March 2020.
Made in Brooklyn with love.​
Art Law Blast 2.0.
PS All puns are intended.
Art Law With Smiles
"In every life we have some trouble
But when you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy ..."
~ Bobby McFerrin, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" (1988)

Dear Friends, 

It gives us a great joy to work with like-minded, inspiring and inspired colleagues. This Spring Term, we are proud to be working with a stellar team: Sara Osinski (New York Law School, J.D. 2022), Alexa Sussmane (Cardozo Law School, J.D 2022) and Elena Gurevich (Cardozo Law School, Post-Graduate Fellow). Our programming is booming and there is a lot of talent on our radar. As the Center is inundated with dozens of excellent applications for the Summer Internship Program, colleagues who are looking for summer associates should get in touch with us. We are fortunate to be able to recommend excellent candidates to many an art law enterprise. Sharing is caring, right?! 

Further to this point, we are pleased to share the news that our Advisory Board has expanded in 2020, to include newcomers: Tess Bonoli (Sam P. Israel P.C., NY), Noor Kadhim (Gardner Leader, UK) and Webster McBride (Hughes Hubbard & Reed, NY). 

We hope you enjoy this March edition of the Art Law Blast, and remember to visit our website, Instagram and calendar often for new developments and announcements.
Irina Tarsis

Founder and Managing Director
Put a Smile on our Faces: DONATE!
On Our Agenda

CENTER FOR ART LAW Art & Law Dialogue: Dr. Bonadio & Zephyr on Graffiti (NY)
March 9, 2020
New York University School of Law (NY)
More information here >>

NEW ICOM 2020 Working Internationally Conference: Soft Power in Turbulent Times
March 12, 2020
Leeds Art Gallery (UK)
More information here >>

NEW MACCH Annual Conference: Trust and Transparency in the Art and Heritage World and its Practices
March 15-17, 2020
Maastricht University (NL)
More information here >>

NEW Violated National Heritage: Theft, Trafficking and Restitution
March 17, 2020
Victoria and Albert Museum (UK)
More information here >>

Legal Issues in Museum Administration 2020 (CLE)
March 18, 2020
Miami (FL)
More information here >>

CENTER FOR ART LAW Visual Artists' Immigration Clinic
March 24, 2020
New York Foundation for the Arts (NY)
More information here >>

Full Calendar
Art & Law Dialogue: Dr. Bonadio & Zephyr on Graffiti (NY)
New York University School of Law
March 9, 2020, 7–9 PM
Join the Center for Art Law and the NYU Art Law Society for a discussion with graffiti artist Zephyr and Dr. Enrico Bonadio to celebrate his recently published Cambridge Handbook of Copyright in Street Art and Graffiti (Cambridge Law Handbooks, 2019).
Book your tickets
Art Law Digest

UNESCO Goes Digital. Google Arts & Culture launched a new digital visualization platform that calls attention to five UNESCO World Heritage sites under threat from climate change. It documents the threat to each site, including rising sea levels, coastal erosion, and extreme weather patterns. 

Antiquities Seized. Bulgarian authorities have authorized the Bulgarian National Museum of History (NIM) to seize the antiquities collection of Vasil Bozhkov, who was indicted in absentia for charges that include leading an organized crime group, extortion, and blackmail. Bozhkov is currently being held in the U.A.E., pending an agreement on extradition. The Bozhkov collection includes more than 3,000 pieces from across Europe and covers almost 4,000 years of history.

Bordering on Illegal. A burial site of the Tohono O'odham Nation has been destroyed in an effort to build a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Under the authority of the 2005 REAL ID Act, the Trump administration waived dozens of laws, including the Native Graves Protection Act and numerous environmental regulations, in order to build on this site.

Vandals in Melbourne. On February 9, 2020, a dozen masked individuals destroyed Melbourne’s Hosier Lane, a street art outdoor gallery that attracts 5,000 visitors per day, by covering its iconic graffiti walls with pink, blue, yellow and blue paint. The City of Melbourne has filed a complaint with the police, calling the destruction “self-centered…damaging and creates no value for anyone.”

Top Three. The estate of Donald Marron unconventionally decided to sell Marron’s art collection privately through top three galleries: Pace, Gagosian, and Acquavella. Marron’s art collection is some 300 works, reportedly worth upwards of $450 million, including paintings from prominent modern artists such as Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, and Cy Twombly. Reportedly one of Marron pieces already sold for about $70 million. You do the math.

Self-Exploding Art or Sabotage? Gabriel Rico’s "Nimbre and Sinister Tricks (To Be Preserved Without Scandal and Corruption)" was destroyed while it was on exhibit at Galería OMR in Mexico City. Avelina Lésper, an art critic, allegedly placed an empty can of Coke on a stone element of Rico’s $19,000 contemporary glass sculpture, which subsequently exploded.

Trump Architectural Decree. The Trump administration released a draft for an executive order which would make neo-classical architecture the default style for all new and upgraded federal buildings. It explicitly rejects the use of any “modern” forms of architecture and would overturn the former standards of refusing to adopt an official style.

Denied Entry. Two days before his flight to attend the opening of his exhibition True to Scale on the use of forensic architecture at the Miami Museum of Art and Design, scholar and human rights advocate Eyal Weizman's ESTA was revoked for triggering a security algorithm. The embassy’s notice stated no reason for the revocation and did not offer Weizman the opportunity to appeal or to arrange for an alternative visa.

