenting minority opinion arguing that it should not be returned to the heirs at all.

20.08.2019, The Art Newspaper: German Nazi loot panel divided on Max Stern painting—but returns it to his heirs anyway 

British Museum’s new archives in Shinfield for hidden treasures: Hundreds of thousands of artefacts squirrelled away in British Museum storerooms will be more easily available to the public when they are moved to a new complex outside London.

20.08.2019, The Times: British Museum’s new archives in Shinfield for hidden treasures

Irish dealers urge no border checks: On the island of Ireland, sport is often praised for its unifying power between north and south. The Irish antiques trade is also borderless, with dealers moving easily between both jurisdictions to do business.19.08.2019, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Irish dealers urge no border checks

United States

New York Appellate Court Upholds Purpose of HEAR Act: Austrian Performer’s Heirs Found to Have Superior Right to Looted Schiele Works: First Fritz Grünbaum was a clear target for the Nazis. He was a Jewish law school graduate and decorated World War I veteran turned pacifist and an outspoken man of the arts with a platform as a Viennese cabaret performer. On the day Hitler invaded Vienna, he entertained nightclub guests as he groped onto a darkened stage with the sardonic quip, “I see nothing, absolutely nothing. I must have gotten myself into National Socialist culture.” This was followed by an artistic ban on all Jews and, within days, Grünbaum was interned at Dachau Concentration Camp where he would later die.

23.08.2019, The Institute of Art and Law: New York Appellate Court Upholds Purpose of HEAR Act: Austrian Performer’s Heirs Found to Have Superior Right to Looted Schiele Works 

Number of Manhattan’s park art vendors can be limited by New York City, court rules: A New York state appeals court ruled Tuesday that New York City guidelines limiting the number of art vendors in four major Manhattan parks are constitutional. The decision overturns an injunction against the rules filed in 2017 by a group of vendors, among them several local visual artists.

22.08.2019, The Art Newspaper: Number of Manhattan’s park art vendors can be limited by New York City, court rules

Burning Man Sued by Deaf Men After Dropping Interpreters Program: Burning Man is being sued by two deaf Californian men who say the annual celebration of art and radical community has failed to accommodate the needs of the hearing impaired.

21.08.2019, Bloomberg: Burning Man Sued by Deaf Men After Dropping Interpreters Program 

Metropolitan Museum to auction off 300 Asian works of art at Sotheby’s New York: The carved, spinach-green vessel is among the ‘figure-in-landscape’ pots created during the height of jade production during the Qianlong period (1735-95). It depicts immortals surrounded by auspicious elements, such as deer and lingzhi (a type of mushroom) and carries and estimate of $500,000-700,000.

21.08.2019, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Metropolitan Museum to auction off 300 Asian works of art at Sotheby’s New York 

Ariana Grande settled a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by artist Vladimir Kush: Pop superstar Ariana Grande has settled a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against her by artist Vladimir Kush. The case revolved around a brief passage in Grande’s “God Is a Woman” music video of the singer’s silhouette dancing inside the flame of a candle, which Kush alleged “clearly copied [his] expression of this idea” in his 1998 painting Candle and subsequent works in the same vein.

21.08.2019, Artsy: Ariana Grande settled a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by artist Vladimir Kush.

The Met Investigates Provenance Of Artworks Acquired From Dealer Suspected Of Smuggling: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is reviewing objects in its collection that were purchased or gifted to the institution over the course of three decades from a now-disgraced dealer who has been accused of running one of the largest antiquities-smuggling rings in the world. According to the New York Times, around fifteen artifacts acquired by the museum were once in the possession of former Manhattan dealer Subhash Kapoor, who was charged with eighty-six felony counts—ranging from grand larceny to possession of stolen property and conspiracy to defraud—in a New York City criminal court last month.

