• 18 August 2017

    Europe Why Is Modigliani Catnip for Forgers? The Fakes (and Feuds) Behind One of the Art Market’s Most Dangerous Artists: An exhibition of work by Amedeo Modigliani in Genoa ended dramatically last month, when 21 paintings—around a third of the works in the show—were seized from the Palazzo Ducale by Italian police on suspicion they were fake. 07.08.2017, Artnet: Why Is Modigliani Catnip for Forgers? The Fakes (and Feuds) Behind One of the Art Market’s Most Dangerous Artists A Haunting

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  • 3 August 2017

    Europe After 26 Years, Munich Settles Case Over a Klee Looted by the Nazis: After 26 years in court, the longest-running German legal wrangle over Nazi-looted art ended with a settlement that will reimburse a family for the seizure of a masterpiece by Paul Klee that was once scorned as the work of a degenerate. 26.07.2017, The New York Times: After 26 Years, Munich Settles Case Over a Klee Looted by the Nazis Gurlitt bequest spurs provenance research in Switzerland:

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  • 24 July 2017

    Europe New EU Proposal Aims to Halt the Trafficking of Antiquities That Fund Terrorism: New regulations proposed by the European Commission seek to clamp down on the illegal import of cultural goods used to finance terrorism. Recent years have seen an influx to the EU of illicit antiquities looted from archaeological and cultural sites in Iraq and Syria. 20.07.2017, Artnet: New EU Proposal Aims to Halt the Trafficking of Antiquities That Fund Terrorism Report gauges state of art market in

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  • 14 July 2017

    Europe Dusseldorf museum pulls painting from show after Nazi loot claim: The Museum Kunstpalast in Dusseldorf pulled a painting by Andreas Achenbach from an exhibition after an ownership claim filed by the heirs of Max Stern, a Jewish dealer who was forced to liquidate his art gallery in the city before he fled Nazi Germany. 11.07.2017, The Art Newspaper: Dusseldorf museum pulls painting from show after Nazi loot claim Stolen by a Russian spy, Dutch painting now returned to German

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  • 30 June 2017

    Europe First Public Showing of Monet, Rodin and Maillols From Gurlitt Trove: A crouching woman cast in marble by Rodin. And two sketches of nudes by Aristide Maillol. These are among the several hundred works found in the homes of Cornelius Gurlitt, many of them suspected of having been looted by the Nazis. Nearly four years after news of the discovery of the trove stunned the art world and stirred outrage over the fact that German authorities had kept its

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  • 23 June 2017

    Europe Entire body of UK public sculpture to go online by 2020: Britain will be the first country to create an online catalogue of its entire collection of publicly owned sculpture. Art UK, a charity which recently completed a similar venture for 210,000 oil paintings, is undertaking the operation in partnership with the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. 21.06.2017, The Art Newspaper: Entire body of UK public sculpture to go online by 2020 22.06.2017, Antiques Trade Gazette: UK’s 170,000 public

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  • 16 June 2017

    Europe The Getty gets £24.5m Parmigianino after no UK museum tries to match price: The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has successfully acquired Parmigianino’s £24.5m painting of The Virgin and Child with Saint Mary Magdalen and the Infant St John the Baptist. Dating from around 1535-40, it is one of the finest works by Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola) in private hands. The painting was sold by the Dent-Brocklehurst family of Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire, and has been in the UK

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  • 9 June 2017

    Europe UK election upset leaves prime minister’s Brexit strategy in disarray: The Creative Industries Federation issued a statement this morning calling for a soft Brexit. John Kampfner, its chief executive, says that “May has seen that there is no clear mandate for the government to negotiate a hard Brexit”. He says that the federation will “push for the UK to remain in the single market and the customs union.” 09.06.2017, The Art Newspaper: UK election upset leaves prime minister’s Brexit

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  • 2 June 2017

    Europe Old Master landscape looted by Nazis comes back on the market: After a decades-long recovery effort that recently ended in a restitution agreement, an Old Master landscape looted by the Nazis will come to auction at Sotheby’s London on 5 July. 30.05.2017, The Art Newspaper: Old Master landscape looted by Nazis comes back on the market 01.06.2017, Antiques Trade Gazette: Old Master view of Venice to appear at Sotheby’s following restitution agreement 27.05.2017, The New York Times: After Decades,

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  • 25 May 2017

    Europe Pissarro painting in Gurlitt trove returned to heir of Max Heilbronn: A 1902 painting of the Seine by Camille Pissarro found in the Salzburg home of Cornelius Gurlitt has been returned to the heir of Max Heilbronn, a Parisian businessman whose art collection was looted by the Nazis in 1942. 25.05.2017, The Art Newspaper: Pissarro painting in Gurlitt trove returned to heir of Max Heilbronn 24.05.2017, Art Law Report: Pissarro from Cornelius Gurlitt’s Salzburg Home Returned to Heirs 19.05.2017,

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  • 16 May 2017

    Europe French art world breathes sigh of relief as Macron wins presidency: Arts professionals hope that victory speech in front of the Louvre is a sign that the young president will bring new life to the culture sector. 08.05.2017, The Art Newspaper: French art world breathes sigh of relief as Macron wins presidency Non-dom art collectors in UK could be hit with new taxes: UK-based art collectors should be looking carefully at new tax rules that came into force on

