8 June 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

What is a listed building? The Supreme Court provides clarity: The IAL has been closely following the case of Mr Dill and the two lead urns in its passage through the courts over the past two years. Mr Dill sold the urns in 2009 without knowing that they were individually listed and therefore their removal required listed building consent. Having lost at the High Court and Court of Appeal, Mr Dill put his case to the Supreme Court on 10 March 2020. On 20 May, a unanimous verdict was handed down allowing the appeal, Lord Carnwath giving the Court’s judgment. 

07.06.2020, The Institute of Art and LawWhat is a listed building? The Supreme Court provides clarity  

Art Basel cancels September fair: Organizers of Art Basel, the centrepiece of the European art market calendar, have cancelled the show in Basel, Switzerland, in September because of ongoing health and safety concerns related to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

06.06.2020, The New York TimesArt Basel cancels September fair 

06.07.2020, ArtforumArt Basel cancels Swiss fair over Coronavirus concerns 

Historic Tunisian items withdrawn from Paris auction after heritage body claims works left country illegally: A Paris-based auction house has withdrawn more than 100 historic Tunisian items from an online sale following claims that they were exported illegally out of the north African country. The annual Noblesse & Royauté sale organised by Coutau-Bégarie, which runs until 11 June, included the disputed works. 

05.06.2020, The Art NewspaperHistoric Tunisian items withdrawn from Paris auction after heritage body claims works left country illegally  

06.06.2020, Le MondeA Paris, une vente aux enchères suspendue après avoir fait polémique en Tunisie  

03.06.2020, Le Journal des ArtsTunis s’oppose à une vente aux enchères à Paris d’objets de son patrimoine  

Insurers hit by art-world class action lawsuit as Coronavirus crisis bites: UK art organisations are preparing to file a class-action lawsuit against insurers, accusing them of failing to pay out as the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues to decimate their incomes. The group of more than 50 claimants—none of whom wanted to be named—includes major contemporary art galleries, museums and sole traders, with claims ranging from around £50,000 to £35m. 

05.06.2020, The Art NewspaperInsurers hit by art-world class action lawsuit as Coronavirus crisis bites 

A new museum director’s first challenge: Which exhibits to give back: The Quai Branly, a huge museum in central Paris, was inaugurated in 2006 to showcase the heritage of France’s former colonies in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, and Emmanuel Kasarhérou is the first director of indigenous descent to lead a major French museum. Figures on both sides of the restitution debate are hoping that Mr. Kasarhérou’s bicultural background will make him receptive to their views.  

05.06.2020, The New York TimesA new museum director’s first challenge: Which exhibits to give back 

Spain’s Prado reopens its doors: One of the world’s greatest galleries will throw open its doors again, but in circumstances very different from the past. The Prado, home to masterpieces by Hieronymus Bosch, Diego Velázquez and Francisco Goya, will welcome visitors after its longest closure since the Spanish civil war, more than 80 years ago. 

05.06.2020, The Financial TimesSpain’s Prado reopens its doors  

Swiss Museum deaccessions Impressionist works to finance itself: The Langmatt Museum in Baden is selling up to three French Impressionist works from its collection in order to raise funds for operations, an extremely controversial move in the museum world. 

05.06.2020, ArtnetSwiss Museum deaccessions Impressionist works to finance itself 

05.06.2020, Neue Zürcher ZeitungMuseum Langmatt verkauft Bilder aus finanzieller Not 

German government earmarks €1bn for arts in €130bn pandemic stimulus package: The German government has earmarked €1bn for arts and culture in a €130bn stimulus package announced last night by Chancellor Angela Merkel to counter what she described as “the severest economic crisis in the history of the federal republic” caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

04.06.2020, The Art NewspaperGerman government earmarks €1bn for arts in €130bn pandemic stimulus package  

04.06.2020, ArtnetGermany continues to lead the way in culture aid, doling out another €1 billion to the sector and lowering the tax rate on art 

Send the religious art in museums back to the churches, says the director of the Uffizi gallery: Eike Schmidt, the director of the Uffizi gallery in Florence, told the press on 27 May that he thought many religious works of art currently in Italy’s museums and stores should be returned to the churches from which they came. He went on to suggest that one of the most famous early medieval works in his gallery, the Rucellai Madonna by Duccio, painted around 1275, should go back to its original home, the Florentine church of Santa Maria Novella, from which it was removed in 1948. 

03.06.2020, The Art NewspaperSend the religious art in museums back to the churches, says the director of the Uffizi gallery  

Export licensing unit reopens with digital applications: The system requires applicants to download and complete a digital application form. The unit described it as a solution “during the current exceptional circumstances”. Art, antiques and collectables more than 50 years old deemed cultural goods must be accompanied by an export licence from the Arts Council if they are to be exported. 

01.06.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteExport licensing unit reopens with digital applications

United States

Struggling cultural institutions begin dipping into endowments: The Coronavirus pandemic is challenging the United States’ cultural industry’s core belief that endowments—assets generally made up of donations that are invested in order to generate income—should not be touched. Only the earnings from such funds are meant to be spent by institutions. The economic hardship caused by Covid-19, however, has led some arts groups to draw from their endowments’ principal funds. 

04.06.2020, ArtforumStruggling cultural institutions begin dipping into endowments 

02.06.2020, The New York TimesThe sacrosanct endowment? Not anymore for some arts groups 

Florida man who bought a Rothko from Sotheby’s using a stolen identity sentenced to 4.5 years in prison: Florida-based interior designer Antonio DiMarco has been sentenced to 54 months in prison for participating in conspiracy to commit wire fraud when purchasing artworks from galleries, auction houses, and private collectors. 

03.06.2020, The Art NewspaperFlorida man who bought a Rothko from Sotheby’s using a stolen identity sentenced to 4.5 years in prison  

Court dismisses Cady Noland’s lawsuit against collector and dealers who conserved Log Cabin sculpture: A New York district court has dismissed the artist Cady Noland’s 2017 lawsuit against a collector and a group of dealers for mutilating her 1990 sculpture Log Cabin through unauthorised conservation. 

03.06.2020, The Art NewspaperCourt dismisses Cady Noland’s lawsuit against collector and dealers who conserved Log Cabin sculpture  

US government recommends that the Supreme Court hear German museums’ appeal on Guelph Treasure claim: The US Supreme Court may be inching towards granting an appeal by the German state museums in a claim over the master trove of German medieval church reliquaries known as the Guelph Treasure. Two weeks ago, the US Justice Department’s Solicitor General filed a recommendation with the court that it should hear the case. 

02.06.2020, The Art NewspaperUS government recommends that the Supreme Court hear German museums’ appeal on Guelph Treasure claim 

World

Mining company Rio Tinto apologises for destruction of 46,000-year-old Aboriginal site: The mining giant Rio Tinto has apologised for blowing up a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site at the Juukan Gorge in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia. Dynamite blasting close to the sacred site on 24 May is believed to have destroyed two partially researched rock shelters, where archaeological excavations in 2014 uncovered plaited hair fragments from a belt and a 28,000-year-old kangaroo bone pick—Australia’s oldest known bone tool. 

05.06.2020, The Art NewspaperMining company Rio Tinto apologises for destruction of 46,000-year-old Aboriginal site

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