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Law

News
Law

Trial date set for Belgian artist Jan Fabre following three-year #MeToo investigation

Choreographer faces charges of sexual harassment and indecent assault

News
Art market

Genevan prosecutor dismisses Dimitry Rybolovev's case against art dealer Yves Bouvier—but feud between the two billionaires is not over yet

Russian art collector had sued for double dealing and will now appeal decision, while Bouvier plans to launch $1bn countersuit for damages—and write a tell-all book

News
Museums & Heritage

Italy evicts Steve Bannon’s right-wing group from medieval monastery

Move follows long-running dispute with the Italian ministry of culture over the 13th-century Certosa di Trisulti

News
Law

North Carolina film-maker’s copyright case against the state revived after Supreme Court denial

A district court will now consider whether Rick Allen’s footage of a pirate ship salvage operation was unjustly taken by state officials

News
Art market

Safani Gallery's lawsuit against Italy over disputed antiquity dismissed in court

The New York-based gallery sued after US authorities seized a bust of Alexander the Great in 2018. The sculpture's ownership and future remains unresolved

News
Art theft

German socialite Angela Gulbenkian pleads guilty to theft in London court

The charges against her stemmed from the fraudulent sale of a £1.1m Yayoi Kusama pumpkin sculpture to a Hong Kong collector, while a similar claim against her over a Warhol portrait remains in German court

News
Law

Settlement reached over Robert Indiana’s estate—paving way for planned museum in artist's home in Maine

Under the agreement, the Morgan Art Foundation will continue to promote the Pop artist's work in museums and on the market

News
Art market

If you sell art in the UK, you must register for anti-money laundering supervision by tomorrow—or risk prosecution

"Art market participants" who sell works of art worth €10,000 (£8,600) or more must register with the HMRC by 10 June

News
Law

French heir renounces title to Nazi-looted Pissarro painting found in Oklahoma

The Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep will return this summer to the University of Oklahoma, which will seek a French partner for future exchanges

News
Art market

Not laughing now: Banksy loses second trademark case over famous monkey image

Ruling slams British street artist for “sham efforts” in trying to mislead the European Union Intellectual Property Office

News
Design

Artists’ signal-jamming chandelier sculpture challenges our reliance on technology—and FCC laws

The goal of the design is to encourage interpersonal connections and promote mental health

News
Art market

Bill and Melinda Gates are divorcing—what will happen to their art?

As the multi-billionaire couple announce they are ending their marriage, we look at some of the art world's bitterest splits

News
Law

Tate Modern neighbours head to Supreme Court over 'relentless' invasion of privacy

Residents next to the London museum continue legal battle after losing case to close viewing platform that allows visitors to see inside their flats

News
Art market

US judge throws out latest non-payment case involving Anatole Shagalov

Dispute with Artemus centred on a multimillion-dollar leaseback arrangement involving Keith Haring and Frank Stella works

News
Art market

French galleries sue state over Covid-19 closure

The gallery association CPGA is going to court, claiming its members are “victims of a distortion of competition” as auction houses are allowed to stay open

Comment
NFTs

The looming legal and regulatory questions NFT collectors and sellers should prepare for

An expert in anti-money laundering laws shares her thoughts on the booming digital art marketplace

News
Museums & Heritage

Virtual museum law conference shows how the pandemic has affected institutional administration

From dealing with cyberattacks on newly implemented digital offerings, to figuring out how to renegotiate a postponed loan, the coronavirus has raised a whole new crop of issues for museums

News
Law

New York Supreme Court permanently bans gallery from showing ‘distorted’ image of artist’s work

Pat Lipsky had sued Spanierman Gallery under the 1980 Artist Authorship Rights Act for digitally manipulating a photograph of her Color Field painting Bright Music II

News
Greece

Archaeologists appeal to Greek prime minister to halt restructuring of five big antiquities museums

Experts oppose culture ministry's proposal to separate Greece's major museums from the state archaeological service

Comment
Art market

Risky business: how new US sanctions regulations will actually impact the art market

The US government has the 'regulatory vacuum' in its sights—here is a guide to who will be affected and how