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  • 3 May 2017

    Europe Owner Withdraws Nazi-Looted Painting From Auction in Austria: The owner of a 17th-century Dutch portrait that Nazi authorities looted from its German Jewish owner pulled the work, hours before it was to be auctioned in Austria, following an outcry and anonymous threats. The painting, “Portrait of a Man” (1647) by Bartholomeus van der Helst, is one of 333 works that were seized by French auxiliaries of the Gestapo in 1943 from the collection of Adolphe Schloss, a German Jew

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  • 25 April 2017

    Europe Global online art sales climb by 15% in 2016: The online art market is booming with sales up by 15 per cent to $3.75bn in 2016, with the traditional bricks-and-mortar auction houses, such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, powering ahead of their digital-only rivals. 25.04.2017, The Financial Times: Global online art sales climb by 15% in 2016 Nazi-looted painting to be auctioned as owners’ heirs fail to halt sale: A 17th-century Dutch old master painting stolen by the Nazis is

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  • 31 March 2017

    Europe What’s the Global Art Market Really Worth? Depends Who You Ask: How big is the art market? Is it getting bigger or smaller? This is the time of year the art world’s number-crunchers release reports that try to answer these tricky questions, and a whole lot more. According to the latest Tefaf art market report released by the European Fine Art Foundation in the Netherlands, the world’s auction and private sales in 2016 raised more than $45 billion, up

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  • 17 March 2017

    Europe German Art Collectors Face a Painful Past: Do I Own Nazi Loot?: After World War II, few Germans with sizable art holdings made a point of digging into their collections for signs of Nazi looting. And because private collections were off limits for those trying to track down stolen art, works of unexamined provenance have hung for decades in family homes and office corridors, the stories of how they were acquired often vague, inconsistent or simply not discussed. 14.03.2017,

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  • 9 March 2017

    Europe German Institutions Form Unprecedented Alliance to Identify Nazi-Looted Art: In an unprecedented move, German institutions have formed the Mosse Art Research Initiative (MARI), an organization designed specifically to work with heirs of art looted by the Nazis to identify and locate stolen artworks. 07.03.2017, Artnet: German Institutions Form Unprecedented Alliance to Identify Nazi-Looted Art 08.03.2017, The Art Newspaper: Heirs of Jewish publisher team up with German museums to track down Nazi-looted art 07.03.2017, The New York Times: German Foundation

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  • 3 March 2017

    Europe Ancient bronze statuette lost after the Second World War returns to Berlin: A valuable Etruscan bronze statuette portraying a warrior with lance and helmet has returned to Berlin’s state museums more than 70 years after it disappeared. 01.03.2017, The Art Newspaper: Ancient bronze statuette lost after the Second World War returns to Berlin Son of top Nazi official returns looted art: The son of a senior Nazi official has returned three stolen works of art to their rightful owners

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  • 24 February 2017

    Europe Menzel drawing and Pissarro painting in Gurlitt trove are restituted to heirs: A drawing of the interior of a Gothic church by Adolph Menzel and a painting by Camille Pissarro, hidden for decades in Cornelius Gurlitt’s collection, have returned to the heirs of the original Jewish owners, the Kunstmuseum in Bern and German government announced. 21.02.2017, The Art Newspaper: Menzel drawing and Pissarro painting in Gurlitt trove are restituted to heirs 22.02.2017, Artnet: Two More Works From Gurlitt Hoard

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  • 17 February 2017

    Europe Public to get first view of controversial Gurlitt art collection: Switzerland and Germany will jointly exhibit a former Nazi art collection for the first time since it was controversially bequeathed to a Bern museum. The exhibitions will tell the story of how the works were labelled ‘degenerate’ and stolen by the Nazis. 15.02.2017, Swissinfo.ch: Public to get first view of controversial Gurlitt art collection 16.02.2017, The Art Newspaper: Bern and Bonn schedule first exhibitions of Cornelius Gurlitt’s art for

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  • 10 February 2017

    Europe Sotheby’s takes Mark Weiss to court over contested Frans Hals: The auction house has started proceedings in English High Court to recover its losses in the sale of a work that was deemed a forgery after technical testing. 08.02.2017, The Art Newspaper: Sotheby’s takes Mark Weiss to court over contested Frans Hals 07.02.2017, Artnet: Sotheby’s Sues London Dealer Mark Weiss Over Frans Hals Forgery 07.02.2017, The New York Times: Sotheby’s Files Second Lawsuit Over Works It Calls Fake What

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  • 3 February 2017

    Europe Three More Arrested in Connection With Francis Bacon Heist in Madrid: Spanish police have arrested three people in connection with the theft of five Francis Bacon paintings – with an estimated combined worth of €25 million ($28 million) – that were stolen from a private residence in Madrid in June 2015. 01.02.2017, Artnet: Three More Arrested in Connection With Francis Bacon Heist in Madrid Trial testimony reveals how one man walked off with five masterpieces worth €180m from a

