26 October 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

The Royal Opera House’s David Hockney painting sells for £12.8m at Christie’s amid deaccessioning debate: “The vocabulary of auctioneering and the art market has changed fundamentally,” said Christie’s auctioneer Jussi Pylkkänen following Christie’s “20th Century: London to Paris” sales series, which achieved £90.2m (with fees) across four sales. Around 60% of the evening’s bidders were European, with the rest evenly split between the US and Asia.

23.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: The Royal Opera House’s David Hockney painting sells for £12.8m at Christie’s amid deaccessioning debate

Artist collective claims responsibility for stolen Beuys sculpture: German artist collective Frankfurter Hauptschule has announced that its members are responsible for stealing a Joseph Beuys sculpture from an exhibition in Oberhausen, Germany, and delivering it to the Iringa Boma regional museum and cultural center in Tanzania as a “symbolic act of restitution to the former German colony,” Artnews reports.

23.10.2020, Artforum: Artist collective claims responsibility for stolen Beuys sculpture

23.10.2020, Art News: German artist collective claims to have stolen Joseph Beuys sculpture

German museums are embarking on long-overdue research into Chinese colonial-era objects as part of a €1.1 million grant: A new front in German researchers’ inquiries into colonial-era objects opened today, as the German Lost Art Foundation announced that it will grant an additional €1.1 million to museums for provenance research, including—for the first time—to institutions with collections of Chinese art.

22.10.2020, Artnet: German museums are embarking on long-overdue research into Chinese colonial-era objects as part of a €1.1 million grant

Stolen Klimt painting—buried for 20 years—to go back on show at Italian museum: A Gustav Klimt masterpiece stolen 23 years ago from an Italian gallery will go back on display next month. Portrait of a Lady (1916-17) was taken on 22 February 1997 from the Ricci Oddi gallery in the northern city of Piacenza. A gardener found the painting last December, after removing a metal plate on an exterior wall; the work was concealed in a bag buried within a cavity.

20.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: Stolen Klimt painting—buried for 20 years—to go back on show at Italian museum

Pre-emptions: stepping in at the fall of the gavel: Pre-emption, the right of a French museum or institution to step in at the fall of the gavel to claim a lot at auctions staged in France for purchase at the hammer price, is a common occurrence in such sales.

19.10.2020, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Pre-emptions: stepping in at the fall of the gavel

New anti-money laundering cost to the art trade ‘entirely inappropriate’: A government consultation closed last week on a proposal from the Chancellor to raise an ‘Economic Crime Levy’ on all UK AML regulated firms, from banks and accountants to regulated art market companies.

19.10.2020, The Antiques Trade Gazette: New anti money laundering cost to the art trade ‘entirely inappropriate’

5 looters have been arrested in Pella, Greece for conducting a clandestine excavation: Five looters, aged 43 to 50, were arrested by law enforcement officers of the Department of Heritage and Antiquities Protection of the Thessaloniki Security Directorate after having been caught digging an eight-meter deep hole at an archeological site located within the prefecture of Pella.  Ancient Pella was the capital of the Macedonian state from the end of the 5th to the early 4th century BCE.

19.10.2020, ARCA: 5 looters have been arrested in Pella, Greece for conducting a clandestine excavation

Criminal claims 13 works from legendary Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist are hidden in a Dublin house: The trove of works taken from the Boston-based Isabella Stewart Gardner museum could be hidden in a house in Dublin according to a documentary. The Billion Dollar Art Hunt (BBC4, 19 October, 9pm) follows the journey of Charley Hill, a former detective in the Metropolitan Police Art Squad, who received a tip-off revealing that the 13 stolen works were shipped to Ireland.

19.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: Criminal claims 13 works from legendary Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist are hidden in a Dublin house

United States

US Supreme Court and its impact on the arts: 1990-2020: From freedom of speech trials to Holocaust restitution cases, the country’s highest court regularly weighs in on issues that affect the art world.

