Art law

'No matter how wealthy you are, no one is above the law': New York court rejects Sotheby's attempt to dismiss suit alleging it helped collector evade tax on $27m of art

Attorney general claims the auction house created and used tax exemption certificates that falsely presented the buyer as an art dealer in order to dodge payments. Sotheby's says it will continue to contest the case

Art marketcomment

The tension between copyright law and Appropriation art: where is the line between artistic innovation and stealing?

As a US court issues a decision on the dispute between the Andy Warhol Foundation and photographer Lynn Goldsmith, two lawyers explore past case studies in this legally controversial area

Antiquities trade should prepare for more government oversight

US Treasury Department issues a call for input on forthcoming regulation that aims to counter money laundering

Two veteran lawyers from New York's Herrick Feinstein create new firm, Kaye Spiegler—and save on moving fees

The boutique firm will continue to work from the same offices, but wants to take on riskier contingency cases

Artistate launches to help artists safeguard their legacy

Founded by gallerists and lawyers, the venture will provide estate-planning advice—for a fee—to artists and their families

Genevan court 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

Art world rushes to conform to UK's anti-money laundering laws

So far a total of 475 "art market participants" have been registered—but delays mean more are likely to comply in the coming months

US Copyright Office suggests Congress pass new laws to protect artists from state infringement

A string of court cases have allowed states to claim sovereign immunity when they have used images without permission, giving copyright holders cause for concern and few options for remedy

Art marketcomment

Not all they seem: how galleries can spot fake ID documents

From face-matching software to watching out for shifty behaviour, here is how you can protect yourself from fraudsters attempting to buy art under a false identity

‘Slap in the face’: Poland passes law effectively blocking Holocaust-era art restitutions

Lawyers and collectors weigh in on new rule that sets a 30-year limit on claims to property that was stolen by Nazis and Communist leaders

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

What counts as ‘fair use’? Debate over Warhol's appropriation of Prince photograph rumbles on

Photographer Lynn Goldsmith says recent Supreme Court ruling on Google supports previous decision that went against the Pop artist's foundation

Portuguese collector Joe Berardo—detained for tax fraud—also investigated for other crimes

Businessman behind the Museu Coleção Berardo in Lisbon, one of Portugal's most visited museums, allegedly owes nearly €1bn

Stand and deliver: the $950m ‘art hostage situation’ involving paintings by Malevich and Goncharova

In a long-running legal battle, the Shchukin Gallery seeks the return of five paintings worth $63m that the gallery says were taken by a Russian financier

UK treasure items cleared for sale may soon face problems with export to the EU

New licensing regulations for cultural property may hamper metal detectorists' ability to sell legitimate finds on the European 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

NFTsanalysis

But is it legal? The baffling world of NFT copyright and ownership issues

With interest in non-fungible tokens growing fast, the legal questions are testing the experts

US appeals court rules that Warhol’s reliance on a photographer’s portrait image did not constitute ‘fair use’

Decision appears to signal that appropriation artists may have to proceed more cautiously

Art marketcomment

The art market is 'high risk' for money laundering, so ignore new regulations at your peril

The UK government may make examples of galleries, advisors and auction houses found failing to comply to new laws, so prepare your business with these steps

Vermont Law School can hide a mural that offended students behind a wall, court rules

A 1993 painting of the state’s historic role on the Underground Railroad depicts Black slaves as caricatures, while white abolitionists are idealised

Old Masters meet Brutalism: inside Frick Madison in New York

Plus, the story of a notorious forger and artist Collier Schorr on August Sander

Hosted by Ben Luke. with guest speaker Vincent Noce. Produced by Julia Michalska, David Clack, Aimee Dawson and Henrietta Bentall

Family members fall out over Rembrandt stored in a New Jersey basement

An heir of an early owner claims that family members conspired to have it sold without his knowledge

Court awards New York dealer Asher Edelman $6.9m over failed deal allegedly involving member of the Abu Dhabi royal family

Mysterious case, involving an unpaid bill for Keith Haring and Edvard Munch works, had been running for years

Roman bust seized in Germany after confusion around import laws for artefacts in transit

The bronze was taken because German law requires archaeological objects have export licences from the country of origin—but it was only travelling through to Austria from the US

New York art dealer Helly Nahmad pardoned by Trump

Hours before leaving office, former US president granted a pardon to Nahmad, who pleaded guilty to a federal gambling charge in 2014 and owned an entire floor of Trump Tower

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

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

Art marketcomment

How will US money laundering crackdown actually impact the art market? A lawyer explains

