Photo of Brian P. Mangan

UNITED STATES

Mercedes-Benz Suit Against Street Artists Allowed to Proceed
Mercedes-Benz brought a declaratory judgment action against four street artists who saw their work prominently displayed on social media as background for the automaker’s G-Class track ads. Mercedes is seeking a declaration that its use of the artworks was not a copyright infringement as it was either fair use or because the claim is precluded by the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (1990). 
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Just a few days after the Second Circuit held that New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art could keep in its collection the monumental work by Pablo Picasso entitled The Actor, New York’s Appellate Division, First Department, upheld the return to the heirs of the original owners of art allegedly looted by the Nazis during World War II. Both of these recent decisions touch upon the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act (HEAR Act), the 2016 legislation that expanded the timeliness for actions to recover artworks lost during the Holocaust.


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On June 26, 2019, the Second Circuit upheld the 2018 decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that allowed New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Museum) to keep in its collection the monumental work by Pablo Picasso entitled The Actor, 1904−1905. The work was originally owned by Paul Friedrich Leffmann, a successful German-Jewish entrepreneur, who owned a manufacturing business and multiple properties as well as a sizable art collection. In the 1930s, after the newly adopted Nuremberg Laws deprived all German Jews of the rights and privileges of German citizenship, Leffmann was forced to sell his home and business and flee from Germany to Italy.

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UNITED STATES

Claude Monet’s Haystacks Painting Sets a New World Record for the First Impressionist Work to Sell for More than $100 Million at Auction
The Meules (Haystacks) painting (1890), part of the Haystacks series by the celebrated French Impressionist Claude Monet, is one of the most recognized images in art history. Last week, the work sold at an auction in New York, breaking records for the most expensive work by the artist ever sold and for the most expensive Impressionist painting.


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