28 December 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

UK government announces change to export licensing system: The major change is that a proposed mechanism for a legally binding option agreement has been adopted by the government and will be added to the DCMS’s statutory guidance for export controls come 1 January 2021. This is promised to strengthen the process for retaining national treasures for the benefit of UK institutions. In the current system, the exporter has the ability to reject an offer for purchase by a UK entity, or withdraw an application, without legal penalty. The proposed option agreement creates a contractual obligation on the exporter to accept the offer. The government has also promised a new digital system for streamlining export licences in the new year.

22.12.2020, The Institute of Art and Law: UK government announces change to export licensing system

22.12.2020, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Export licences will go digital in autumn 2021

19.12.2020, Gov.uk : Strengthening the process for retaining national treasures

Acquisitions round-up: European museums co-purchase El Anatsui sculpture from collector Uli Sigg: Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Kunstmuseum Bern have jointly acquired a major sculpture by the Ghanaian artist El Anatsui. The work, entitled In the World But Don’t Know the World (2009), comes from the Sigg collection founded by Uli Sigg, a former Swiss ambassador to China.

23.12.2020, The Art Newspaper: Acquisitions round-up: European museums co-purchase El Anatsui sculpture from collector Uli Sigg

UK ‘tourist tax’ will hit dealers of jewellery, silver and small pictures hard, trade body says: Art dealers have joined the luxury goods and watch industries in condemning the UK government’s “hammer blow” plans to scrap tax-free shopping for tourists from 1 January.

23.12.2020, The Art Newspaper: UK ‘tourist tax’ will hit dealers of jewellery, silver and small pictures hard, trade body says

Ivory Cleopatra sculpture blocked from export in hope UK buyer found: An export block on Death of Cleopatra by Henri de Triqueti, an ivory sculpture with British royal connections, has been announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

22.12.2020, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Ivory Cleopatra sculpture blocked from export in hope UK buyer found

Record year for Acceptance in Lieu schemes with £65m artworks accepted for the nation: In total the items settled £40m of tax. The government said 2020 was a record-breaking year for the Acceptance in Lieu and Culture Gifts Scheme schemes. The Acceptance in Lieu scheme allows for the ownership of works of art to be transferred to the nation in lieu of inheritance tax. Both schemes are administered by the Arts Council England.

21.12.2020, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Record year for Acceptance in Lieu schemes with £65m artworks accepted for the nation

21.12.2020, The Art Newspaper: UK government receives record £65m art gifts in lieu of inheritance tax

21.12.2020, Artforum: UK arts institutions receive record $87 million in taxpayer-donated works

United States

Why US museums are quietly buying art—and downplaying their acquisitions—in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic: Even as the Covid-19 pandemic took an enormous toll on US art museums in 2020, forcing many to close their doors for months and make painful staff layoffs, several quietly continued to collect art. They mainly drew on earmarked acquisition funds that cannot legally be used for other purposes, given the terms of the original donors’ gifts and the laws that govern non-profits.

24.12.2020, The Art Newspaper: Why US museums are quietly buying art—and downplaying their acquisitions—in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic

World

Tarsila do Amaral work at centre of legal dispute sells for record price in Brazil: A painting by Brazilian modernist Tarsila do Amaral sold for a record-setting 57.5 million reais ($11.2 million) at a São Paulo auction, making it the most expensive work by the artist ever sold at auction and one of the most expensive works by a Latin American artist ever to sell on the block.

21.12.2020, ArtNews: Tarsila do Amaral work at centre of legal dispute sells for record price in Brazil

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