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For a full listing of art law events, please visit Calendar of Events. If you would like us to list your upcoming event please complete the Submission Form online.

*Aug. 28, 2014 -- Private Tour: "Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937" (Neue Galerie, New York City) 6PM - 7 PM
Back by popular demand, Center for Art Law is pleased to offer one more private guided tour of the Neue Galerie's critically-acclaimed exhibition "Degenerate Art." The show closes on September 1, 2014.

History as well as taste tend to inform our relationship with works of art. Out of context, we may dismiss artworks that do not appeal to our aesthetic; by learning about the history of their creation and ownership the perception is likely to change.  Join us for an alternative view at the artworks, the political and legal history prism, as we revisit the propaganda war waged by National Socialists against contemporary art. 

The tour lasts one hour. All attendees are encouraged to stay and discuss the exhibit at Cafe Sabarsky following the tour.

*Sept. 3, 2014 -- Arts Law Centre of Australia -- 30th Birthday Gala Dinner Fundraiser (Strangers Dining Room, NSW Parliament House, Sydney) 6PM
We congratulate Arts Law Centre of Australia on the 30 years of operations and "empowering Australia’s artists."  If you in town (Sydney), consider attending their 30th Birthday Gala Dinner on 3 September 2014.  
*Sept. 18-20, 2014 -- Looted Art & Restitution in 20th Century (Cambridge, UK)  Organizers of this international conference --  Bianca Gaudenzi (University of Cambridge), Mary-Ann Middelkoop (University of Cambridge), Astrid Swenson (Brunel University, London) envisioned the program as a survey of the "past decade the subject of looted art and the restitution of cultural property have captured the attention of the media and the public alike through a range of popular recollections that included novels, exhibitions, documentaries and more recently even a blockbuster movie, Monuments Men."

NOTE: *Events are appearing in the Newsletter for the first time.

          For a full list of books and articles featured previously, please visit our  Publications page.

"You cannot be Serious" / Popular Reading Shelf:
  • Daniel Silva. The Heist (July 2014). ISBN: "Gabriel Allon, art restorer and occasional spy, searches for a stolen masterpiece by Caravaggio in #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva’s latest action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue." Available here.
  • Vivian T-N Ho. To Catch an Art Thief: A Memoir on the Heyday of Art Theft Paperback (June 2014). ISBN: 978-1492275893. “The 1985 armed robbery of the Marmottan Museum in Paris shocked the art world. A team of pistol-wielding robbers stormed the museum in broad daylight, holding forty people hostage and escaping with nine masterpieces, including five by Monet. While the most audacious art theft of the period, the Marmottan Museum robbery represents only a small fraction of the thriving world of art theft in the 1980s.” Available here.
  • Michael Blanding. The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps (May 2014). “Himself an ardent cartography enthusiast since childhood, seasoned journalist Blanding takes a closer look at one particularly infamous map thief, E. Forbes Smiley III, and the series of heists Smiley engineered that eventually landed him in prison.” Available here
Academic Shelf:
  • Ivan Lindsay. The History of Loot and Stolen Art Hardcover (March 2014). ISBN: 978-1906509217. “From the Ancients, Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Moors and Charlemagne, the author traces how a lust for pride of ownership and power over the vanquished has driven conquerors, confiscators (the old-fashioned word for looters) and ruthless administrators to grab the valuable possessions of others. Available here
  • Provenance Research in American Institutions, eds. Jane C. Milosch, Lynn H. Nicholas and Megan M. Fontanella, in Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals (2014). Details here.
  • Lucas Lixinski, Intangible Cultural Heritage in International Law  (2013), ISBN: 978 0 19 967950-8.
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA/NY) is extending membership rate discounts to some of their core classes to the Center for Art Law Subscribers. These classes are listed on our Calendar of Events. Those wishing to attend and benefit from the reduced rate should email and mention Center for Art Law. 
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What's New:
  • Cy-près que possible: Corcoran Gallery of Art and Design in Washington DC has over 16,000 art works, as well as serious financial problems and well-wishers on the opposing sides in court. The oldest private art museum in DC is reenacting the Barnes Collection story. Where the Gallery Trustees and the District Attorney wish to amend the Corcoran deed in a cy-près action and divide the collection and other Corcoran obligations between the National Gallery and George Washington University, an advocacy group "Save the Corcoran" made up of the Gallery employees, students and alums is fighting to stop the proposed reorganization. Judge Robert Okun of D.C. Supreme Court will decide whether to allow the amendment to Corcoran deed or not.
  • Droit Moral R US: On 15 July 2014, the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held hearings on the rights of the creator and the merits of passing a federal resale right in the United States. The latest revised proposal for the bill has been reintroduced by the New York Congressman Nader on 26 February 2014. The prognosis of the bill passing is now 3%. Recording of the hearing is available here (start on the 54th minute but don't expect to hear much on visual arts).
  • Museums MoresMuseum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA) returns 8 looted antiquities to Nigeria. Norton Simon Museum (CA) seeks review of the appellate court ruling for a contested Cranach diptych.