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  • 27 January 2017

    Europe Dr Oetker returns Van Dyck portrait looted by Göring: Dr Oetker, a family-owned German manufacturer of muesli, pizza and cake mixes, says it will return a portrait by Anthony van Dyck acquired by Hermann Göring to the heir of Jacques Goudstikker, a Jewish art dealer forced to flee the Netherlands when the Nazis invaded. “It is heartening to see private collections like the Oetker collection do the right thing for victims of the Nazis and their families,” says Marei

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  • 20 January 2017

    Europe Art and antiques trade welcomes clarity from Theresa May’s Brexit speech: The art and antiques associations praised the fresh clarity but have vowed to continue to lobby the government for a deal that benefits the industry. 18.01.2017, Antiques Trade Gazette: Art and antiques trade welcomes clarity from Theresa May’s Brexit speech 17.01.2017, The Guardian: Will a hard Brexit spell disaster for London’s cosmopolitan art scene? Sotheby’s declares ‘Parmigianino’ a forgery: Another “Old Master” linked to Giuliano Ruffini, the Frenchman

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  • 13 January 2017

    Europe The Billionaire Art Dealer Guy Wildenstein Is Cleared of Tax Fraud: In a surprise verdict, a French tribunal of judges cleared Guy Wildenstein — the patriarch of an international art-dealing dynasty — of charges that he laundered money by shielding a precious collection in a maze of foreign trusts to avoid inheritance taxes. 12.01.2017, The New York Times: The Billionaire Art Dealer Guy Wildenstein Is Cleared of Tax Fraud 12.01.2017, The Art Newspaper: Art dynasty heir Guy Wildenstein cleared

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  • 16 December 2016

    Europe Bern inherits Gurlitt collection as court rejects cousin’s challenge to will: Bern’s Kunstmuseum will inherit Cornelius Gurlitt’s controversial art collection after a court in Munich dismissed a challenge to his will by his cousin Uta Werner, who had maintained that the elderly hoarder was mentally unfit to make a will. 15.12.2016, The Art Newspaper: Bern inherits Gurlitt collection as court rejects cousin’s challenge to will 15.12.2016, The New York Times: Ruling Paves Way for Transfer of Art Trove Including

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  • 9 December 2016

    Europe Fears over new import licence system as EU targets trade on illicit art: Leading trade bodies are voicing concerns that a revised EU consultation into the illicit trafficking of antiquities could lead to a “burdensome” new import licence system. 02.12.2016, The Antiques Trade Gazette: Fears over new import licence system as EU targets trade on illicit art Berlin returns Nazi-looted sculpture to Jewish publisher’s family: A marble sculpture called Susanna by Reinhold Begas, on display in Berlin’s Alte Nationalgalerie,

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  • 1 December 2016

    Europe France Returns 16th-Century Portrait to Descendants of Jewish Couple: France on Monday officially returned a 16th-century portrait, attributed to Joos van Cleve or his son, to the descendants of Hertha and Henry Bromberg, a German-Jewish couple who were forced to sell the work of art in Paris when they fled Germany before World War II. 28.11.2016, The New York Times: France Returns 16th-Century Portrait to Descendants of Jewish Couple 30.11.2016, Artnet: France Restitutes Flemish Portrait to Descendents of German-Jewish

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  • 24 November 2016

    Europe Dispute Over $127.5 Million Leonardo Painting Draws in Sotheby’s: Sotheby’s joined the long-running dispute over a Leonardo da Vinci painting that has pitted Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev against a Swiss businessman who operates the biggest art storage facilities around the world. 21.11.2016, Bloomberg: Dispute Over $127.5 Million Leonardo Painting Draws in Sotheby’s 22.11.2016, Artnet: Sotheby’s Denies Helping Flip Yves Bouvier’s $127.5 Million Leonardo da Vinci National Gallery’s acquisition of Pontormo portrait under threat: London institution raised more than £30m

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  • 14 November 2016

    Europe Austrian Authorities Thwart Group Trying to Sell Fake Picassos: Austria’s criminal intelligence service announced that it had uncovered a group selling forgeries of high-profile art, including fakes that had been attributed to Chagall and Picasso. 08.11.2016, The New York Times: Austrian Authorities Thwart Group Trying to Sell Fake Picassos 09.11.2016, Artnet: Austrian Authorities Catch Six Dealers Attempting to Sell Fake Picasso Paintings German law on exporting art threatens castle museum conversion: In July, the German parliament enacted the Kulturgutschutzgesetz,

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  • 7 November 2016

    Europe UK’s Creative Industries Unveil Report Warning of Brexit Dangers: Loss of EU funding and movement restrictions for European workers are key concerns. 01.11.2016, The Art Newspaper: UK’s Creative Industries Unveil Report Warning of Brexit Dangers National Gallery director says $30m Matisse portrait ‘not Nazi-looted art’: The National Gallery in London is vigorously contesting a legal claim in a New York court over ownership of Matisse’s Portrait of Greta Moll (1908). The heirs of the sitter argue that the painting

