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*Class of 2015: Center for Art Law congratulates all recently graduated (art) law students, including our interns this Spring, Dennis Abrams and Melissa YoungJae Koo.

*Top Art Law Blogs:  It's good to be (king) read and appreciated, and we are glad to be recognized as one of the Top Art Law Blogs (in the world?!). Thanks to all the writers, editors and readers who made it possible.

*On Peril & Gurlitt: One of two paintings to be returned from the Gurlitt trove so far, Max Lieberman's "Two Riders on a Beach" (1901) is to be auctioned off in London on June 24th. Those in town for Art & Law: Art in Peril conference in Cambridge, UK or planning to attend the Written Heritage in Peril program at the British Library that week might want to check out the first of two restituted paintings from the Gurlitt trove on display at Sotheby's (at your own peril of course).  

*Sweet Sounds from Oklahoma Legislation: On May 22, Oklahoma State Legislature unanimously passed H.R. 1026 resolution directing the University of Oklahoma to conduct provenance research on its collections at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.  Nothing in the resolution indicates who is to pay for the research.

*Palmira: UNESCO's Director-General Irina Bokova issued a statement seeking immediate cessation of hostilities within the World Heritage archaeological site of Palmira, an oasis in the Syrian desert, after reports that the site was taken over by the ISIS militants.
Last 2014-2015 Art Law Mixer is coming up:
JULY 11, 2015!

June 4-6, 2015 -- Art Crime and Cultural Heritage: Fake, Forgeries, and Stolen Art (NYU Law School, Lipton Hall, NYC) 9AM-5PM 
Three day all stops out art law fest. Join legal experts from NYU School of Law, art crime lawyers, forensic experts, and other major players working on legal, forensic, governmental, and political efforts to address the enormity of this global phenomenon. Topics include the history of fakes and forgeries, insurance fraud, art theft and art scams, scientific and forensic approaches, provenance research, cultural repatriation, issues facing auction houses and purchasers, and current case studies. 
*June 11, 2015 -- June Art Law Mixer (VLA, 1 E 53rd Street, NYC) 6PM-8PM
Our last Art Law Mixer before the summer break will focus the issues affecting artists and nonprofits, including fundraising for the arts, the 2013 Non-profit Revitalization Act, and nonprofit formation.

June 15-19, 2015 -- Art Crime Investigation Seminar (Philadelphia, PA)
Five-day seminar dedicated on practical applications to recover stolen art and cultural property.

June 22-24, 2015 --  Art & Law: Art in Peril (U. of Cambridge, UK) 
This interdisciplinary conference will bring together practitioners and scholars from the United States, the United Kingdom and Continental Europe to explore topics of art sales, appropriations and protection of cultural property at the time of armed conflict.
register here... 
*June 26, 2015 --  The Written Heritage of Mankind in Peril (London, UK) 
The Art Law Commission of the UIA, the British Library and the Institute of Art and Law in London will present a full-day comprehensive seminar on the subject of the theft of and illicit trafficking in rare books, maps and manuscripts looted from sovereign and other libraries.