News
Politics

Ukrainian art scholar reportedly tortured and imprisoned by Russian forces on ‘absurd’ espionage charges

International Council of Museums committees in Ukraine and Poland appeal for help to secure Olena Pekh's release

News
Restitution

Germany proposes law change to ease Nazi-loot returns from private foundations

Law change follows refusal by some foundations to restitute property lost due to Nazi persecution

News
Guelph Treasure

US Supreme Court sides with Germany in Guelph Treasure case

In a unanimous opinion, it found the country cannot be sued for taking property from its own citizens, making it harder for the heirs of some Holocaust victims to recover art through the US justice system

News
US politics

US Capitol riot: Pennsylvania artist charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct

Federal authorities have ordered Andrew Wrigley to turn over his passport and avoid travel to Washington, DC after posting selfies from the insurrection

News
Law

Art lawyer Frank Lord opens private practice in New York

As well as working on high profile restitution cases, the former Herrick Feinstein partner has a PhD in art history

News
Art market

French High Court orders retrial of Wildenstein art dynasty tax fraud case

Guy Wildenstein and his nephew were accused of hiding assets worth hundreds of millions but were acquitted in 2017 and 2018—now they are wanted back in court for a third trial

News
Art market

Lawsuit claims $100m damages in tangled case of hidden Russian art worth $60m

Shchukin Gallery and its lawyers file new lawsuit against Russian financier Rustam Iseev, his lawyer and a New York Supreme Court judge in bid to uncover location of paintings

Comment
Art market

How art world leaders can embrace new money laundering regulations and create a 'think risk' culture

Punishment for the new rules now falls on the art market's top dogs, says Sotheby’s founding global compliance director Rena Neville

News
Law

US Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Guelph Treasure claim

The case centres on whether Germany’s taking of a trove of medieval church reliquaries from its own Jewish citizens was a violation of international law—potentially opening the door for other reparations

Comment
Art market

The art trade benefits from the UK's low import duty. What will happen to it after Brexit?

As talks with the EU resume to reach a last-ditch trade deal, the lawyer Louise Williamson looks at what UK import rules might look like after 1 January

News
Law

US museums groups raise concerns as settlement deal over Nazi-looted Pissarro heads back to court

The work, returned to the French heiress Léone-Noëlle Meyer in 2016, was meant to go back on display at Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum next year

News
Art market

Seller contests having to repay Sotheby’s for allegedly forged Frans Hals

In latest hearing of ongoing legal saga, Fairlight Art Ventures, co-vendor of painting sold in 2011 for $11.75m, is refusing to pay auction house more than $5.3m

News
Art market

New York state sues Sotheby's for allegedly helping collector evade tax on $27m of art

Auction house "vigorously refutes the unfounded allegations" made by the attorney general, who claims the auction house knowingly aided the offshore company Porsal Equities

News
Restitution

French Senate votes unanimously for restitution to Benin and Senegal in 'act of friendship and trust'

Senate approves bill to return 27 colonial-era artefacts from museum collections to Africa within one year

News
Law

Germany’s arguments to toss Guelph Treasure case raise concerns from US lawmakers

In Supreme Court filings, the country claims the sale of a valuable collection at a deep discount during the Nazi-era did not violate international law

News
Law

US Supreme Court and its impact on the arts: 1990-2020

From freedom of speech trials to Holocaust restitution cases , the country’s highest court regularly weighs in on issues that affect the art world

News
Law

Sackler family to pay $225m in civil settlement with US government

The deal with the Department of Justice, which also includes guilty pleas and a $8bn fine against Purdue Pharma, does not prevent future claims against family members or company executives

News
Brazil

Inhotim cannot use works from its collection to pay off founder's debt, judge rules

The Brazilian arts park signed an agreement in 2016 to donate 20 works from its collection to the government in order to repay Bernardo Paz's $110m tax debt for laundering donations

News
Law

In victory for street artists, US Supreme Court declines to hear 5Pointz developer’s appeal

A New York judge previously awarded $6.75m in damages to the artists, whose graffiti was whitewashed from a Queens warehouse

News
Restitution

France’s National Assembly votes to return colonial-era artefacts to Benin and Senegal