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  • 28 October 2016

    Europe Cultural impact of Brexit revealed in new report: Brexit has “exposed severe social divides”, according to a new report by the UK’s Creative Industries Federation. The report provides the most detailed published assessment of the impact on culture of leaving the European Union (EU). It follows a survey just before the June referendum which showed that 96% of its respondents wanted to remain in the EU. 27.10.2016, The Art Newspaper: Cultural impact of Brexit revealed in new report London’s

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  • 21 October 2016

    Europe The Art Market: Cautiously optimistic?: The drop in value of the British pound since the EU referendum proved a boon to London’s October week contemporary art auctions. Presale estimates had been pitched low, given the uncertain economic and political backdrop, and some bargain-hunting contributed to an average 89 per cent sell-through rate across the three mixed-lot evening sales at Phillips, Christie’s and Sotheby’s. 21.10.2016, The Financial Times: The Art Market: Cautiously optimistic? Wildenstein Tax Trial Ends With Art Dealer’s

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  • 13 October 2016

    Europe Fears grow that hard Brexit will damage UK trade: As short-term worries fade, attention shifts to the future of import VAT, freedom of movement and artists’ royalties. 10.10.2016, The Art Newspaper: Fears grow that hard Brexit will damage UK trade Sotheby’s contemporary evening sale vaults over estimate: Bidders came from 44 countries, an increase of 20% compared with last year, according to Alex Branczik, Sotheby’s head of contemporary art in Europe, who noted that the historically low pound had

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  • 7 October 2016

    Europe At Frieze London, Throwing Light on Tense Times: As the British capital gears up for the 14th edition of Frieze London, the artists, gallerists, dealers and collectors gathering for the event are trying to anticipate the mood of the art market at a time of pronounced political uncertainty, at home and abroad. 06.10.2016, International New York Times: At Frieze London, Throwing Light on Tense Times 04.10.2016, Bloomberg: How Dealers Set Up Multimillion-Dollar Art Sales 04.10.2016, Art News: A Fistful

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  • 23 September 2016

    Europe That $100,000 Painting Bought to Flip Is Now Worth About $20,000: At auction houses in London and New York, sellers are preparing to bail on their investments after the emerging-art bubble burst and the resale market for once sought-after artists dried up. 19.09.2016, Bloomberg:  That $100,000 Painting Bought to Flip Is Now Worth About $20,000 20.09.2016, Bloomberg:  Art Market Goes From Boom to Bust, Why? New law planned to govern the art lending market: A shake-up of the art

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  • 16 September 2016

    Europe The Art Market: in an uncertain climate: The art market crept unwillingly back to school this week with many unsure of what to expect in the coming months. Sales volumes fell considerably before the summer break, while the unknown impact of Brexit and the now-looming US election mean that sellers are still biding their time. 09.09.2016, The Financial Times: The Art Market: in an uncertain climate Art Auction Houses Want to Deal: With the market likely soft in the

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  • 9 September 2016

    Europe Greta Moll’s Heirs Say Stolen Portrait Is at London Museum: More than a century after she sat for a portrait by Henri Matisse, Greta Moll is still an object of desire. The National Gallery in London was sued in the U.S. by three of her grandchildren who claim the museum wrongfully acquired the 1908 portrait, decades after the work by the famed French artist was allegedly stolen in the wake of World War II. 07.09.2016, Bloomberg: Greta Moll’s Heirs

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  • 2 September 2016

    Europe UK Places Export Ban on Queen Victoria’s $6.5 Million Crown: Prince Albert designed it for their wedding in 1840. 29.08.2016, Artnet News: UK Places Export Ban on Queen Victoria’s $6.5 Million Crown London’s National Gallery seeks Treasury’s help to buy £30m Italian Old Master: Fundraising is complicated after aristocratic seller paid inheritance tax on portrait by Pontormo. 01.09.2016, The Art Newspaper: London’s National Gallery seeks Treasury’s help to buy £30m Italian Old Master Victoria Borwick MP: ‘Brexit an opportunity

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  • 18 August 2016

    Europe More of the Same—Latest Limbach Commission “Reform” is Anything But: There have been a number of articles this week indicating that Germany intends to reform the “Advisory Commission on the return of cultural property seized as a result of Nazi persecution, especially Jewish property” (Beratende Kommission im Zusammenhang mit der Rückgabe NS-verfolgungsbedingt entzogener Kulturgüter, insbesondere aus jüdischem Besitz) that is charged with making recommendations to German museums on claims for art allegedly looted or bought under duress during the

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  • 29 July 2016

    Europe Sales move out of Germany as controversial culture bill becomes law: German auctioneers are preparing to move sales abroad following the passing of a controversial new cultural heritage law. 18.07.2016, Antiques Trade Gazette: Sales move out of Germany as controversial culture bill becomes law Swiss Seize Paintings by Van Gogh and Monet in Malaysia Corruption Case: Swiss authorities seized paintings by Vincent van Gogh and two by Claude Monet amid an investigation into Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund. 25.07.2016, Artnet

