7 December 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Venice Biennale calls on Christoph Büchel to return controversial migrant boat to Sicily: The 2019 Venice Biennale closed more than a year ago, but authorities are still calling on Swiss artist Christoph Büchel to remove Barca Nostra, his controversial contribution to the exhibition. The work, the wreckage of a ship that sank in the Mediterranean in 2015 with up to 1,100 migrants from Libya on board, remains in the Arsenale, a historic shipyard that serves as one of the Biennale’s main venues. 03.12.2020, Art News: Venice Biennale calls on Christoph Büchel to return controversial migrant boat to Sicily
02.12.2020, Artforum: Venice Biennale implore Christoph Büchel to return migrant ship to Siciliy
02.12.2020, TheArt Newspaper: Venice Biennale pleads with Christoph Büchel to return migrant boat to Sicily

How can UK art businesses prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period?: Coming out of lockdown in December, art dealers would be forgiven for thinking that they might finally be able to get down to a bit of business. Well, not so fast. Christmas may be coming but so is Brexit – or, more accurately, the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020. The UK and the European Union have until this date to agree a trade deal. If there is no deal, border checks and taxes will be introduced for goods travelling between the UK and the EU. However, deal or no deal, we will still see changes. But how should art businesses prepare if we do not yet know the shape of things to come?

03.12.2020, Apollo: How can UK art businesses prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period?

Client confidentiality overturned by London High Court, as Dickinson forced to reveal buyer of $4.85m Signac painting: The widespread practice in the art market of protecting clients’ confidentiality has been challenged in London’s High Court in a further fallout from the Timothy Sammons affair.

01.12.2020, The Art Newspaper: Client confidentiality overturned by London High Court, as Dickinson forced to reveal buyer of $4.85m Signac painting

Stonehenge campaign group plans to sue UK government over controversial tunnel scheme: A campaign group says it will launch legal action over the UK government’s decision to move ahead with building a two-mile road tunnel close to the ancient site. Following decades of debate, Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, approved the £1.7bn scheme earlier this month.

30.11.2020, The Art Newspaper: Stonehenge campaign group plans to sue UK government over controversial tunnel scheme

United States

Looking to hedge their bets in unpredictable times, auction houses and consignors are locked in tense battles over contracts: In any art market transaction, there are degrees of risk and, correspondingly, people willing to take it—under certain conditions. Those conditions are now being fiercely negotiated in consignment contracts as auction houses, sellers, and guarantors weigh the likelihood of events that once seemed remote, from pandemics to civil unrest.

07.12.2020, Artnet: Looking to hedge their bets in unpredictable times, auction houses and consignors are locked in tense battles over contracts

Nazi art dispute goes to US supreme court in landmark case: A 12-year wrangle over a rare collection of medieval ecclesiastical art sold by Jewish art dealers to the Nazis in 1935 will arrive in front of the highest court in the US in a landmark case defence lawyers say could open the floodgates for restitution battles from all over the world to be fought via the US.

06.12.2020, The Guardian: Nazi art dispute goes to US supreme court in landmark case
03.12.2020, The Telegraph: US Supreme Court to rule over ownership of medieval at collection sold to Nazis in 1935
03.12.2020, The Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court weighs heirs’ claims over forced Jewish art sales during Nazi era

World

Provenance: the Trojan horse that can make or break a work of art: Among the different categories of information comprising any good catalogue raisonné, “provenance” counts as perhaps the most powerful Trojan horse. An outwardly bland word, it has the propensity to conceal a veritable army-in-waiting of facts and fictions able to make or break a work’s status.

07.12.2020, The Art Newspaper: Provenance: the Trojan horse that can make or break a work of art

Rio museum recovers Afro-Brazilian art works confiscated more than a century ago as ‘black magic’: After almost three years of negotiations, an art collection of more than 500 pieces connected to Afro-Brazilian religions and confiscated between the years 1889 and 1945 by police forces have been returned to the Museu da Republica in Rio de Janeiro.

04.12.2020, The Art Newspaper: Rio museum recovers Afro-Brazilian art works confiscated more than a century ago as ‘black magic’

Buoyed by demand for young stars, Christie’s hybrid New York and Hong Kong auction fetched a healthy $119 million: This year has seen auction houses throw most traditions out the window, from established sale categories to strict auction calendars. Christie’s latest hybrid in-person and online sale, which straddled salesrooms in Hong Kong and New York, eschewed the traditional genre divisions to offer work spanning 1889 to 2019.

02.12.2020, Artnet: Buoyed by demand for young stars, Christie’s hybrid New York and Hong Kong auction fetched a healthy $119 million

The deaccessioning debate: 1990-2020: Deaccessioning and the subsequent disposal of objects from an art museum’s collection have been a source of periodic controversy and debate for decades. The intensity of dispute is broadly based on two factors: how the sale proceeds are intended to be used and where the event takes place—the latter having a material consequence for the reputational and legal implications of the former.

30.11.2020, The Art Newspaper: The deaccessioning debate: 1990-2020

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