19.08.2019, Artforum: The Met Investigates Provenance Of Artworks Acquired From Dealer Suspected Of Smuggling

19.08.2019, Artnet: The Met Is Investigating Objects in Its Collection With Ties to Disgraced Dealer Subhash Kapoor. Will Other Museums Follow Suit?

18.08.2019, The New York Times: The Met Reviews Items It Received From a Dealer, Now a Looting Suspect 

Renewed threat of US tax on Chinese art: The preparations are being made following news that Chinese art and antiques have again appeared on a list of Chinese goods facing a 10% US import tax from September 1.19.08.2019, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Renewed threat of US tax on Chinese art

World

Art Gallery of Ontario acquires a Caillebotte after long legal struggle: Gustave Caillebotte’s Iris Bleus, Jardin du Petit Gennevilliers, the focus of a long legal battle between an auction house and a consortium of Canadian art museums over the definition of art of “national importance”, has been acquired by the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and will be unveiled to the public at the museum on 24 August.

23.08.2019, The Art Newspaper: Art Gallery of Ontario acquires a Caillebotte after long legal struggle 

Mammoth ivory should be regulated, global CITES convention hears: At the global CITES summit (Conference of the Parties) in Geneva on Thursday, 22 August, the 183 signatories to the treaty are considering whether to list the mammoth as a threatened species so that trade in its ivory can be regulated by CITES restrictions.

22.08.2019, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Mammoth ivory should be regulated, global CITES convention hears   

500-Year-Old Inca Mummy Repatriated to Bolivia: In 1890, the U.S. consul to Chile donated the mummy of an 8-year-old Inca girl to the Michigan State University Museum. Buried in a stone tomb alongside such tokens as sandals, beads and feathers, the girl—known as Ñusta, or “Princess” in the indigenous Quechua language—lived in the Andean highlands during the second half of the 15th century.

22.08.2019, Smithsonian: 500-Year-Old Inca Mummy Repatriated to Bolivia

Corporate sponsors have a golden grip on the art world: The art world is in a muddle. On the one hand, it is the best of times. The success of Lubaina Himid, a black woman, in the 2017 Turner Prize, was a sign that recognition is no longer entirely dependent on identity rather than talent. Ms Himid is one of a number of contemporary artists making exciting, challenging work that speaks truth to power yet also retains the imaginative pulse that makes it art rather than journalism or activism.

20.08.2019, The Financial Times: Corporate sponsors have a golden grip on the art world 

Are Art Institutions Becoming Too ‘Ideological’? A Debate Breaks Out at the International Council of Museums Over Politics in the Galleries: Should museums’ core mission be preserving the world’s cultural heritage, or should they use their collections to promote human dignity, social justice, global equality, and planetary well-being? That is the question facing the international museum community as it wrestles with bringing its definition of what a museum should be into the 21st century.

20.08.2019, Artnet: Are Art Institutions Becoming Too ‘Ideological’? A Debate Breaks Out at the International Council of Museums Over Politics in the Galleries 

How Could the Same Artwork Be From 1966 and 1999? Behind the Inexact Science of Dating Art—and What It Means for Your Collection: Most museums with contemporary and modern art have objects with hyphenated or double dating, which curators sometimes make a point of explaining on didactic labels.

20.08.2019, Artnet: How Could the Same Artwork Be From 1966 and 1999? Behind the Inexact Science of Dating Art—and What It Means for Your Collection

What exactly is a museum? Icom comes to blows over new definition: What exactly is a museum? If anyone knows, it should be the International Council of Museums (Icom), with its 40,000 members representing more than 20,000 museums. But that very question is, in fact, fuelling a bitter debate within the organisation and perhaps threatening its identity. On 12 August, 24 national branches—including those of France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Canada and Russia, along with five museums’ international committees—requested the postponement of a vote on a revised definition of museums, in order to deliver a “new proposal”.

19.08.2019, The Art Newspaper: What exactly is a museum? Icom comes to blows over new definition20.08.2019, Smithsonian: The Term ‘Museum’ May Be Getting Redefined

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