Athenian group brings human rights claim for return of Parthenon Sculptures: Following the rejection of UNESCO’s mediation proposal by the UK government and the British Museum in March 2015, a Greek entity called the ‘Athenians’ Association’ has decided to bring an action seeking the return of the Parthenon Sculptures (or Elgin Marbles) before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg.
22.02.2016, Institute of Art and Law: Athenian group brings human rights claim for return of Parthenon Sculptures
Flechtheim Heirs Suspend Limbach Commission Proceedings Over Juan Gris Painting in Düsseldorf: In a move that is symbolic of the tattered legitimacy of the German Advisory Commission concerning Nazi-looted art in state museums, the heirs of famed and persecuted Jewish art dealer Alfred Flechtheim suspended the state-run non-binding mediation process concerning Violon en encrier (1913) by Juan Gris in the Stiftung Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen (Art Collections Foundation of Northern Rhineland/Westphalia) in Düsseldorf.
24.02.2016, Art Law Report: Flechtheim Heirs Suspend Limbach Commission Proceedings Over Juan Gris Painting in Düsseldorf
UK Imposes Export Ban on $2.9 Million Giacometti Sculpture: The British culture minister Ed Vaizey has imposed an export ban on a plaster sculpture by Alberto Giacometti. The UK risks losing the seminal artwork unless a British buyer can be found to match the asking price of £2,083,500 ($2,921,337).
26.02.2016, Artnet News: UK Imposes Export Ban on $2.9 Million Giacometti Sculpture
UK dealers told to destroy ivory antiques in US: Four London dealers were made to deface valuable antiques after they imported objects into the US without declaring their ivory content. In advance of the Original Miami Beach Show, officials ordered that the finials and insulators of Georgian and Victorian silver tea and coffee pots were destroyed, while elephant ivory and other elements from etuis and gold boxes were removed and crushed.
25.02.2016, Antiques Trade Gazette: UK dealers told to destroy ivory antiques in US
Setback for Picasso’s Daughter in Battle Over Sculpture: A French court has rejected a plea by the daughter of Pablo Picasso to void a seizure order for a valuable sculpture at the center of a dispute over ownership between the New York dealer Larry Gagosian and an agent for the Qatari royal family.
25.02.2016, International New York Times: Setback for Picasso’s Daughter in Battle Over Sculpture
26.02.2016, Artnet News: New Obstacle for Picasso’s Daughter in Sculpture Dispute
Art Cologne Slams Germany’s Art Protection Law: Koelnmesse, the organizers behind the German art fairs Art Cologne and Cologne Fine Art have written an open letter expressing their opposition to the amendment of Germany’s cultural protection act. “If the current version of the draft is passed, not only will galleries, art dealers, auction houses, private collectors, and museums be negatively affected, but also the entire German art fair landscape,” Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse said.
22.02.2016, Artnet News: Art Cologne Slams Germany’s Art Protection Law
Art Dealer Torsten Brohan Ordered To Disclose Proceeds Of 20th Century Sale To China: The international Art Dealer Torsten Bröhan who for years has helped establish the market for works of modern art and 20th century design has been asked by the Regional Court of Berlin (file no. 28 O 14/14) to disclose the amount gained from the sale of a large chunk of his holdings to a Chinese Museum.
19.02.2016, Artlyst: Art Dealer Torsten Brohan Ordered To Disclose Proceeds Of 20th Century Sale To China
Stolen Dutch paintings found in Swiss auction: The Art Loss Register (ALR) has located two paintings stolen from a home in Amsterdam in 2010. The ALR first located the works in the catalogue of a Swiss auction house in 2014 and verified them using the Interpol database. An international police investigation began, following notification of the auction house, which withdrew the paintings from sale.
22.02.2016, Antiques Trade Gazette: Stolen Dutch paintings found in Swiss auction
£50m collected in decade of Artist’s Resale Right: A decade on since Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) was launched in the UK, over £50m has been collected from auctions and dealers for artists and their heirs. The new statistics – issued to mark the 10th anniversary of ARR – show that the total receipts have more than tripled since 2012 when the levy was extended to allow heirs and estates to profit from ARR up to 70 years after an artist’s death. The data provided to ATG by the two main collecting agencies in the UK has shown a dramatic growth in payments over the last five years.
24.02.2016, Antiques Trade Gazette: £50m collected in decade of Artist’s Resale Right
UK Makes Its Entire Public Art Collection Accessible Online: The UK launched an ambitious platform to catalog the country’s entire publicly-owned art collection online. The innovative initiative known as Art UK seeks to promote public accessibility to over 3,000 of the nation’s public collections as well as selected privately owned collections. Although the website is still very much a work in progress, the database already includes every publicly-owned oil painting across the UK; over 200,000 artworks in total.
