German Panel Defends Effort to Trace Owners of Nazi-Looted Art: A German task force set up to determine the provenance of works in the art collection hoarded for decades by Cornelius Gurlitt defended its progress on Wednesday, announcing that it had established that a drawing by Adolph von Menzel had been sold by its Jewish owners in 1938 to help pay for their escape from the Nazis. The drawing, “Church in Hofgastein,” is the fifth in the collection of about 1,200 paintings and drawings to have its history established in the two years since the group of experts was convened. The group was created under intense international pressure and charges that the German authorities had failed to handle the Gurlitt trove with necessary sensitivity.
02.12.2015, The New York Times: German Panel Defends Effort to Trace Owners of Nazi-Looted Art
Forger Claims Leonardo da Vinci’s La Bella Principessa Is Actually His Painting of a Supermarket Cashier: The notorious British art forger Shaun Greenhalgh, who served a prison sentence between 2007-2012, has claimed to be the author of La Bella Principessa, a $150 million painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. The attribution to da Vinci has always been strongly contested. According to the Daily Mail, the painting was properly documented for the first time in 1998, when it was sold at a Christie’s auction labeled as an early–19th century work by a German artist painting in the style of the Italian Renaissance. The work fetched $21,800.
30.11.2015, The Art Newspaper: Could Leonardo’s Bella Principessa be Greenhalgh’s Bolton Sally?
Priceless Looted Ancient Frescoes Returned to Italy: A group of ancient frescoed stone slabs have gone on display in Italy for the first time since they were looted by an infamous antiquities trafficker known as “The Captain.” According to Reuters, the artworks, dating from 400 BC, were illegally excavated from the ancient Greek site of Paestum, located near Naples.
01.12.2015, Artnet News: Priceless Looted Ancient Frescoes Returned to Italy
26.11.2015, Reuters: Frescoes stolen from ancient tomb go on display in Italy
Cultural property law to be debated in German parliament: The German Cultural Property and Heritage Protection Law (Kulturschutzgesetz) is due to be debated in the German Bundestag next spring after a “defused” draft of the law received cabinet approval on November 4. German Minister of Culture Monika Grütters made a series of amendments to the proposals after protests came from dealers, auctioneers, galleries, collectors and artists who all fear that the legislation will dramatically restrict the free trade in works of art in Germany.
30.11.2015, Antiques Trade Gazette: Cultural property law to be debated in German parliament
French national treasure recovered by The Art Loss Register: The Art Loss Register has recovered a large 18th century Pastoral Tapestry by the famous French manufacturer Aubusson, which was stolen from a Château in France in 1982, and it will now be returned to its rightful home. The Château is classified as a historic monument and the tapestry, which was hanging in its Salon, formed part of the protected interior décor.
01.02.2015, The Art Loss Register: French national treasure recovered by The Art Loss Register
SOFAA issue new T&Cs for online selling: In response to the new Consumer Rights Act, the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers have produced two different versions of their model terms and conditions – one for bricks and mortar ‘onsite’ auctions and another for online-only sales.
02.02.2015, Antiques Trade Gazette: SOFAA issue new T&Cs for online selling
Judge Terminates Contract of De Appel Director Lorenzo Benedetti: The Amsterdam District Court has ruled that the employment contract between Amsterdam’s De Appel Arts Center and its director Lorenzo Benedetti must be dissolved. According to NRC, the court explained that the ruling is based on the fact that there are large discrepancies between the two parties’ interpretation of the role of director.
03.12.2015, Artnet News: Judge Terminates Contract of De Appel Director Lorenzo Benedetti
02.12.2015, NRC: Rechter ontbindt contract directeur Amsterdamse kunstinstelling
Is François Pinault Planning a Private Museum in Paris?: Will François Pinault finally bring his collection to Paris? The luxury goods magnate and mega-collector chose to show his contemporary art collection in Venice’s Palazzo Grassi after excessive bureaucracy and administrative complications prevented him from showing the works on Paris’ Île Seguin in 2004.
02.12.2015, Artnet News: Is François Pinault Planning a Private Museum in Paris?
27.11.2015, La Croix: François Pinault projette d’ouvrir un musée à Paris
02.12.2015, The Art Newspaper: François Pinault denies Paris museum plan
Italy’s Renzi vows to fight terrorism threat with culture: Matteo Renzi has come up with what may seem a uniquely Italian solution to the security threat gripping Europe: to fight terrorism with culture. The 40-year old Italian prime minister on Tuesday laid out plans for €2bn in new spending in response to the November 13 attacks in Paris, amid growing concerns that Italy could be a terrorist target. While €1bn would be used for security and defence purposes, another €1bn would pay for cultural programmes.
24.11.2015, Financial Times: Italy’s Renzi vows to fight terrorism threat with culture
Danh Vo and Dutch collector settle legal battle: The artist Danh Vo and the Dutch collector Bert Kreuk have dropped legal proceedings over a disputed site-specific commission, according to press reports. Vo has cancelled his appeal against a court ruling that ordered him to create a “large and impressive” work for Kreuk’s collection. “The parties will act as if the judgement has been annulled,” Vo told ARTnews in a statement. “Each party will bear its own costs.”
02.12.2015, The Art Newspaper: Danh Vo and Dutch collector settle legal battle
Ivory research project launched: Senior figures from both UK dealing associations gave an impassioned defence of the antiques trade as a project seeking to gauge the impact of a ban on the sale of ivory works of art was launched in Westminster last week.
03.12.2015, Antiques Trade Gazette: Ivory research project launched
Returning Looted Art a ‘Herculean Task’: At the German Lost Art Foundation’s first convention, experts said more must be done to expedite the restitution of looted art.