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  • 22 July 2015

    Europe New Research Says Gurlitt Collection Could Include 91 Nazi-Looted Works: New research suggests that the controversial art collection inherited by the late Cornelius Gurlitt may include more Nazi-looted works than previously thought. 19.07.2016, Artnet News:  New Research Says Gurlitt Collection Could Include 91 Nazi-Looted Works 18.07.2016, STL:  Germany: 91 pieces in Gurlitt art trove likely looted art Switzerland: legal dispute over Alberto Giacometti collection: On 24 February 2014, the State Prosecutor of the Canton of Graubünden seized as a

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  • 15 July 2016

    Europe What will Brexit mean for arts and culture in the UK?: With decreased levels of funding and potential limits on free movement across Europe, what does Brexit mean for the arts in the UK? 11.07.2016, NewStatesman: What will Brexit mean for arts and culture in the UK? 12.07.2016, Artsy: My 9 Predictions for the Art Market after the Brexit Vote 10.07.2016, The Guardian: After Brexit will the loss of EU funds pose a threat to UK arts? Triple threat:

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  • 8 July 2016

    Europe Brexit: what it could mean for the arts: Leading figures speak out about concerns for the future after UK votes to leave European Union. 06.07.2016, The Art Newspaper:  Brexit: what it could mean for the arts 06.07.2016, Antiques Trade Gazette:  Dear (future) Prime Minister: a wish list from the art and antiques trade 05.07.2016, The New York Times:  ‘Britain Is No Home to Me’: Five Artists Respond to ‘Brexit’ 03.07.2016, Artnet News:  Kenny Schachter on the London Auctions, Brexit,

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  • 30 June 2016

    Europe Brexit: dismay and concern after historic decision to leave EU: British arts organisations and artists are dismayed by the results of the European referendum, in which 52% of voters opted to leave. The decision by David Cameron to resign as prime minister in the early autumn has only added to the political and economic uncertainty, which will increase difficulties in the art world. 24.06.2016, The Art Newspaper:  Brexit: dismay and concern after historic decision to leave EU 26.06.2016, The

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  • 22 June 2016

    Europe How Would the Brexit Affect London’s Summer Auctions?: In a climate of contracting auction sales, the last thing the art market needs is more uncertainty. But with the Brexit referendum approaching, more uncertainty is precisely what is characterizing the upcoming London auctions, which take place at Sotheby’s and Christie’s at the end of the month. 21.06.2016, Artnet News:  How Would the Brexit Affect London’s Summer Auctions? 21.06.2016, Bloomberg:  Brexit Looms Over Art Market With London Auctions Set to Decline

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  • 15 June 2016

    Europe David Nahmad Denies Modigliani Painting Is Nazi Loot: Art world supremo David Nahmad has spoken out about the scandal surrounding his Amedeo Modigliani painting Seated Man with Cane (1918), denying claims that the work is Nazi loot. 13.06.2016, Artnet News:  David Nahmad Denies Modigliani Painting Is Nazi Loot 12.06.2016, The New York Times:  Owner of a Modigliani Portrait Is Adamant the Work Isn’t Nazi Loot 12.06.2016, Thelocal.ch:  Panama Papers painting plot thickens Protest at new EU proposals to tackle

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  • 8 June 2016

    Europe Two stolen paintings return to Italy after 22 years: Two large Old Master paintings worth up to €180,000 (£123,530) have been returned to Italy 22 years after they were stolen. The two pictures represent the physically largest recoveries of the Art Loss Register’s 25-year history. 07.06.2016, Antiques Trade Gazette:  Two stolen paintings return to Italy after 22 years 07.06.2016, Artnet News:  Old Master Paintings Stolen Decades Ago Are Found in London Vault The Art Market: Never quiet on the

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  • 1 June 2016

    Europe One of the World’s Greatest Art Collections Hides Behind This Fence: The superrich have stashed millions of works in tax-free storage. So what does that mean for the art? 29.05.2016, The New York Times:  One of the World’s Greatest Art Collections Hides Behind This Fence German minister lifts opposition to Jewish delegate on art restitution body: In a reversal, Germany’s culture minister said she favours including a Jewish community representative on the country’s controversial committee for restitution of Nazi-looted

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  • 25 May 2016

    Europe Berlin’s lost Renaissance sculptures rediscovered in the Pushkin Museum: Art historians have discovered 59 Italian Renaissance sculptures missing from Berlin’s collections since the Second World War in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, according to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. 19.05.2016, The Art Newspaper: Berlin’s lost Renaissance sculptures rediscovered in the Pushkin Museum 19.05.2016, Artnet News:  Renaissance Sculptures Looted from Germany During World War II Found in Moscow Campaign Underway to Save a Queen Elizabeth Portrait: A public appeal has

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  • 18 May 2016

    Europe Seventeen paintings stolen from Verona museum retrieved in Ukraine: Police in Ukraine have retrieved the 17 Old Master paintings stolen from the Museo di Castelvecchio in Verona last November and will soon return them to the museum. 12.05.2016, The Art Newspaper: Seventeen paintings stolen from Verona museum retrieved in Ukraine 13.05.2016, Artnet News:  17 Old Master Paintings Stolen in Daring Heist Recovered in Ukraine 12.05.2016, The New York Times:  A Verona Museum’s Stolen Paintings Are Found in Ukraine Accused

