9 March 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Fairs in a time of coronavirus: trepidation turns to relief at a quieter—but not disastrous—Tefaf Maastricht: Trepidation among the 285 exhibitors was palpable at the opening of Tefaf as a raft of fairs were cancelled or rescheduled across Europe due to the virus. 

06.03.2020, The Art NewspaperFairs in a time of coronavirus: trepidation turns to relief at a quieter—but not disastrous—Tefaf Maastricht  

06.03.2020, The New York TimesTEFAF Art Fair Carries on. But Business Isn’t Usual.  

Old Master scandal dealt fresh blow as Court of Appeal rejects arrest warrant: The French investigation into an Old Masters forgery scandal has been dealt a heavy blow by Milan’s Court of Appeal after it dismissed a warrant for the arrest of the prime suspect in the case, Giuliano Ruffini. 

06.03.2020, The Art NewspaperOld Master scandal dealt fresh blow as Court of Appeal rejects arrest warrant  

UK remains in second place in global art market league table: Total global sales were down 5% to $64.1bn (£49.6bn) in 2019 with the US, again in top place, enjoying a 44% share of global sales by value at $28.3bn. With a 20% share of the market at $12.7bn (down 9%), the UK continues to lead China which stays in third place with an 18% share (sales of $11.7bn, down 10%). The UK had a 21% market share in 2018. 

05.03.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteUK remains in second place in global art market league table  

British Museum acquires 3,000-year-old Shropshire sun pendant: The British Museum has acquired a shimmering 3,000-year-old gold sun pendant heralded as one of the most important bronze age finds of the last century. 

04.03.2020, The GuardianBritish Museum acquires 3,000-year-old Shropshire sun pendant  

07.03.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteBritish Museum buys 3000-year-old Bronze age gold pendant  

Coronavirus travel restrictions force Venice Architecture Biennale to postpone opening until August: The 2020 Venice Architecture Biennale has been postponed until 29 August due to the coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19) in Italy. Originally planned to open 23 May, it will now run for only three months until 29 November, its original intended date of closure. 

04.03.2020, The Art NewspaperCoronavirus travel restrictions force Venice Architecture Biennale to postpone opening until August  

Aggressive seizures by police at Brafa leave dealers feeling ‘assaulted’: An aggressive display of strength from authorities has prompted heated debate around this year’s edition of the Brussels Antiques and Fine Arts fair (Brafa) (26 January to 2 February), where 34 ancient Egyptian, Asian and tribal artefacts were seized during public opening hours. 

02.03.2020, The Art NewspaperAggressive seizures by police at Brafa leave dealers feeling ‘assaulted’  

02.03.2020, ArtnetAfter Authorities Raided a Brussels Antiquities Fair, Some Dealers Are Calling the Agents’ Widespread Confiscations ‘Theft’

United States

Sotheby’s to Offer Storied $60 M. Francis Bacon Triptych at May Contemporary Sale in New York: On Friday, Sotheby’s announced one of the top lots for its contemporary art evening auction: Francis Bacon’s 1981 Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus, a large-scale, three-part oil painting that will carry an estimate of $60 million. Inspired by ancient scholar Aeschylus’s Greek tragedies dating from the 5th century B.C., the lot will be on offer at the house on May 13 in New York. 

06.03.2020, Art NewsSotheby’s to Offer Storied $60 M. Francis Bacon Triptych at May Contemporary Sale in New York  

Sotheby’s Reports $1 B. in Private Sales for 2019, Led By Picasso, Jonas Wood, and Yayoi Kusama: Sotheby’s announced today that trade in its private sales division reached a total of nearly $1 billion in 2019, a goal the firm had also achieved in 2018. Last year, the house saw significant growth in the private sale sector, reporting a 37 percent increase in results from 2017 to 2018. The composition of private sales remains skewed toward the top end of the market. 

04.03.2020, Art NewsSotheby’s Reports $1 B. in Private Sales for 2019, Led By Picasso, Jonas Wood, and Yayoi Kusama  

World

Art Basel/UBS report: global art market dips 5% in ‘tricky year’ but private sales are up: “It was a tricky year, but not disastrous.” So says the cultural economist Clare McAndrew, whose Global Art Market Report is published by Art Basel and UBS today. Following two years of growth, trade conflicts between the US and China, political unrest in Hong Kong and a protracted Brexit all contributed to a 5% dip in the global art market, which totalled $64.1 billion in 2019. 

05.03.2020, The Art NewspaperArt Basel/UBS report: global art market dips 5% in ‘tricky year’ but private sales are up  

05.03.2020, Le Journal des ArtsLe marché de l’art a baissé de 5 % en 2019 

Turkey Frees Kurdish Artist Fatos Irwen, Imprisoned Since 2016: Fatos Irwen, a Kurdish artist and educator who has been incarcerated in Turkey since 2016, has been released from prison after more than three years behind bars, the Art Newspaper reports. Known for her performance and installation works that challenge issues related to gender politics, Irwen was arrested in 2016 at an airport in Diyarbakır, Turkey, from which she intended to travel to Istanbul. 

04.03.2020, ArtforumTurkey Frees Kurdish Artist Fatos Irwen, Imprisoned Since 2016 

04.03.2020,The Art NewspaperKurdish artist Fatos Irwen released from Turkish jail after more than three years  

Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and now TikTok being used to memorialize cultural heritage crimes: In the past few years, and for better or worse, social media has completely rewritten the way the world communicates. As more and more humans, from all walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds, stare mesmerised by the glowing screen of smartphones, the intersection between social media and art crimes grows unabated, and seemingly unstoppable by traditional law enforcement methods.   The monitoring of social media documented crimes, is most often focused on detecting drug crimes or human trafficking. Taking a bite out of heritage crime seems like a luxury.  Especially in police departments with few, if any, trained resources with experience in this new frontier. 

03.03.2020, ARCAFacebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and now TikTok being used to memorialize cultural heritage crimes  

Art Dubai Downsizes Its 2020 Fair Due to Growing Concern Over the Spread of Coronavirus: Art Dubai announced that it is postponing its 2020 art fair scheduled to take place March 25–28 due to the spread of coronavirus in the Middle East. But the fair’s organizers are planning to go ahead with a slimmed down program of events and talks. 

03.03.2020, ArtnetArt Dubai Downsizes Its 2020 Fair Due to Growing Concern Over the Spread of Coronavirus  

‘Stolen’ ancient sculpture returned to Nigeria is ‘the kind of fake you could buy on eBay’, African art expert says: Specialists in ancient African art say that a bronze Ife sculpture returned recently from Mexico to Nigeria is fake. The piece, depicting a man in a head dress sitting cross-legged, was recently seized at the airport in Mexico City. 

02.03.2020, The Art Newspaper‘Stolen’ ancient sculpture returned to Nigeria is ‘the kind of fake you could buy on eBay’, African art expert says  

02.03.2020, ArtnetMexico Just Repatriated a Rare Yoruba Sculpture to Nigeria. African art experts have doubts about the authenticity of the sculpture.  

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