Law

Art collector sues NFT platform Nifty Gateway over Beeple auction

Amir Soleymani, who has had his Nifty account and assets frozen, has accused the platform of changing its terms of sale

'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

Lawnews

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

Choreographer faces charges of sexual harassment and indecent assault

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

Lawnews

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

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

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

Lawnews

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

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

Lawnews

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

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

Designnews

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

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

Lawnews

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

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

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

NFTscomment

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

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

Lawnews

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

Greecenews

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

Art marketcomment

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

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

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

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

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

Lawnews

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

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 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

Lawnews

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

Art marketcomment

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

Lawnews

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

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

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

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

Lawnews

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

Lawnews

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

Lawnews

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

Brazilnews

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

Lawnews

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

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

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

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

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

Lawnews

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

Brazilnews

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

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

Banksynews

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”

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

Lawnews

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

Lawnews

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

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

Lawnews

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

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

Lawnews

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

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

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

Lawnews

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

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