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  • 11 May 2016

    Europe Greece Puts International Pressure on British Museum to Return Parthenon Sculptures: High-profile lawyer Amal Alamuddin-Clooney may no longer be on the case, but that doesn’t mean that Greece has abandoned its efforts to repatriate the Parthenon sculptures. Now, nearly 200 years after the British government purchased the marbles from Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin, Greece is hoping to harness the power of public opinion to pressure the UK into returning the iconic works, reports the Guardian. 09.05.2016,

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  • 3 May 2016

    Europe Museums face ethics investigation over influence of sponsor BP: The Museums Association is investigating claims that some of Britain’s most revered cultural institutions have broken its code of ethics in the way they dealt with one of their commercial sponsors, BP. The move follows the release of internal documents seen by the Guardian that appear to show the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery and other institutions bending to accommodate the demands of the oil company. 29.04.2016, The Guardian:  Museums

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  • 26 April 2016

    Europe Bonn and Bern postpone Gurlitt exhibition as court decision on will drags out: Art museums in Bonn and Bern have been forced to postpone plans for a joint exhibition of Cornelius Gurlitt’s controversial art collection after a court in Munich said it would not rule on a challenge to Gurlitt’s will until after September. 21.04.2016, The Art Newspaper: Bonn and Bern postpone Gurlitt exhibition as court decision on will drags out 21.04.2016, Artnet News: Gurlitt Exhibition Postponed Due to

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  • 19 April 2016

    Europe Art market ripe for abuse, say campaigners: The art world has become increasingly secretive and opaque in the past two years, according to the main authority on the industry, and it is now difficult to know even the size of the market. “There were huge steps towards greater transparency in the past 20 years,” said Clare McAndrew, author of the TEFAF Art Market report. “But in the past couple of years it has been going backwards.” She blamed a

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  • 12 April 2016

    Europe Prosecutors Raid Geneva Freeport in Search of David Nahmad’s Modigliani Painting: Swiss prosecutors have raided a storage facility in Geneva in search of the Modigliani painting Seated Man with a Cane (1918), revealed by the Panama Papers to belong to art supremo David Nahmad. Prosecutor Claudio Mascotto launched the search for the painting at a unit belonging to art storage company Rodolphe Haller at Ports Francs Geneva, as he believed the $25 million artwork to be inside. 11.04.2016, Artnet

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  • 1 April 2016

    Europe Smears, counterclaims and lawsuits—the tangled web surrounding Prince of Liechtenstein’s Cranach: There has been a bizarre new twist in the case of the Prince of Liechtenstein’s painting of Venus, attributed to Cranach, which was seized on 1 March by a French judge. The Art Newspaper has learned that the painting is the subject of a lawsuit that has been ongoing since May 2014. The case was launched in Paris by an art dealer against two middlemen. The French dealer,

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  • 24 March 2016

    Europe UK government publishes its first Culture White Paper in half a century: Ed Vaizey, the UK culture minister, has published his White Paper. This is the first such governmental policy statement on culture since that of Jennie Lee, the Labour arts minister, in 1965. The Culture White Paper announces the establishment of detailed reviews of museums, arts and heritage. The museums review, due to be completed by summer 2017, will cover local, regional and national museums, with a special

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  • 18 March 2016

    Europe Germany Relents on Nazi-Looted Art Advisory Commission Jewish Membership: German Minister of Culture Monika Grütters was dismissively rejecting any changes to the Advisory Commission that issues recommendations on claims of Nazi-looted art in German museums. Seven days later Grütters announced that she had recommended that the commission include “a person with a Jewish background.” The lesson? No voice is too small to make a difference. 11.03.2016, The Art Law Report:  Germany Relents on Nazi-Looted Art Advisory Commission Jewish Membership

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  • 11 March 2016

    Europe Germany Keeps Digging—Explanation for Excluding Jewish Member from Nazi-looted Art Advisory Commission is Worse than Before: Last week Germany’s Minister of Culture Monika Grütters made the astonishing statement that the Advisory Commission that issues recommendations for questions of allegedly Nazi-looted art in German museums would not be revised to include a member of the Jewish community because that Jewish member “would be the only voice who would be prejudiced.” The statement was not idle gossip, it was to the

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  • 4 March 2016

    Europe French police seize painting attributed to Cranach, owned by the Prince of Liechtenstein: A Paris judge seized on Tuesday a painting attributed to the artist Lucas Cranach the Elder from an exhibition in Aix-en-Provence after doubts were raised about its authenticity. Part of the Prince of Liechtenstein’s collection, the work is to be examined by experts. Eric Morain, a lawyer for the Prince, told the French press he was “surprised” by the seizure, which was made without warning “despite

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  • 26 February 2016

    Europe Athenian group brings human rights claim for return of Parthenon Sculptures: Following the rejection of UNESCO’s mediation proposal by the UK government and the British Museum in March 2015, a Greek entity called the ‘Athenians’ Association’ has decided to bring an action seeking the return of the Parthenon Sculptures (or Elgin Marbles) before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg. 22.02.2016, Institute of Art and Law:  Athenian group brings human rights claim for return of Parthenon Sculptures Flechtheim