Accelerated bill enabling restitution of 27 objects from French museums passes first vote in parliament

News
Restitution

France ordered to return three Derain paintings to heirs of Jewish dealer René Gimpel

Ruling by Paris court of appeal sets an important precedent for pending restitution claim over 16 paintings in French museum collections

News
Restitution

Police search for Benin Bronze protestor—found guilty of 'threatening behaviour'

Isaiah Ogundele, who demonstrated outside the Museum of London, Docklands for the objects' repatriation, failed to appear at his court hearing earlier this month

News
Lawsuits

Insurers fight $107m claim for Modigliani paintings seized by Italian police

A US dealer says he is owed millions by insurance brokers for 12 works that were confiscated by authorities from the Palazzo Ducale in 2017 as suspected fakes

News
Law

Robert Indiana’s Star of Hope reaches deal with Morgan Art Foundation to end ongoing legal battles

The two organisations will work together to settle the artist’s estate and get his charitable foundation up and running in Maine

News
Brazil

Court-ordered auction of works from disgraced Brazilian banker's collection prompts new controversy

The Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of São Paulo claims it is owed $3.6m for conserving and storing around 1,600 works repossessed from bankrupt Banco Santos president Edemar Cid Ferreira

News
Museums

Paris court case shines a light on growing cosiness between curators, state museums and galleries

Marlborough gallery and a retired Guimet Museum curator are accused of bribery in their promotion of the artist Chu Teh-Chun—but say they broke no rules

News
Banksy

Banksy loses trademark battle over his famous Flower Thrower image

The street artist opened a pop-up shop in Croydon last year in a bid to protect his image rights, but was found to have “acted in bad faith”

News
Art market

UK High Court ruling could be 'welcome news' for arts organisations denied Covid-19 insurance payout

Judgment this week ruled in favour of the Financial Conduct Authority's test case seeking clarification of policies as many insurers refuse to pay out during the pandemic

News
Law

Bathurst family sues art lender over Gainsborough painting offered as collateral by disgraced dealer

The noble family, whose ancestors are depicted in the work, says Art Finance Partners should have known Timothy Sammons did not legally own the painting

News
Law

US appeals court rules—with regret—that Thyssen-Bornemisza Foundation can keep Nazi-looted Pissarro

Judges noted the Spanish government, which signed the Washington Principles in 1998, “can preen as moralistic in its declarations”, yet not be bound by them

News
Art market

Senate investigation finds art market secrecy allowed Russian billionaire brothers, friends of Putin, to evade government sanctions

A detailed report calls the trade “the largest, legal unregulated industry in the United States” and recommends increased transparency and government oversight

News
Law

California may grant repatriation rights to unrecognised Native American tribes

A new state bill expands federal rights for Indigenous groups to reclaim human remains, burial objects and other sacred artefacts from institutions

News
Art crime

California man sentenced to five years in prison for $6m international art fraud scheme

Philip Righter pleaded guilty to selling works fraudulently attributed to Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, among others

News
Law

International Criminal Court trial begins of Jihadist police chief accused of destroying Timbuktu’s cultural heritage

Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud is on trial for war crimes in Mali

News
Law

New York grand jury indicts Inigo Philbrick on federal fraud charges

The dealer was arrested by the FBI on the Pacific island Vanuatu last month and transferred into federal custody

News
Tutankhamun

BBC investigation uncovers legal dispute over blockbuster Tutankhamun exhibition

Lawyer says Egypt breached heritage protection laws by contracting a private company to tour the artefacts

News
Art market

Monaco court dismisses criminal case against Yves Bouvier

The Swiss art dealer had been accused of fraud and money laundering by the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev—a related case in Geneva remains active

News
Law

Heirs battle estate over $30m Monet painting from Emden collection sold during Nazi era

Le Palais Ducal is at the centre of an ownership dispute that has kept the work from coming to auction

News
Restitution

US Supreme Court agrees to hear Berlin museums' appeal in lawsuit over restitution of medieval treasures to Jewish heirs

Panel will consider museums' argument that a trial over rightful ownership of the Guelph Treasure cannot be heard in American courts

