8 March 2021

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Musée Rodin could be forced to release 3D scans of bronze sculptures—including The Thinker—to the public: A legal case in Paris could force the Musée Rodin to release its 3D scans of Auguste Rodin’s sculptures and make them available to the public. The museum fears this could undermine its financial model, which partly relies on producing original editions of bronzes.

05.03.2021, The Art Newspaper: Musée Rodin could be forced to release 3D scans of bronze sculptures—including The Thinker—to the public

With help from antiquities expert, Louvre recovers two stolen pieces of armor: Nearly four decades after they disappeared from the Louvre, two pieces of gold and silver encrusted armor have reemerged, albeit under mysterious circumstances. According to the Paris museum, French police were contacted in January by a military antiquities expert who had been charged with appraising the pieces as part of estate planning in Bordeaux. Upon examining the works—a helmet and upper back piece—the expert became suspicious of their provenance, per Today

24. 04.03.2021, Art News: With help from antiquities expert, Louvre recovers two stolen pieces of armor

04.03.2021, CNN Style: Stolen 16th-century armor returned to Louvre decades after theft

04.03.2021, Le Journal des Arts: Deux œuvres d’art de la Renaissance restituées au Louvre 40 ans après leur vol

Archaeologists appeal to Greek prime minister to halt restructuring of five big antiquities museums: Greece’s Ministry of Culture and Sports has proposed a new law that aims to loosen the state’s hold over the country’s five largest archaeological museums—a move that has sparked an outcry from museum staff and archaeologists.

04.03.2021, The Art Newspaper: Archaeologists appeal to Greek prime minister to halt restructuring of five big antiquities museums

Spanish Supreme Court confirms Picasso portrait at center of Botín case cannot be exported: Last year, billionaire banker and collector Jaime Botín, whose family appears on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list, was sentenced to 18 months in jail and fined $58.3 million after attempting to smuggle a treasured Pablo Picasso portrait out of Spain. After Botín’s attorneys tried to appeal, arguing that painting is Botín’s private property and holds no national significance, Botín’s sentence was amended to three years in jail and his fine rose to $101.2 million. Now, the country’s supreme court has ruled that the Picasso painting that spurred the criminal investigation must indeed remain in Spain.

03.03.2021, Art News: Spanish Supreme Court confirms Picasso portrait at center of Botín case cannot be exported

Budget for recovery: culture and arts sector and shops among those to get new grants: Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a series of measures to try to return the economy to stronger growth during and after the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. Among the updates was a new re-start grant for non-essential retail. Those reopening their shops (including art and antiques centres and galleries) will receive grants of up to £6000 per premises. He said this was £5bn of new grants on top of the £20bn already provided. Loans will also be available for businesses.

03.03.2021, The Antiques Trade Gazette:  Budget for recovery: culture and arts sector and shops among those to get new grants

02.03.2021, The Art Newspaper: UK Budget 2021: further £408m boost for struggling culture sector

03.03.2021, The Financial Times: Arts and culture sector handed £408m funding boost

The UK will establish eight freeports as part of a broader effort to attract the ultra-wealthy and jump-start the economy: The UK will soon become a freeport hub. At the tail end of his presentation of the UK’s 2021 budget on March 3, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the establishment of eight freeports across the nation. 

03.03.2021, Artnet: The UK will establish eight freeports as part of a broader effort to attract the ultra-wealthy and jump-start the economy

05.03.2021, The Art Newspaper: UK art trade questions who benefits from England’s planned freeport bonanza

Maiolica bombola recovered in the UK: A beautiful example of Maiolica has been recovered by the close cooperation between the trade, the police and the ALR. The bombola was registered on the ALR database in 2016 by Thames Valley Police following a burglary from a private residence.  It was offered at auction in the UK in late 2020 and located as part of the ALR’s due diligence checks and withdrawn from sale. The auction house worked closely with the consignor, police and the ALR in order for the bombola to now be returned to the victim.

03.03.2021, The Art Loss Register: Maiolica bombola recovered in the UK

Man Ray trust claims Christie’s auction contains works ‘stolen’ from artist’s estate: The Man Ray Trust, the organisation overseeing the Surrealist artist’s estate, has claimed that a Christie’s sale of Surrealist art from the collection of the artist’s former assistant contains stolen work.

02.03.2021, Art News: Man Ray trust claims Christie’s auction contains works ‘stolen’ from artist’s estate

Euro will remain the currency for Artist’s Resale Right, says UK government: The UK government has confirmed to the ATG that it has “no plans to make changes to either the rates of Artist’s Resale Right that are applied or how the levy operates” following the post-Brexit trade deal agreed with the EU.

01.03.2021, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Euro will remain the currency for Artist’s Resale Right, says UK government

Spanish museum to return two Nazi-looted paintings to Poland: The Museum of Pontevedra in northwest Spain will return two paintings that experts said were looted by the Nazis during World War II. El País reports that, before it restitutes the works, the museum has put them on view one last time in a special presentation focused on how the institution resolved the claim that the paintings were looted.

01.03.2021, Art News: Spanish museum to return two Nazi-looted paintings to Poland

United States

Resolution reached to save Elyn Zimmerman sculpture amid National Geographic renovations: The National Geographic Society has agreed to relocate a massive, site-specific sculpture by Elyn Zimmerman which was threatened by the organisation’s renovation plans, at its own expense. The resolution was announced by the Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF), which brokered the deal between the two parties.

04.03.2021, Artforum: Resolution reached to save Elyn Zimmerman sculpture amid National Geographic renovations

04.03.2021, The Art Newspaper: After an extended fight, acclaimed sculptural installation will leave National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, DC

Dallas Museum of Art to return sacred statue to Nepal: A stone sculpture representing a Hindu deity is making its way back to Nepal nearly 40 years after it disappeared from a temple shrine and ended up in the Dallas Museum of Art.

04.03.2021, The New York Times: Dallas Museum of Art to return sacred statue to Nepal

05.03.2021, The Art Newspaper: Looted in the 1980s, a sacred stele at the Dallas Museum of Art is headed back to Nepal

Second long-lost Jacob Lawrence painting located in NYC home: Just two weeks after a visitor to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art discovered a painting from Jacob Lawrence’s thirty-panel 1954–56 series “Struggle: From the History of the American People” in a neighbor’s Upper West Side living room this past October, a woman living in the same neighborhood alerted officials at the institution that she, too, was in possession of a painting from the series. 

01.03.2021, Artforum: Second long-lost Jacob Lawrence painting located in NYC home

World

South Korean art organisations are scrambling to keep the heirs of the Samsung Art Collection from selling it off to international buyers: South Korea’s cultural leaders are worried about the fate of the multibillion-dollar art collection amassed by the late head of the Samsung empire. The heirs to the fortune are considering selling off prized artworks to pay a mountainous inheritance tax, rather than keeping the collection in the country as many had expected. Now, Korean arts organisations are all calling on the state to step in.  

05.03.2021, Artnet: South Korean art organisations are scrambling to keep the heirs of the Samsung Art Collection from selling it off to international buyers

A Beijing museum is staging the world’s first ‘major’ Crypto-Art show, featuring artists named Beeple, Fewocious, and Mad Dog Jones: NFTs, short for non-fungible tokens, are unique digital assets, individually identified on a blockchain, allowing one person to own a widely disseminated digital artwork. The show, titled “Virtual Niche—Have you ever seen memes in the mirror?,” is being billed as “the world’s first major institutional crypto-art exhibition.”

05.03.2021, Artnet: A Beijing museum is staging the world’s first ‘major’ Crypto-Art show, featuring artists Named Beeple, Fewocious, and Mad Dog Jones

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