*June 29, 2015 -- LCCHP 2015 Student Writing Competition: SUBMISSION DEADLINE
The Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation encourages law students to submit papers related to art and cultural heritage law issues. The deadline for submissions is Monday, June 29, 2015.
We welcome submissions of notable complaints and legal decisions.
  • Overton v. Art Finance Partners LLC, 1:2015cv03927 (S.D.N.Y. May 21, 2015) -- Kiwi art collector Stephanie Overton has filed suit in New York alleging that $10.8 million worth of her paintings were sold by a NYC art dealer without her permission. The paintings were allegedly bought by defendants, eight art companies, who should have known that they were being sold improperly by Timothy Sammons, Inc., a fine art agency which is not a party here. The suit asks for over $1 million in punitive damages for replevin, conversion and aiding and abetting TSI's breach of fiduciary duty. DCA
  • Ryan v. Editions Ltd. West, Inc., 5:06-CV-08412-PSG (9th Cir. May 19, 2015) -- The 9th Circuit ruled that pastel artist Victoria Ryan was improperly denied the full amount of attorney's fees stemming from her copyright battle against Editions Limited West, which had violated her 1995 publishing contract. Ryan sought $328,000 in attorney's fees but was awarded roughly a quarter of that amount because she prevailed on only one of her four claims. The district court failed to adequately explain this decision and the 9th Circuit was therefore unable to sustain it. DCA
  • Depew v. City of New York, 1:2015cv03821 (S.D.N.Y., May 18, 2015) -- Members of the Illuminator Art Collective have sued New York City alleging false arrest and First Amendment retaliation stemming from an incident last summer. The artists were charged with illegal advertising for using a projector to display text onto the exterior walls of the Met protesting the dedication of David H. Koch Plaza. The charges were dropped but the NYPD did not return the projector for over two months. The plaintiffs argue that this constituted an illegal prior restraint on speech. DCA
  • John Eskenazi, Ltd. v. Maitreya Inc., 1:2015cv03695 (S.D.N.Y. May 13, 2015) -- British art dealer John Eskenazi has filed suit against NY-based Asian art dealer Nayef Homsi and his corporation, Maitreya Inc. alleging breach of warranty, fraud, civil conspiracy and unjust enrichment and demanding $80,000 in damages arising from Eskenazi's 2013 purchase from Maitreya of a 9th-c. Indian statue of the god Bhairava which the Department of Homeland Security alleged was stolen from an Indian temple. The Manhattan DA filed a forfeiture action against Maitreya, alleging that it knew that the Bhairava and other statutes which it sold were stolen. MAT
For a full list of books and articles featured previously, please visit our Publications page.
  • Noah Charney, The Art of Forgery (May 2015). The Art of Forgery: Case Studies in Deception explores the stories, dramas and human intrigues surrounding the world’s most famous forgeries – investigating the motivations of the artists and criminals who have faked great works of art, and in doing so conned the public and the art establishment alike.
  • Greg Allen (editor), The Deposition of Richard Prince - in the case of Prince v. Cariou, et al (Mar. 6. 2013). "Edited by American artist and blogger Greg Allen, this book contains the published transcript of Richard Prince during the copyright infringement case against him by French photographer Patrick Cariou...In the transcripts, which cover several hours of questions and answers between Prince and the attorneys, he must defend and explain his method of working. This involves an in-depth and candid discussion about his career, life, motivations and so on quite an extraordinary encounter, considering that the artist seldom gives interviews."
  •  Catherine Hickley, The Munich Art Hoard: Hitler's Dealer and His Secret Legacy (Sept. 21, 2015). Available later in the year, this book rushes to deliver the biography of Cornelius Gurlitt. From the editors: "When Cornelius Gurlitts trove became public in November 2013, it caused a worldwide media sensation. Catherine Hickley has delved into archives and conducted dozens of interviews to uncover the story behind the headlines. Her book illuminates a dark period of German history, untangling a web of deceit and silence that has prevented the heirs of Jewish collectors from recovering art stolen from their families more than seven decades ago by the Nazis. Hickley recounts the shady history of the Gurlitt hoard and brings its story right up to date, as 21st-century politicians and lawyers puzzle over the inadequacies of a legal framework that to this day falls short in securing justice for the heirs of those robbed by the Nazis."

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Case Review: Foster v. Svenson (2015)

By Christopher Visentin* Following up on a remarkable decision from 2013, this April 9th the New York Appellate Division of the Supreme Court affirmed the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a family’s right of privacy claim in favor of an artist’s freedom of expression. Two years ago Matthew and Martha Foster filed a complaint alleging breach…Read more Case Review: Foster v. Svenson (2015)
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Art Dealer Professionals Beware of Purchasing Stolen Goods

by: Sekou Campbell, Esq.* Judges in the District Court for the Central District of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (twice, here and here) and Justices in the U.S. Supreme Court have heard the story of Norton Simon, a case initiated on May 1, 2007 by a family member of a victim of Nazi…Read more Art Dealer Professionals Beware of Purchasing Stolen Goods
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More than Just “Street Cred”: Why Intellectual Property Rights Matter to Street Artists

By Christine E. Weller* Perhaps to the dismay of artists executing works in public spaces or on private property, street art and graffiti art has financial value and can be sold at auction without the artist’s consent. This commercialization does not sit well with some artists who engage in street art (illegally at times) as…Read more More than Just “Street Cred”: Why Intellectual Property Rights Matter to Street Artists
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Art Investment Funds: The Basics

By Jessica M. Curley* Fine art is known to have little intrinsic value beyond its cultural significance and aesthetically pleasing nature, yet it seems to be an increasingly attractive alternative to traditional investment assets. The CEO of Blackrock, Larry Fink, recently remarked that one of the “two greatest stores of wealth internationally today is contemporary…Read more Art Investment Funds: The Basics
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