30 November 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Hunt still on for a Van Gogh self-portrait lost deep in a salt mine during the Second World War: The Magdeburg masterpiece may have been burned at the end of hostilities—but some believe it might have been looted and survive

27.11.2020, The Art NewspaperHunt still on for a Van Gogh self-portrait lost deep in a salt mine during the Second World War

Record culture budget approved by German parliament: The budget for 2021 allocates funding to preserve Berlin museum buildings, renovate the Bayreuth Festival theatre, boost provenance research and grant free admission to the Jewish Museum Berlin

27.11.2020, The Art NewspaperRecord culture budget approved by German parliament

‘The law has to fall on someone’: Seller of allegedly fake Frans Hals must pay Sotheby’s $5.3m for cancelled sale, judge insists: The London Court of Appeal upheld the decision that the investment company Fairlight Art Ventures will have to repay Sotheby’s the remainder of the price of an allegedly forged portrait attributed to Frans Hals. 

24.11.2020, The Art Newspaper‘The law has to fall on someone’: Seller of allegedly fake Frans Hals must pay Sotheby’s $5.3m for cancelled sale, judge insists
24.11.2020, Art NewsSeller of alleged Frans Hals forgery must still pay Sotheby’s, British Court rules
25.11.2020, ArtnetA London Court has upheld a ruling ordering an art collector to pay Sotheby’s $5.3 million for selling an allegedly forged Frans Hals

United States

Prized Hockney portrait will stay at London’s Royal Opera House following sale: Report: Last month, a prized David Hockney portrait from the holdings of the financially strapped London Royal Opera House brought in £12.8 million ($16.9 million) when it sold at Christie’s. Some mourned the fact that the work would now disappear from public view, but it now seems those concerns were misplaced.

20.11.2020, Art NewsPrized Hockney portrait will stay at London’s Royal Opera House following sale: Report
22.11.2020, The Art NewspaperThe Royal Opera House’s David Hockney painting sells for £12.8m at Christie’s amid deaccessioning debate

Employees at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston vote to unionise: An overwhelming majority of the employees eligible to unionize at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, have voted to join the United Auto Workers, becoming one of the latest bargaining units within a leading American cultural institution.

23.11.2020, The New York TimesEmployees at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston vote to unionise

New York authorities return ancient stele to Egypt: Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has restituted a 2,600-year-old stele to Egypt, after the antiquity was seized by US authorities last year when it arrived at JFK from Paris, on its way to the TEFAF fair in New York. “As is typical in these cases, an investigation into one stolen piece often unspools a dark web of countless other trafficked items,” Vance said during a ceremony held at the Egyptian consulate in Manhattan on 18 November.

23.11.2020, The Art NewspaperNew York authorities return ancient stele to Egypt
24.11.2020, TheArt Loss RegisterLooted Egyptian stele repatriated following Art Loss Register research

World

A new kind of museum is emerging—here’s what the future holds: International museum leaders are confronting manifold challenges in the wake of Covid-19 and innovating in six principal ways, writes András Szántó.

27.11.2020, The Art NewspaperA new kind of museum is emerging—here’s what the future holds

While installing her show at a Canadian museum, an artist discovered a looted statue in the collection. Now, it’s headed back to India: When artist Divya Mehra was invited last year to stage an exhibition at the MacKenzie Art Gallery in the Saskatchawan town of Regina, she began to research the collection, which was built around a bequest from lawyer Norman MacKenzie in 1936. She developed suspicions about a sculpture thought to represent Vishnu, one of the great trinity of Hindu gods.

24.11.2020, ArtnetWhile installing her show at a Canadian museum, an artist discovered a looted statue in the collection. Now, it’s headed back to India
25.11.2020, The Art NewspaperArtist discovers looted statue in Canadian museum and returns it to India

The turn of the screw: will tighter regulations impact the art market?: The art market is often described, erroneously, as a totally unregulated market, a statement that is certainly not true. Indeed, there is a thicket of rules notably around auction sales, while in most countries, buyers are also protected through basic consumer law rights.

25.11.2020, The Art NewspaperThe turn of the screw: will tighter regulations impact the art market?

Nagorno-Karabakh: Reaffirming the obligation to protect cultural goods, UNESCO proposes sending a mission to the field to all parties: On 18 November, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, received the representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan to the Organization. The Director General recalled the statements made by the United Nations Secretary-General, who had expressed his relief and welcomed the agreement on a total ceasefire and cessation of hostilities in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. This accord had been announced in a joint statement on 9 November by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, and the President of the Russian Federation. 

20.11.2020, UNESCONagorno-Karabakh: Reaffirming the obligation to protect cultural goods, UNESCO proposes sending a mission to the field to all parties

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