02.12.2015, Handelsblatt: Returning Looted Art a ‘Herculean Task’
Early Dali Portrait Creates Challenge to Italy’s “Crazy” Art Export Rules: Owner of work fights law that prevents painting of his sister going back to Spain.
03.12.2015, Guardian: Early Dali Portrait Creates Challenge to Italy’s “crazy” art export rules
Knoedler Gallery settles lawsuit over fake Willem de Kooning: With a trial looming, the Knoedler Gallery, its former director Ann Freedman, and Knoedler’s owner 8-31 Holdings have reached a settlement with the New York collector John Howard. Howard had bought a fake work by Willem de Kooning from the gallery for $4m. The lawsuit arose from Knoedler’s selling some $60m of fake Abstract Expressionist art in a scandal that sent shivers through the art world when it broke in late 2011.
03.12.2015, The Art Newspaper: Knoedler Gallery settles lawsuit over fake Willem de Kooning
03.12.2015, The Wall Street Journal: Settlement Reached Over Fake Willem de Kooning Painting
Tax Status of Museums Questioned by Senators: The Senate Finance Committee is scrutinizing nearly a dozen private museums opened by individual collectors, questioning whether the tax-exempt status they enjoy provides sufficient public benefit to justify what amounts to a government subsidy.
29.11.2015, The New York Times: Tax Status of Museums Questioned by Senators
OU reaches settlement over Nazi-looted art: The University of Oklahoma has reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed by a French woman over a painting that was stolen from her family by German troops during World War II, university officials confirmed Wednesday. The painting, Camille Pisarro’s “Shepherdess Bringing In Sheep,” was a part of a large collection owned by Jewish businessman Raoul Meyer before the war.
03.12.2015, Looted art: OU reaches settlement over Nazi-looted art
Art Basel: Tax Ramifications for American and International Art Collectors: Collectors need to be aware of and properly navigate a host of special tax issues and rules, or risk facing a very significant and sometimes unexpected tax burden.
03.11.2015, The National Law Review: Art Basel: Tax Ramifications for American and International Art Collectors
Can polar bear hair authenticate contested Pollock painting?: The estate of Jackson Pollock’s lover, the artist Ruth Kligman, has renewed efforts to authenticate and sell a painting in its possession that it believes is a genuine creation of the late, great abstract painter. Armed with new forensic research, trustees have started showing the work to invited curators, collectors, scholars and artists. In 2013, Kligman’s estate hired the forensic scientist Nicholas Petraco. “I treated it like a homicide investigation,” Petraco tells us. After a series of tests, he identified a hair in the work that turned out to be from a polar bear. This strengthened the estate’s case that the work was created in Pollock’s East Hampton studio, where the artist laid his paintings on the floor and where he had a polar bear rug.
01.12.2015, The Art Newspaper: Can polar bear hair authenticate contested Pollock painting?
Does a Sotheby’s Stock Dip Signal Trouble for the Wider Economy?: Compared to the $24 trillion US stock market, Sotheby’s is relatively small, a public company valued at just $1.9 billion. But its stock is watched well beyond the art world. Indeed, a dip in Sotheby’s stock has an uncanny record of signaling danger in the broader economy—and the New York auctioneer’s shares are down 38 percent since June, to a three-year low.
30.11.2015, Artnet News: Does a Sotheby’s Stock Dip Signal Trouble for the Wider Economy?
Philippines Launches Online Search for Imelda Marcos’s Missing Masterpieces: Philippine authorities have appealed to the public to help track down an estimated 200 missing artworks—including paintings by Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Rembrandt—which were allegedly owned by former first lady Imelda Marcos, known for her particularly extravagant taste.
01.12.2015, Artnet News: Philippines Launches Online Search for Imelda Marcos’s Missing Masterpieces
German Court Orders Stolen Pre-Colombian Art Returned to Mexico: A civil court in Munich ordered a Costa Rican art merchant living in Germany to return two pieces of pre-Colombian art to Mexico, after finding they had been acquired illegally.
28.11.2015, Telesurtv: German Court Orders Stolen Pre-Colombian Art Returned to Mexico
Baby steps for India art market, best yet to come: As Christie’s gets ready to hold its third art auction in Mumbai in December, the growing international appeal of Indian artworks is fuelling optimism about the country’s fledgling art market.
02.12.2015, Reuters: Baby steps for India art market, best yet to come
Culture and jihad, grimly connected through the art market’s “blood antiquities”: When Islamic State made its deadly onslaught on Paris on November 13th, this was rightly denounced as an attack not just on innocent human beings, but on civilisation. The killers struck in the heart of a city whose museums, monuments and ancient places of learning speak of lofty ideals and human creativity at its most refined.
30.11.2015, The Economist: Culture and jihad, grimly connected through the art market’s “blood antiquities”
Classical Japanese Art Hangs On: “Prices have been depressed for some time,” said Sebastian Izzard, a dealer in New York who specializes in Japanese prints. “But at least the market is solid, and there’s no bubble. You get a lot more bang for your buck with Japanese art.”
27.11.2015, The New York Times: Classical Japanese Art Hangs On
Brazil’s art market: Tax breaks and tax obstacles help and hinder the collection of art in Brazil. The country itself — and its galleries and museums — can’t afford to collect Brazilian artists.
03.12.2015, Le Monde Diplomatique: Brazil’s art market
Mu Xin Art Museum Opens in Wuzhen, China: The latest addition to the boom in new museums opening all throughout China is located in a tranquil, picturesque town of waterways and canals called Wuzhen, about a two-hour drive from Shanghai.
03.12.2015, Blouin Artinfo: Mu Xin Art Museum Opens in Wuzhen, China
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