3 February 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Certosa di Trisulti and Steve Bannon: The Controversial Lease of a Public Cultural Heritage Site: Certosa di Trisulti is a historic building in Collepardo, a small town in the Southern Latium, where Pope Innocenzo III founded its eponymous chartherhouse in 1204. It contains precious artworks and a pharmacy dating back to the 17thcentury. It was declared a National Monument in 1879. In 2015 the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism (MiBACT) issued a call for tenders for leasing Public Land with reference to 13 Public Cultural Heritage sites, including said Certosa. The sites were chosen amongst those which were, at that moment, neglected, either by being in need of conservation works or simply closed. 

31.01.2020, The Institute of Art and Law: Certosa di Trisulti and Steve Bannon: The Controversial Lease of a Public Cultural Heritage Site 

Brexit: what’s next for the UK art market?: As of last week, Brexit is a reality and for the art market it will pose some significant challenges but also some opportunities. For now, the UK will remain fully aligned with EU law until the end of the transition period and as a result, nothing will change immediately. 
31.01.2020, The Art Newspaper: Brexit: what’s next for the UK art market?  

Vasil Bozhkov’s antiquities collection ordered to be seized by Bulgarian authorities: The National Museum of History (NIM) has received a prosecutorial decree and a letter from the Ministry of Culture to seize and accept the art and antiquities collection of Bulgarian gaming czar Vasil Bozhkov.  This court order, along with seizure orders pertaining to his business assets, accompanies charges stemming from an investigation into allegations of serious financial violations within the gambling industry.  Filed on 29 January 2020 by the country’s Prosecutor General, Ivan Geshev, the post-communist era mogul has been charged with a series of offenses ranging from coercion, blackmail, attempted bribery of an official, being part of an organized criminal group, inciting and committing a crime.  

31.01.2020, ARCA:Vasil Bozhkov’s antiquities collection ordered to be seized by Bulgarian authorities 

Fraudsters Posing as Art Dealer Get Gallery to Pay Millions: Hackers posing as a veteran London art dealer tricked a Dutch museum buying a John Constable painting into paying 2.4 million pounds ($3.1 million) into a fraudulent bank account. Scamming their way into the middle of months of negotiating emails between Simon C. Dickinson Ltd. and Rijksmuseum Twenthe, the imposters persuaded the museum to transfer the funds to a Hong Kong account. The Enschede, Netherlands-based museum suffered a setback in its lawsuit Thursday, when a judge ruled against its claim for damages. 
30.01.2020, Bloomberg: Fraudsters Posing as Art Dealer Get Gallery to Pay Millions  

Smash and grab thieves take Salvador Dalí art from Swedish gallery: Thieves have stolen bronze sculptures and etchings by the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí from a gallery in Stockholm in a smash and grab raid. The Couleur gallery, in the Swedish capital’s upmarket Östermalm district, was holding an exhibition of work by Dalí containing about 10 pieces by the Spanish artist, the news agency TT said. 

30.01.2020, The Guardian: Smash and grab thieves take Salvador Dalí art from Swedish gallery  

30.01.2020, The Telegraph:£500,000 of Dali art including melting clock sculptures stolen in Stockholm gallery raid  

31.01.2020, The Times: Stolen Dalí sculptures melt into thin air  

31.01.2020, ARCA: Gallery Theft – Dalí authorized sculptures taken from the Galleri Couleur in Stockholm 

Row over Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi erupts in the LRB:  A bitter row between art experts has erupted in the pages of the London Review of Books (LRB) over the Salvator Mundi, a previously unknown painting, that was first shown in the National Gallery’s Leonardo exhibition before going on to sell for a record $450.3m (£342.1m). The dispute centres on an unwritten rule that public collections should avoid showing pictures that are available for sale and a statement by Robert Simon, one of its then owners, says that it was “not for sale” when its National Gallery unveiling was announced. 
29.01.2020, The Guardian:Row over Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi erupts in the LRB  

30 art objects held in precautionary seizure at the Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts fair: Begun in 1956, BRAFA, the eight day Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts fair is Europe’s most unashamedly eclectic art fair, covering artworks from antiquity to even a charity auction of five original segments of the Berlin Wall.  It gathers together some 50 Belgian and 83 international galleries, showcasing more art than one can find in some fine museums around the globe, and attracting everyone from the curators of important museums to wealthy millionaires. The 65th edition has got off to a bumpy start.  Despite what some feel is a sufficiently strict vetting process, which is said to examine each work prior to the fair’s opening, relying on a panel of 100 independent experts, checks by the Art Loss Register, and a scientific laboratory specialising in the analysis of art objects, a number of artworks have raised concerns in the days leading up to the fair’s opening. 