Recent Court Action of Note:
If you would like your case included in this roster, please send a copy of a complaint or a decision to itsartlawATgmailDOTcom.
  • Matter of Richard L. Feigen & Company, 824996. (N.Y.T.C, July 22, 2014) — J. Winnifred Maloney of the Division of Taxation denied art dealer Richard Feigen sales tax refund claim from 2011 seeking $215,626 on the sale of a forged Max Ernst painting “La Foret” that was sold in 2004. To recover the sales tax, the dealer should have claimed his refund within a three-year window  after filing sales tax return, which closed in 2008. While the dealer argued he should have been able to avail himself of the statute of limitations contemplated by the CPLR 213, and thus have six years, the decision was based on Tax Law §1139(c), which stipulates that financial matters close sooner.  The decision upheld earlier determinations of the Division of Taxation’s Audit Division and the Bureau of Conciliation and Mediation Services. In other words, this ruling allows the US government to reap financial benefits from unfortunate sales of fake art; whether the risk is to be born exclusively by the dealer may yet be revisited on appeal. Attorney for Feigen, Malcolm Taub, partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron.
  • Anders Karlsson v. John Leo Mangan III, Art Possible LLC, et al.,2:14-cv-04514-R-JPR (S.D.C.A, Jun. 11, 2014) -- Arizona Plaintiff is seeking damages from residents in New York, Florida, Colorado and California alleging multiple fraudulent schemes to sell fake artworks of famous artists together with fake authentication and provenance documents. Plaintiff is seeking, among other reliefs, compensatory damages, actual damages, punitive damages and attorney fees. Attorney representing Plaintiff is Meir Westreich.
  • Schoeps v. Free State of Bavaria, Case No. 13 Civ. 2048 (JSR) (S.D.N.Y June 27, 2014) -- J. Rakoff denies jurisdiction in a Nazi-era looted art dispute over Picasso's "Madame Soler" portrait.
  • [U.S. v "Madonna and Child"] (June 2014)" -- On June 23, U.S. Attorney's Office in New York filed a forfeiture action to cease a 13th-century painting that was probably illegally imported into the United States. The painting went missing from a Swiss safety deposit in the late 1980s.
  • U.S. v. Mask of Ka-Nefer Nefer, No. 12-2578 (8th Cir. June 12, 2014) -- on appeal, the technical decision to deny the government to amend civil forfeiture complaint was affirmed. Judge Murphy concurred, but he wrote "While this case turns on a procedural issue, courts are bound to recognize that the illicit sale of antiquities poses a continuing threat to the preservation of the world's international cultural heritage. Museums and other participants in the international market for art and antiquities need to exercise caution and care in their dealings in order to protect this heritage and to understand that the United States might ultimately be able to recover such purchases."


The Copyright Office’s Recent Fee Changes

By Elena Kravtsoff, Esq.* For the first time since August 1, 2009, the U.S. Copyright Office instituted a number of fee changes that took effect on May 1, 2014. Prior to instituting the changes, the Copyright Office issued a Notice of Inquiry on January 24, 2012, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on December 6, 2012, […]
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Why Ronald Lauder Is Right About Nazi-Looted Art in Museums

*From the Editors: The following article  first appeared on ArtNet. It is a response to two recent articles, an editorial authored by Ronald S. Lauder, a New York businessman and art collector, and a related commentary by Nicholas O’Donnell, Boston-based attorney and editor of Art Law Report. The article is reprinted with the permission of the […]
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Attention all Art Buyers – Caveat Emptor and then Emptor some more!

by Hanoch Sheps, Esq.* Caveat Emptor (Latin for “let the buyer beware”) could quite possibly be the understatement of the century, at least it appears to be one of the glaring messages delivered at the NYU Art Crime and Cultural Heritage: Fakes, Forgeries, and Looted and Stolen Art Conference (the “Conference”). Three days’ worth of […]
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