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  • 18 February 2016

    Europe Facebook can be sued over censorship of nudes, Paris court rules: The social media giant Facebook can be sued in France, a Paris appeals court decided on Friday, 12 February. The case centres on the site’s banning of nude images and started in 2011, when a French teacher tried to sue Facebook for censorship after it removed his post showing Courbet’s Origin of the World (1866). He is seeking to have his account reinstated and €20,000 in damages. Last

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  • 12 February 2016

    Europe Is The Controversial Art Law Fueling Germany’s Recent ‘Art Drain’?: Cultural commentators in Germany are bemoaning the increased number of works by German impressionists and expressionists that are finding their way to foreign auction houses recently. There are claims that the country’s highly controversial new cultural protection law is what’s making collectors nervous. While its not possible to definitively verify a correlation between auction consignments and impending legislative changes on art in Germany, the fact that many of the

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  • 5 February 2016

    Europe Ronald S. Lauder: ‘A crime committed 80 years ago continues to stain the world of art today’: In a lecture in Zurich on Tuesday evening, World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder urged Switzerland to address the issue of art works stolen by the Nazis prior to and during World War II. “Switzerland can now set the gold standard,” Lauder said. He explained why in his view “a crime committed 80 years ago continues to stain the world

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  • 29 January 2016

    Europe Why a Swiss gallery should return its looted Nazi art out of simple decency: Nazi loot carries a legacy of hate. The latest ownership dispute – over a Constable painting, claimed by the heirs of British Jews – reminds us that respect is at the heart of the restitution debate.  27.01.2016, The Guardian:  Why a Swiss gallery should return its looted Nazi art out of simple decency 25.01.2016, International New York Times:  Jewish Heirs Sue Swiss Museum to Recover

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  • 22 January 2016

    Europe Lords put pressure on UK government to sign Hague Convention this year: Members of the House of Lords and leading cultural heritage experts are again calling on the government to ratify the Hague Convention seven months after it agreed to sign the international agreement. If parliament swiftly ratifies the treaty’s two protocols before any of the other five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the UK will also be in a position to set up a headquarters in

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  • 15 January 2016

    Europe New sentencing guidelines for heritage crimes: Next month (February 2016) the new theft guidelines announced by the UK Sentencing Council last October will come into force. For the first time, the significant harm which can result from crimes like theft of public artworks, stripping of lead from historic churches and the activities of ‘nighthawkers’ is being officially recognized within the English criminal legal system. Courts dealing with these ‘heritage offences’ will have to take into account the special nature

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  • 8 January 2016

    Europe 2015’s biggest art market developments and what they mean: The art market was valued at €51bn in 2014, according to Clare McAndrew’s 2014 Tefaf Report, driven predominantly by demand at the top end. The cut-throat competition between the auction houses has led to an increasing reliance on guarantees. The most notable was the $515m promised by Sotheby’s for the Taubman estate, but these financial instruments were widespread elsewhere too. The year also saw a continuation of the formula introduced

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  • 17 December 2015

    Europe Call to change UK cultural export law: Citing the facts surrounding the recent Rembrandt export licence application withdrawal, there has been a call by the head of the Art Fund to change the rules regarding cultural export controls in the United Kingdom. Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar refers to the process for obtaining an export licence as being run by way of “gentleman’s agreements”, open to abuse by wealthy (foreign) owners of national artistic treasures. 14.12.2015, Institute of Art

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  • 11 December 2015

    Europe How Italy blocked the sale of a Dalí painting: A recent report involving a Dalí painting, Figura en una taula, has once again brought the issue of cultural export controls into focus. The Dalí painting, owned by an Italian national named Elena Quarestani, has been blocked by the Italian authorities from leaving the country. This is because it has been subject to a ‘declaration of cultural interest’, which can occur for any work that is currently in the country,

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  • 4 December 2015

    Europe German Panel Defends Effort to Trace Owners of Nazi-Looted Art: A German task force set up to determine the provenance of works in the art collection hoarded for decades by Cornelius Gurlitt defended its progress on Wednesday, announcing that it had established that a drawing by Adolph von Menzel had been sold by its Jewish owners in 1938 to help pay for their escape from the Nazis. The drawing, “Church in Hofgastein,” is the fifth in the collection of

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  • 27 November 2015

    Europe Nazi looted Houdon bust returns to Poland: A late 18th century bust of the Goddess Diana which was looted from the Royal Lazienki Palace in Warsaw by the Nazis has been returned to Poland after emerging at auction in Vienna. Having been in the collection of King Stanislaw August, the sculpture by Jean-Antoine Houdon had been taken along with 56 paintings from Poland’s national museum in 1940 when it was packed up and transported to the Krakow headquarters of

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  • 19 November 2015

    Europe France Creates $6 Million Solidarity Fund to Help Cultural Spaces Deal with Terror Attack Aftermath: France’s Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin, announced yesterday the launch of a €4 million ($6 million) solidarity fund to help theaters, concert halls, cinemas, and museums deal with the aftermath of the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, which left 129 people dead and 352 injured. 19.11.2015, Artnet News:  France Creates $6 Million Solidarity Fund to Help Cultural Spaces Deal with Terror Attack Aftermath