The art world is not immune to the Coronavirus outbreak: fairs have been cancelled, such as Art Basel Hong Kong, and museums such as the Louvre and many institutions in Northern Italy have closed their doors to the public due to public health concerns. 


– Ethiopia. The Dutch government recently returned a stolen 18th-century ceremonial crown to the Ethiopian government. The artifact went missing from a church 21 years ago. Sirak Asfaw, a Dutch civil servant born in Ethiopia, claimed he found the crown in a suitcase left behind by a guest in his apartment and kept the priceless object hidden for 21 years. He later approached the Dutch Ministry of Foreign affairs to let them know he was in possession of the object.

– India. The Indian government is requesting that the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford return a 15th-century bronze idol of Saint Tirumankai Alvar. The idol was stolen from a temple in the Tamil Nadu province of India in the early 1960s and replaced with a forgery. Sotheby’s bought the idol for £850 in 1967 from Dr. J.R. Belmont, an art collector specializing in Indian sculpture.

– Haiti. The U.S. conducted its first repatriation of artifacts to the nation of Haiti. The 479 cultural and historical artifacts represent the FBI’s single largest recovery of cultural property, as part of the US commitment to protecting Haitian heritage. 

– Nigeria. Mexico returned an ancient bronze statue to Nigeria after it was seized by customs officers in Mexico City as smugglers attempted to bring it illegally into the country. 

Scouting for Money. The Boy Scouts of America may be forced to sell its fine art collection, including 65 pieces by Norman Rockwell. The Boy Scouts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this month in response to hundreds of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse. The artworks may be the Boy Scouts’ most valuable assets, as the current record for the sale of a Rockwell painting was set at $46 million dollars in 2013.

DIY Art. Artist Ai Weiwei collaborated with the German home improvement store, Hornbach DIY, to sell a work of art which buyers can assemble themselves. The work, entitled “Safety Jackets Zipped the Other Way” costs between €150 and €500 depending on the model and comes with all of the necessary parts, instructions from the artist and a certificate of authenticity.

Paying Irish Artists. Ireland’s Arts Council developed a three-year plan to create a policy that will improve the living and working conditions of artists in Ireland. The plan seeks to acquire data on equitable pay for artists and organizations willing to contract fairly with artists for future projects.

We are looking for New York City venues available to host a Clinic session or a workshop in the Summer and the Fall. If you have suggestions, please contact us.
Dream Jobs

Junior Researcher: Trafficking Transformations: Objects as Agents in Transnational Criminal Networks
Maastricht (NL)
More info...

Contracts Paralegal
Christie's (NY)
More info...

Provenance Sr. Research Associate
University of Miami (FL)
More info...

NAGPRA Liaison
University of Berkeley (CA)
More info...

Case Law Corner

The Case Law Corner is only accessible to Members:
or become a member to read our summaries
of recent U.S. and international art law cases.
Read Art Law Cases
François Duret-Robert, Droit du marché de l'art (Dalloz Publishing, 2020) ISBN: 2247179339. 
The book covers regulations of public auctions and the art market more generally, including gallery sales, expertise, brokers, and catalogue raisonnés. It also describes copyright laws from a fiscal and moral rights perspective, along with the status of auctioneers and other professionals allowed to hold public sales and the role of the State and local governments. Available here (French). 
More Art Law Books
Summer Courses 2020
Art Markets: an Integrated Perspective
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Dates: July 6-10, 2020
Application Deadline: April , 2020
More information >>>
International Cultural Heritage Law
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Dates: June 22 – July 3, 2020
Application Deadline: April 15, 2020
More information >>>
Law, Art and its Market (Sotheby's Institute of Art)
Location: New York, NY
Dates: June 8 – June 19, 2020
Application Deadline: April , 2020
More information >>>
Art Crime and Cultural Heritage Protection (ARCA)
Location: Amelia, Italy
Dates: May 29 – August 14, 2020
Application Deadline: April 16, 2020
More information >>>
On the Blog

Case Review: Castillo et al. v. G&M Realty L.P.
By Louise Carron. February 20, 2020 will be known in legal art history as the day that street art was affirmed as “a major category of contemporary art.”[1] In Castillo v. G&M Realty L.P., which put an end to a 7-year long dispute over the whitewashing of the Long Island City-based “graffiti mecca” known as […] 

Book Review: “Hitler’s Last Hostages” (2019)
By Madhulika Murali. What do art and fascism have in common? More than one might think, as Mary M. Lane details in her thorough exploration of how art came to play a powerful role in the ideology and history of Nazi Germany. In her new non-fiction book entitled Hitler’s Last Hostages: Looted Art and the […] 

Book Review: “Art and Modern Copyright” (2018)
By Sophie Chung. Pulitzer-winning novelist Pearl S. Buck once said, “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” Dr. Elena Cooper’s new book Art and Modern Copyright: The Contested Image (Cambridge University Press, 2019) presents a smart way to understand intellectual property today by studying yesterday. The book examines narratives of copyright […] 
Browse More
See Art, Think Art Law (TM)
– exhibitions at the nexus of art and law –
Human Rights Violations & Technology
Forensic Architecture: True to Scale
Museum of Art & Design (Miami, FL)
Through Sept. 27, 2020
Art & Incarceration
Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration
MoMA PS1 (Queens, NY)
Ap. 5 – Aug. 23, 2020
Newsletter created and edited by:
Louise Carron, Irina Tarsis, Tess Bonoli, Sara Osinski, and Alexa Sussmane.
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