25.02.2016, Artnet News: UK Makes Its Entire Public Art Collection Accessible Online
25.02.2016, The Art Newspaper: All of UK’s publicly owned art to go online
The Auction House Guarantee: Estate-planning professionals may need to establish an appropriate holding and/or liquidation strategy for estates that include significant assets in art and antiquities. To accomplish this goal, they must be aware that the dealer and auction house may use guarantees as a marketing strategy to sell a piece in question. This strategy has grown more popular over the past few years, as the art market has become more competitive. The use of guarantees makes the decision of whether to hold, sell or donate art more challenging for the owner.
19.02.2016, Wealth Management: The Auction House Guarantee
Auction houses: Art market on the block: After a decade of record prices, Sotheby’s and Christie’s are facing a shortage of masterpieces.
18.02.2016, The Financial Times: Auction houses: Art market on the block
University of Oklahoma settlement agreement revealed in Nazi-looted art case: The University of Oklahoma will transfer ownership of a painting looted by Nazis during World War II to a French woman under terms of a settlement agreement announced on Tuesday. The painting, Camille Pissarro’s “Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep,” will be transported to a yet-to-be-named French museum this summer, where it initially will be displayed for five years, attorneys for both sides confirmed.
23.02.2016, NewsOK: University of Oklahoma settlement agreement revealed in Nazi-looted art case
24.02.2016, Art Law Report: Léone Meyer and University of Oklahoma Settle Nazi-looted Pissarro Dispute
23.02.2016, Reuters: University of Oklahoma transfers title of painting looted by Nazis
24.02.2016, Artnet News: University of Oklahoma Will Return Camille Pissarro Painting to Holocaust Survivor
24.02.2016, The Art Newspaper: University of Oklahoma Will Return Camille Pissarro Painting to Holocaust Survivor
Christie’s sold me sculptures for $111K, but now says they’re fake: suit: A doctor who bought two East Indian sculptures from Christie’s for $111,324 claims that when he tried to resell them, the auction house refused — now citing authenticity issues. Dr. Sandran Waran, a pediatric neurologist from Morristown, NJ, is suing Christie’s in Manhattan federal court to recoup what he paid in 2005 and 2007 for a 12th-century blackstone stele of Vishnu and 11th-century sandstone figure of Uma.
25.02.2016, New York Post: Christie’s sold me sculptures for $111K, but now says they’re fake: suit
Auction Data Shows the US Market Expanded in 2015 Amid Global Contraction: After several consecutive years of robust growth, and numerous headline-grabbing prices of masterworks at auction, the global auction market is contracting. The data reveals a nine percent drop, to $14.8 billion in 2015, from $16.3 billion. The decrease—call it a dip, downturn, slowdown, or much-needed correction—certainly shows a degree of anxiety or hesitation, perhaps most recently reflected in the February London auctions. However, the US market during this time was seemingly unstoppable, showing 10 percent year-over-year growth, to reach $6.5 billion worth of fine art auction sales, and garnering a 40 percent share of the total fine art auctions market.
18.02.2016, Artnet News: Auction Data Shows the US Market Expanded in 2015 Amid Global Contraction
Brazil Launches Public Consultation on Copyright in the Digital Environment: Last Monday, February 15, the Brazilian Ministry of Culture launched a new public consultation (PT) about copyright. This time, the intention is to promote a discussion about the Regulatory Instruction (PT) that aims to regulate the collection and distribution of royalties for copyrighted works in the digital environment.
19.02.2016, Infojustice.org: Brazil Launches Public Consultation on Copyright in the Digital Environment
China’s Slump Casts a Pall on Dealers of Asian Art: On March 10, the exhibition “Ancient Chinese Jade: From the Neolithic to the Han” will open at J.J. Lally & Co. on 57th Street to coincide with New York’s 2016 Asia Week. James Lally, the gallery’s owner, says he has already presold half of the 75 jade objects that make up the show. The pieces range from $5,000 to $500,000, but “the $500,000 pieces are the ones that went first,” he said.
25.02.2016, Bloomberg: China’s Slump Casts a Pall on Dealers of Asian Art
Major auction houses focus on ‘undervalued’ Hong Kong artworks amid economic downturn: Auction houses are placing their bets on Hong Kong art amid the economic downturn. While Sotheby’s is hosting a selling exhibition, Christie’s will be promoting local artworks in a March sale that will coincide with Art Basel.
25.02.2016, South China Morning Post: Major auction houses focus on ‘undervalued’ Hong Kong artworks amid economic downturn
Australian gallery identifies looted Indian treasures: A long-running smuggling scandal involving temple looters in India and a high-profile New York art dealer has widened after an independent review found that the National Gallery of Australia may have been among the prestigious art galleries duped by false documentation. The Canberra-based gallery, which is Australia’s leading cultural institution, said in mid-February that it had identified 22 objects with suspect origins in its Asian art collection, including 14 works bought from former New York-based dealer Subhash Kapoor for $11 million.
26.02.2016, Nikkei Asian Review: Australian gallery identifies looted Indian treasures
Upcoming event by World Monuments Fund Britain: “The World’s Largest Archaeological Project: Using new technology to crowd-source ancient lives in Egypt”, at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 March 2016 (Tuesday). For more information please visit http://www.wmf.org.uk/activities/
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