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  • 13 November 2015

    Europe Matisse portrait claim rejected by National Gallery: The National Gallery in London has rejected a claim for a portrait by Matisse that survived the bombing of Germany during the Second World War. The descendants of the sitter, the artist Greta Moll, argue that the work was misappropriated after being entrusted to a family friend who took it from the Soviet zone of Berlin to Switzerland in 1947. 07.11.2015, The Art Newspaper:  Matisse portrait claim rejected by National Gallery Customs

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  • 6 November 2015

    Europe German Cabinet Approves Controversial Cultural Heritage Protection Law: The federal cabinet of the German government approved the highly controversial draft law for the proposed amendment to the country’s cultural protection legislation on Wednesday. The cabinet’s approval marks the first step towards the ratification of the law, which now goes to the German parliament for further deliberation. The law seeks to tighten export regulations so that all artworks traveling within the EU require an export permit if the works are

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  • 30 October 2015

    Europe Wales’ £35m Rembrandt painting to stay in UK: A £35m painting by Rembrandt, which has been in Wales for 150 years, will stay in Britain for the time being after an overseas buyer withdrew an application for an export licence. Portrait of Caterina, dated to 1657, has been at Penrhyn Castle, Llandegai, Gwynedd, since 1860 before being provisionally sold. But the UK government withheld the export licence until February. This was to enable a UK buyer to raise the

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  • 23 October 2015

    Europe UK Customs seizure of looted Libyan statue: A dispute over a highly attractive marble statue sparked headlines in the national press in early September 2015. It had been seized by Customs officers and kept in the British Museum for safekeeping during the legal proceedings. The District Judge, John Zani, had examined the statue there before coming to a decision that it had been looted from Libya and would be forfeited to the Crown before being returned to the Libyan

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  • 16 October 2015

    Europe Goya’s Marquesa de Santa Cruz is back in London: Goya’s Marquesa de Santa Cruz is back in London. Those with long memories will know that this painting by Spanish artist Francisco Goya had been taken out of Spain in the mid-1980s and brought to auction at Christie’s in London, only to incur the ire of the Spanish government. The work had left Spain in 1983 accompanied by forged export documents. As an obvious national treasure, there was otherwise no

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  • 9 October 2015

    Europe Tuymans settlement and copyright exceptions: It was announced last week that two Belgian creators had reached a settlement in a copyright dispute highlighting the role (and limits) of copyright exceptions. One was a photographer, Katrijn Van Giel, who had taken a photograph of Belgian politician Jean-Marie Dedecker that appeared in De Standard newspaper in 2010. It was a fairly unique shot: creatively cropped to reveal only the upper part of the subject’s face against a black backdrop. The other

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  • 2 October 2015

    Europe Art masterpieces that Nazi Party’s Goering stole from Jews are now published: The full handwritten catalogue of Hermann Goering’s huge collection of stolen art masterpieces was published for the first time this Wednesday. Kept in France’s diplomatic archives, the document, which includes notes on which Jews the works were confiscated from and where they were sent, was until now only available to scholars. The full list, called The Goering Collection, has now been issued by Flammarion. It is hoped

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  • 25 September 2015

    Europe Two important recommendations on Nazi-looted art: The Spoliation Advisory Panel, the UK body that hears disputes relating to Nazi-looted art held in national collections, has delivered two important reports this month. The first is a follow-up on an earlier 2014 recommendation that the Tate return a Constable painting, ‘Beaching a Boat, Brighton’, to the descendants of the painting’s original owner, Baron Hatvany of Hungary. The second involves a Renoir in the possession of the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery,

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  • 16 September 2015

    Europe French Judge Fines Freeport King Yves Bouvier: Yves Bouvier presented himself in a Paris court on Monday to answer questions and provide information on the sale of reportedly stolen Pablo Picasso paintings and drawings, which were previously owned by the artist’s stepdaughter, Catherine Hutin-Blay, who reported them missing earlier this year. Bouvier was fined €27 million ($30 million) of which he was told to immediately pony up €5 million ($5.6 million). 15.09.2015, Artnet News:  French Judge Fines Freeport King

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  • 9 September 2015

    Europe Bouvier counter-attacks: In the latest round in the bitter battle between “freeport king” Yves Bouvier and his former client, the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, Bouvier has scored a distinct hit. A Singaporean court has lifted the worldwide freeze on Bouvier’s assets, while also expressing doubts about some of the allegations made by Rybolovlev’s side. 04.09.2015, Financial Times:  The Art Market: Feuds and fairs Britain has a ‘hidden’ art collection worth £3.5bn: The government and local authorities own art worth

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  • 2 September 2015

    Europe Freeport King Yves Bouvier Vows Revenge Against Russian Billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev: Just over a week after a Singapore court lifted a freeze on his assets, Swiss freeport mogul Yves Bouvier gave a lengthy interview in which he promised to hit back at his former client Dmitry Rybolovlev, who accused Bouvier of swindling him on several pricey art transactions. 01.09.2015, artnet news:  Freeport King Yves Bouvier Vows Revenge Against Russian Billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev 31.08.2015, Art Market Monitor:  Emboldened Bouvier Makes

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