29.01.2020, ARCA: 30 art objects held in precautionary seizure at the Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts fair 

29.01.2020, The Brussels Times: Around 30 works of art seized from Brussels Art Fair  

New money laundering regulations cause confusion at London Art Fair: If dealers at this year’s London Art Fair (22-26 January) are anything to go by, the art market is perplexed as to what the new money laundering regulations will mean for day-to-day business. Under the new laws, galleries have to conform to a much higher standard of due diligence in confirming the identity of the client when making a sale of €10,000 or more, including requesting to see documents such as a passport before doing a deal—not, perhaps, easily done in the context of a busy art fair. 

27.01.1010, The Art Newspaper: New money laundering regulations cause confusion at London Art Fair  

How serious are the dangers of market sponsorship of museum exhibitions?: As UK museums face deeper public funding cuts and growing scrutiny over corporate donations from fossil fuel firms, Big Pharma and arms manufacturers, commercial galleries and auction houses are increasingly stepping into the funding breach—often to the benefit of artists’ markets. 

27.01.2020, The Art Newspaper: How serious are the dangers of market sponsorship of museum exhibitions?  

United States

Supreme Court Asked to Consider Legal Status of Famous Picasso Painting: A petition for writ of certiorari has been filed asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a ruling dismissing a case against New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art for the return of a Pablo Picasso masterwork, “The Actor,” created around 1904-05. 

02.02.1010, ARCA: Supreme Court Asked to Consider Legal Status of Famous Picasso Painting 

Gagosian, Steven Tananbaum Settle Lawsuit Over ‘Non-Delivery’ of Jeff Koons Sculptures: A lawsuit over the alleged “non-delivery” of three Jeff Koons sculptures worth millions of dollars has come to an end. Last Friday, collector Steven Tananbaum and Gagosian reached a settlement in a suit over the sculptures, which Tananbaum first brought against the gallery and Koons’s studio in 2018. The lawsuit had become one of the art world’s most high-profile legal actions, and even spurred a second lawsuit involving the alleged non-delivery of Koons’s work to a different collector that has since been settled. The terms of Tananbaum and Gagosian’s settlement were not disclosed, and all claims and counterclaims were dismissed. 

31.01.2020, Art News: Gagosian, Steven Tananbaum Settle Lawsuit Over ‘Non-Delivery’ of Jeff Koons Sculptures  

San Francisco artist sues Disney for copying her ‘tremendously cool’ painted van in Pixar film: The Bay Area tattoo artist Sweet Cecily Daniher is suing Pixar, Disney and Kori Rae, the producer of the forthcoming animated film Onward, for reproducing her unicorn-painted van without permission. 

31.01.2020, The Art Newspaper: San Francisco artist sues Disney for copying her ‘tremendously cool’ painted van in Pixar film  

In Robert Indiana Lawsuit, Judge Dismisses Most Counterclaims Against Artist’s Longtime Representative: In a case centering on the late artist Robert Indiana‘s work, a majority of counterclaims leveled against the Morgan Art Foundation, which long represented the artist, by Indiana’s estate have been dismissed  in a New York district court. The ruling by Judge Barbara Moses dismissed the estate’s claims that the Morgan Art Foundation did not pay the artist royalties owed to him and that the foundation did not have the right to reproduce some of Indiana’s work, including his famed LOVE sculptures. In July 2019, Judge Analisa Torres had dismissed other counterclaims in the suit. 

30.01.2020, Art News: In Robert Indiana Lawsuit, Judge Dismisses Most Counterclaims Against Artist’s Longtime Representative 

30.01.2020, The Art Newspaper: New York judge dismisses further counterclaims made by Robert Indiana’s estate against Morgan Art Foundation  

Is the Titanic struggle over?:  As media reports have confirmed, a treaty negotiated in 2003 (Agreement Concerning the Shipwrecked Vessel RMS Titanic) has been ratified by US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. In fact, this happened on November 18 last year when, with relatively little fanfare, the US administration deposited its acceptance with the UK government. 
28.01.2020, The Institute of Art and Law: Is the Titanic struggle over? 
 

Getty Museum’s Gauguin Sculpture Revealed to Have Been Misattributed: A wood sculpture attributed to Paul Gauguin held in the collection of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles was not actually produced by the famed artist, new research suggests. Its attribution status has been demoted to “unknown” in December 2019. According to a report by the French newspaper Le Figaro, the institution paid an estimated $3 million to $5 million in 2002 to acquire the work, which is titled Head with Horns, from Wildenstein gallery in New York. 

28.01.2020, Art News: Getty Museum’s Gauguin Sculpture Revealed to Have Been Misattributed  

28.01.2020, The Art Newspaper: Bedevilled: multi-million Getty Gauguin is a fake 

World

Ken Wyatt calls for law change to protect Aboriginal artists from carpetbaggers: Federal and state ministers, police and Aboriginal art industry representatives will meet in central Australia next month to discuss ways to stamp out carpetbagging – the unethical treatment and exploitation of Aboriginal artists. 

27.01.2020, The Guardian: Ken Wyatt calls for law change to protect Aboriginal artists from carpetbaggers

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