24.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: US Supreme Court and its impact on the arts: 1990-2020

Assailing leadership, two former board chairmen say they are rescinding $50m in planned gifts to Baltimore Museum of Art: The strife surrounding the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA)’s decision to deaccession three valuable paintings is mounting, with two former board chairmen saying they have withdrawn pledges to give $50m to the institution and two artists resigning as trustees.

24.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: Assailing leadership, two former board chairmen say they are rescinding $50m in planned gifts to Baltimore Museum of Art

24.10.2020, The Washington Post: Donors rescind $50 million in gifts over Baltimore Museum’s planned sale of Warhol painting 20.10.2020, Artforum: Baltimore Museum of Art faces multiple calls to cancel artwork sale

Kunstmuseen Krefeld sued by heirs for return of Mondrian paintings: German institution Kunstmuseum Krefeld is facing a lawsuit filed in a US District Court by the heirs of Piet Mondrian demanding restitution of four of the artist’s paintings loaned to the museum in 1929 as well as financial remuneration for four additional works that are alleged to have been sold sometime in the 1950s to pay for acquisitions of new works by Braque, Chagall, Matisse, and Picasso.

23.10.2020, Artforum: Kunstmuseen Krefeld sued by heirs for return of Mondrian paintings

22.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: Mondrian’s heirs file US suit to recover four paintings worth $200m from a German museum

21.10.2020, Art News: Mondrian heirs sue German museum, seeking recovery of paintings worth $200 m.

Sackler family members settle Purdue Pharma suit for $225 million: The US Department of Justice yesterday announced that Sackler family members associated with Purdue Pharma will pay $225 million in civil penalties to settle a federal suit that saw the Stamford, Connecticut–based drug maker charged with aggressively marketing OxyContin and providing kickbacks to doctors who prescribed the powerful opioid, while downplaying its addictive qualities, resulting in rampant over prescription and an accompanying surge of related addictions and deaths.

22.10.2020, Artforum: Sackler family members settle Purdue Pharma suit for $225 million

21.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: Sackler family to pay $225m in civil settlement with US government

23.10.2020, Artnet: After Purdue Pharma reached a $225 million settlement with US authorities, the Met says the name of its Sackler wing is ‘Under Review’

Jacob Lawrence work missing since 1960 discovered by Met visitor: A painting from Jacob Lawrence’s thirty-panel 1954–56 series “Struggle: From the History of the American People” has been located by a visitor to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Times reported. A woman attending the Met’s exhibition “Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle” noted that five panels were missing from the series and realized that her elderly neighbours might well be the possessors of one of them.

21.10.2020, Artforum: Jacob Lawrence work missing since 1960 discovered by Met visitor

21.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: Missing for decades, a Jacob Lawrence painting surfaces in response to a Met exhibition

22.10.2020, CNN Style: A missing painting by renowned Black artist Jacob Lawrence has resurfaced after 60 years

World

Sale of more than 250 works from Jerusalem’s Islamic art museum raises ethical questions: The Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem is due to sell 190 Islamic art objects and 68 rare timepieces from its collection in two Sotheby’s London auctions on 27 and 28 October. The first sale includes illuminated manuscripts, textiles, ceramics and metalwork dating from the 7th to 19th centuries. The second consisted of rare clocks, including three watches crafted by the leading 18th-century horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet.

23.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: Sale of more than 250 works from Jerusalem’s Islamic art museum raises ethical questions

A flood of art? The market issues around museum deaccessioning: “If all the museums start selling their collections, they are going to flood the market.” So said the dealer and collector Adam Lindemann, speaking to Josh Baer on his No Reserve show this month. And: “I do believe there are lots more works of art to come [for sale],” responded Marc Porter, the president of Christie’s Americas, who also featured in No Reserve.

21.10.2020, The Art Newspaper: A flood of art? The market issues around museum deaccessioning

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