News
Law

Colour balance: painter Pat Lipsky sues over digitally ‘distorted’ images of her work

The artist says photographs of her canvas Bright Music II, offered for sale online, have been altered beyond recognition as her work

News
Australia

‘Broken’ heritage laws: Australia launches investigation after 46,000-year-old Aboriginal rock art is obliterated

Parliamentary enquiry will examine how mining giant Rio Tinto obtained legal right to destroy ancient Juukan Gorge site

News
Antiquities & Archaeology

Paris dealer who sold golden sarcophagus to New York’s Metropolitan Museum charged with fraud and money laundering

The work was returned to Egypt last year after officials were shown evidence it might have been looted during the Arab Spring in 2011

News
Russia

Russian theatre director Kirill Serebrennikov found guilty of fraud and ordered to pay $1.85m in damages to culture ministry

Accused of embezzling funds while staging a contemporary arts festival, Serebrennikov faced six years in prison but was handed a suspended sentence

News
Art market

Video, virtual hearings and 'e-bundles': how remote justice is being served in art cases during the pandemic

A focus on long-term planning and contract law are among the chief lockdown concerns

News
Censorship

'I have a 1% chance of being acquitted': Russian activist faces six years in prison for posting vagina drawings online

Police say the body-positive images, accompanied by captions like ‘Real women have body fat and it’s normal,’ violate pornography laws

News
Unions

Labour organising committee assails Philadelphia museum’s use of a ‘union avoidance’ law firm

Employees call on the museum to take a position of neutrality in any union vote

News
Antiquities

Sotheby’s cannot sue Greece over bronze horse, US court rules

The country's government had questioned the provenance of the artefact, forcing it to be pulled from a 2018 sale

News
Hong Kong

Hong Kong artists abroad launch pro-democracy platform as China's security law looms

Online project documents one year of anti-government protests in the territory and aims to rally support from international art community

News
Art market

Mary Boone released from prison early after the facility sees spike in coronavirus cases

Jailed for tax fraud, the incarcerated Manhattan dealer has been moved to a re-entry facility just under half way through her 30-month sentence

News
Disasters & destruction

Mining company Rio Tinto apologises for destruction of 46,000-year-old Aboriginal site

Blasting of two ancient rock shelters at Juukan Gorge was authorised in 2013 by Western Australia state government

News
Law

Court dismisses Cady Noland’s lawsuit against collector and dealers who conserved Log Cabin sculpture

The conceptual artist, who disavowed the work, claimed that replacing materials without her consent violated the US Visual Artists Rights Act

News
Heritage

Steve Bannon wins first major battle for medieval monastery

Italy retaliates with criminal prosecution of right-wing religious group funded by US President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist

News
Art market

Convicted art fraudster Ezra Chowaiki subject of yet more legal drama

New racketeering suit against the disgraced New York art dealer, brought by a Spanish collector regarding paintings by Picasso and Léger, gets off to a mixed start

News
Art market

Gold tycoon and art collector James Stunt charged with money laundering and forgery

The former husband of heiress Petra Ecclestone denies any criminality and says he will contest all charges

Analysis
coronavirus

Can’t pay your rent? Here’s what you can do if you're a UK gallery

Coronavirus has left many art businesses struggling to pay their bills, but there are resources available to help

News
Law

New York court rules Call of Duty video game as art

The gaming publisher Activision is protected under the First Amendment to use the Humvee vehicle brand “if realism is an artistic goal"

News
Auction houses

Christie's settles $16.7m in tax claims with New York District Attorney

Manhattan prosecutors say the auction house failed to collect sales tax on $189m in private sales over five years

News
Copyright

US copyright law comes under scrutiny as new legislation makes its way before Congress

A planned new mediation system, which aims to streamline copyright breach claims in the US, has loopholes that could deny artists justice, critics say

News
Law

Supreme Court rules film-maker cannot sue North Carolina for copyright infringement

Opinion finds Congress overstepped its authority with 1990 federal statute, but allowed for a new law to "stop states from behaving as copyright pirates"

News
Collectors

Portuguese judge orders seizure of all assets owned by African art collector Isabel dos Santos in the country

