09 January 2020

Europe

Collectors linked to controversy over counterfeit Russian artworks arrested in Belgium: Collectors Igor and Olga Toporovsky, who allegedly lent fake works to the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent for a 2017 exhibition dedicated to the Russian avant-garde, have been arrested in Belgium. The couple were detained on suspicion of fraud and money laundering last month following a criminal complaint that was filed by a group of dealers and collectors based in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

03.01.2020, Artforum: Collectors linked to controversy over counterfeit Russian artworks arrested in Belgium

03.01.2020, The Art Newspaper: Russian collecting couple arrested in Belgium

How anti-money laundering regulation could save the art market: Fraud and forgeries have always been a major concern in the art market, along with attempts to launder dirty money. Sadly, this situation has been getting worse. So art dealers, galleries and auction houses have been given regulatory backing to combat money laundering from 10 January 2020.

03.01.2020, Lexology: How anti-money laundering regulation could save the art market

Outgoing Leader of Paris’s Musée du Quai Branly: Report Urging Repatriation of African Objects Is ‘Self-Flagellation’: Stéphane Martin, the president of the Musée du Quai Branly–Jacques Chirac, a Parisian institution that is home to roughly two-thirds of the 90,000 African objects owned by the French state, has been one of the most vocal opponents of that report, which was released in 2018 and authored by art historian Bénédicte Savoy and economist Felwine Sarr. In an interview published on Thursday by the French newspaper Le Monde, Martin, who departs his post on January 9 after more than 20 years leading the museum, reaffirmed his disagreement with the report, saying that he prefers “sharing” the objects with the African countries from which they were removed instead of outright repatriating them.

02.01.2020, Art News: Outgoing Leader of Paris’s Musée du Quai Branly: Report Urging Repatriation of African Objects Is ‘Self-Flagellation’

Man charged over damage to £20m Picasso at Tate Modern: A man has been charged with criminal damage after a £20m Picasso was allegedly attacked while on display at Tate Modern. The 75-year-old oil painting was reportedly ripped on Saturday while the London gallery was open to the public.

31.12.2019, The Guardian: Man charged over damage to £20m Picasso at Tate Modern

02.01.2020, Artforum: Suspect in Picasso painting attack charged in London

02.01.2020, Art News: Man Charged with Criminal Damage After $26.3 M. Picasso Painting Is Ripped at Tate Modern

02.01.2020, Le Journal des Arts: Un tableau de Picasso vandalisé à la Tate Modern à Londres

United States

Trump Reiterates Threat to Target Iranian Cultural Sites: President Trump on Sunday evening doubled down on his claim that he would target Iranian cultural sites if Iran retaliated for the targeted killing of one of its top generals, breaking with his secretary of state over the issue.

05.01.2020, The New York Times: Trump Reiterates Threat to Target Iranian Cultural Sites

05.01.2019, The Los Angeles Times: Opinion: Destroying cultural heritage sites is a war crime

Demand for New York’s first freeport facility steps up: With the US imposing new tariffs on art and antiques, New York’s first freeport art storage facility is experiencing a surge in demand as dealers and collectors seek to do private, tax-free sales. In September, President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese art and antiquities and then the World Trade Organisation ruled that the US could introduce new tariffs on European goods (effective 18 October) including an extra 25% tax on lithographs and photographs imported from Germany and the UK.

02.01.2020, The Art Newspaper: Demand for New York’s first freeport facility steps up

World

Haul of shame – the ‘trophy art’ taken from Germany by the Red Army: By the end of the Second World War, an estimated 20 per cent of all the art in Europe was in Nazi possession. Some works were later recovered, but millions of paintings and sculptures, as well as books and archives, were not. Three-quarters of a century on, fallout from this era still drifts across continents. An occasional lawsuit will revive debate about cultural patrimony on the opinion pages; a Sotheby’s lot at an auction might surface an Old Master painting found in a Bavarian basement. Most of these cases involve the descendants of private collectors forced to sell or hand over works. These are windows on to specific personal histories, yet they are only a part of a much larger story. More than 60 years after the war, more than a million artworks taken from Germany by the Red Army at the end of the war are still being held in Moscow and St Petersburg.

06.01.2020, Apollo: Haul of shame – the ‘trophy art’ taken from Germany by the Red Army

Federal Heritage Department did not release reports on art exports for past two years, documents reveal: A succession of Liberal heritage ministers in Canada have not released public reports from the past two years on the number of export permits issued for expensive artworks to leave the country and the value of tax credits given out for donating art to museums. The export permits and the tax credits are governed by the Cultural Property Export and Import Act. The complicated regulatory system sits at the intersection of art, commerce and philanthropy, and controls millions of dollars worth of art each year that crosses borders or moves from private to public hands.

31.12.2019, The Globe and Mail: Federal Heritage Department did not release reports on art exports for past two years, documents reveal

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