Congress is increasing its regulation of antiquities trade and while its powers are limited for now, change will come so the art industry must prepare

Amsterdam court rejects heirs’ claim for Kandinsky painting in the Stedelijk Museum

Ruling upholds controversial decision by the beleaguered Dutch Restitutions Committee but counters an independent review

Artist sues Los Angeles and the Chinese American Museum for junking his work

Lawsuit demands that court issue an injunction to prevent future dismantling of works of art without artists’ supervision

'The law has to fall on someone': Seller of allegedly fake Frans Hals must pay Sotheby's $5.3m for cancelled sale, judge insists

Co-vendor of the painting, Fairlight Art Ventures had appealed the ruling last year but court upheld the decision yesterday, finding in favour of the auction house

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

British-Chinese artist Gordon Cheung left out of pocket by Shanghai gallery

Ten years on, defunct Other Gallery owes the artist almost £44,000 and has yet to return 16 works

Yves Bouvier evaded paying taxes on £276m of art sales, Swiss authorities claim

Switzerland's Federal Criminal Court ordered documents unsealed that call into question whether the dealer declared all profits from sales made to Dimitry Rybolovlev

Anna Brady. , with additional reporting by Vincent Noce

New York developer who whitewashed 5Pointz graffiti—and owes artists $6.75m in damages—appeals to Supreme Court

Petition focuses on the phrasing of the Visual Artists Rights Act, which protects works of “recognized stature” without defining what that means

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

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

Anatole Shagalov must pay Sotheby's $2m for Keith Haring painting, judge rules

Art dealer did not pay up for painting bought at auction in 2017

American collector to sue France over restitution of $1.7m Pissarro painting

Real estate developer Bruce Toll claims compensation after French High court confirms return of Pissarro's Pea Harvest to heirs of collector Simon Bauer

Alleging censorship, ACLU sues Miami Beach for removal of painting memorialising the police shooting of Raymond Herisse

A painting by Rodney Jackson was removed from an exhibition focusing on racial justice issues at the request of Miami Beach officials

Trial of Paris gallery over stolen Picasso works delayed until next year due to coronavirus court backlog

A handyman allegedly stole works on paper from the artist’s stepdaughter over three years, before they were discovered in the possession of the owner of Belle et Belle gallery

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

Art arbitration panel in The Hague steps up a gear to tackle complex disputes

Around 170 more arbitrators and mediators appointed to court panel which aims to increase expertise and impartiality

Art lawcomment

Selling art online? Here are the legal pitfalls to avoid

Lawyer Petra Warrington on how to protect your business if you are holding online auctions, exhibiting and selling works on Instagram, or entering into sale contracts by email

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

Robert Indiana’s LOVE at centre of new $150m fraud claim

American Image Art founder alleges certain works are in the public domain and cannot be copyrighted

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

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

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

UK fails to save painting of 'paramount importance' as Getty export licence is granted

Recently rediscovered 18th-century work by artist Joseph Wright of Derby was bought by the Los Angeles museum in March last year

UK light artist sues Miami botanical garden over 'unauthorised replicas' of his work

Bruce Munro claims the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens intentionally imitated his works for its festive event known as The NightGarden

French court upholds suspended sentence for Picasso's former electrician

Pierre Le Guennec and his wife Danièle hoarded 271 works for 40 years

Funding Secure goes into administration after borrowers including London art dealer fail to pay back loans

Matthew Green owes the firm around £3m, according to legal documents filed by the peer-to-peer lender

Number of Manhattan's park art vendors can be limited by New York City, court rules

Appeals court says that guidelines limiting number of sellers in four green spaces are constitutional

Long-running Facebook battle over censored Courbet painting gets happy ending

Social media giant pays out after closing French teacher's account for posting photo of the Origin of the World

Lawsuitsarchive

Collector wins $1.7 million in damages from New York Gallery over violation of lending contract

Jean-Pierre Lehmann was denied “the right of first refusal over everybody”

Mayor Gallery sues over Agnes Martin

Catalogues raisonnés emerge as the latest front in the battle to authenticate works and secure market value

Richard Prince is sued yet again for unauthorised appropriation of photographs

Eric McNatt files lawsuit over artist’s reproduction of a portrait of rock musician Kim Gordon

Picasso’s electrician admits he lied in court

Pierre Le Guennec changes his story claiming artist's wife gave him 271 works in rubbish bag

National Gallery director says $30m Matisse portrait 'not Nazi-looted art'

Heirs of Greta Moll are demanding London museum returns painting of their grandmother

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