Move is intended to stall the sales of stakes in multi-million-Euro companies based in Portugal

Comment
Law

The US Supreme Court’s silence on Nazi art theft fails Holocaust survivors

Last week’s decision to reject an appeal over the ownership of Picasso’s The Actor was a missed opportunity to clarify the limitations of the 2016 HEAR Act

News
Banksy

Charges dropped against South African billionaire over allegedly fraudulent Banksy deal

Martin Levick had been accused of duping an investor into lending him $3.5m for the purchase of the work

News
Law

Mary Boone sued by former director for withholding wages and ‘misappropriating’ more than $10m

The incarcerated dealer allegedly had Gagosian gallery wire millions into her personal account for the sale of a Brice Marden painting to pay off tax penalties before she went to jail

News
Law

France reconfirms that women baring their breasts in public is illegal—even for artists and protestors

Two women who are part of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen were charged for topless protests, one of which was in a Paris museum

News
Italy

Steve Bannon wins again in battle against Italian ministry of culture

President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist wants to set up a nationalist bootcamp in an Italian monastery

Analysis
Art market

When artists and galleries split, what are the legal implications?

As successful artists increasingly seek non-exclusive contracts with multiple galleries, clarity becomes critical in navigating splits between artist and gallery

News
Museums

Uffizi wins legal battle against 'cybersquatter' owner of Uffizi.com domain name

The unofficial websites were used to sell tickets to the Florentine museum at inflated prices

News
Law

New York dealer sues artist Derek Fordjour for $1.45m

Gallery owner and real estate investor Robert Blumenthal claims the artist failed to deliver seven works promised in a $20,000 deal made in 2014

News
Law

San Francisco artist sues Disney for copying her ‘tremendously cool’ painted van in Pixar film

Sweet Cecily Daniher rented her unicorn decorated vehicle to the studio for a party, only to find out its doppelganger will appear in the animated movie Onward

News
Artist estates

New York judge dismisses further counterclaims made by Robert Indiana's estate against Morgan Art Foundation

The decision made yesterday follows a similar ruling made last July in which the estate’s counterclaims of non-payment of royalties and unauthorised reproductions were dismissed

News
Museums

Tate privacy battle over viewing platform 'snooping' goes back to court

Claimant says she feels “completely exposed” in her apartment overlooked by the museum

News
Law

Artist pleads guilty to assault and harassment charges in domestic violence case

As part of plea agreement, Tobias Madison must attend a 26-week batterers’ programme and attend weekly therapy sessions to have his criminal record cleared in a year’s time

News
Nazi loot

Supreme Court delays Guelph Treasure appeal so US government can add its views to case

The German state museum agency has argued that it cannot be sued in American courts by heirs of Jewish dealers who sold the works during the Holocaust

News
Controversies

Luanda Leaks: Isabel dos Santos—who owns vast African art collection—accused of making her $2.2bn fortune by exploiting Angola

Dos Santos and her husband Sindika Dokolo own around 3,000 works by artists including William Kentridge and Zanele Muholi

News
Art crime

Why do courts lack conviction in art cases?

Collapse of Bulmer theft case is just the latest in string of failed art-related convictions

News
Art market

Tough UK anti-money laundering law comes into force tomorrow—here's what you need to know

The lawyer Kenneth Mullen offers advice to art dealers, agents and galleries who could be unprepared for the hastily enforced new regulations

News
Restitution

New evidence cited in restitution claim for Panama Papers Modigliani

Dealer Oscar Stettiner’s grandson says painting, now owned by David Nahmad, was looted by Nazis

News
Art market

'A victory of justice over big money': criminal case against art dealer Yves Bouvier dismissed by Monaco court

Verdict is likely to have a domino effect on all other cases filed by Russian billionaire collector Dmitry Rybolovlev

News
Art market

Judicial review of UK Ivory Act rejected

After months of fundraising to bring legal action, judge dismisses antiques trade's objections to upcoming ban

News
Law

Who really owns this Schiele watercolour Portrait of the Artist's Wife?

A three-way battle is brewing in New York courts as the heirs of two Holocaust victims take on the work’s current owner