UNITED STATES

U.S. Supreme Courts Declines Certiorari in the 5Pointz Case
Two years ago, in one of the most important decisions applying the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA) since its adoption, New York’s Eastern District awarded $6.75 million in statutory damages to 21 street artists whose aerosol works were intentionally destroyed by the owner of the buildings on which they were painted. VARA gives artists the right to sue to prevent the destruction of a work of “recognized stature,” and to recover money damages if their work is distorted, mutilated or otherwise modified to the prejudice of the artist’s honor or reputation.
Continue Reading 5Pointz Artists Claim Final Victory as SCOTUS Denies Cert & Other Headlines

UNITED STATES

Two New York Antiquities Dealers Arrested for Allegedly Fabricating Provenance Documents
Two owners of a Manhattan-based antiquities gallery were arrested in connection with their suspected complicity in an alleged fraud scheme to swindle buyers with the use of fake provenance documents.
Continue Reading Brooklyn Museum Deaccessioning Artworks, Banksy Loses Trademark Battle and Other Stories

UNITED STATES

U.S. Senate Subcommittee’s Report Recommends Art Market Regulations
As part of its investigation into the effectiveness of sanctions against foreign persons and entities, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the United States Senate issued a report focused on lack of regulation and pervasive secrecy in the art market.
Continue Reading U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Investigations Recommends Regulation of the Art Market & Other Headlines

NORTH AMERICA

Disgraced Art Dealer Inigo Philbrick Indicted on Federal Fraud Charges
A New York grand jury has indicted art dealer Inigo Philbrick on federal charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft; Philbrick has entered a plea of not guilty. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District claims that Philbrick defrauded multiple people and businesses in New York between 2016 and 2019 to finance his art business, access valuable art, and obtain sales proceeds, funding and loans. Philbrick also misrepresented the ownership of certain artworks by selling more than 100 percent ownership to multiple individuals and entities without their knowledge.
Continue Reading Disgraced Art Dealer Inigo Philbrick Indicted on Federal Fraud Charges & Other Stories

Paris Dealer Charged with Fraud and Money Laundering in Sale of Golden Sarcophagus to the Met
French art dealer and Mediterranean archeology expert Christophe Kunicki was charged with fraud and money laundering in Paris following an investigation that began after the sale of a golden sarcophagus to New York’s Metropolitan Museum for €3.5 million in 2017.
Continue Reading Paris Dealer Who Sold Golden Sarcophagus to the Met Charged with Money Laundering & Other Stories

UNITED STATES

SCOTUS Will Hear Appeal by German Museums over Jewish Heirs’ Claims that the Sale of the Guelph Treasure Was a Genocidal Taking
In a lawsuit filed in 2015, Jewish heirs of German art owners who sold the Guelph Treasure (gilded German reliquaries dating back to the 11th to 15th centuries) to the Nazi-controlled Prussian government in 1935, claim that the sale was a “genocidal taking.”
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Appeal over Restitution of the Guelph Treasure & Other Stories

UNITED STATES

Still No LOVE in Robert Indiana’s Estate Battle
In the ongoing suit over the rights to Robert Indiana’s artworks, defendant Michael McKenzie, the founder of American Image Art, filed new counterclaims against the Morgan Art Foundation alleging that Morgan orchestrated “one of the most massive art frauds in history.”
Continue Reading Hirst Spot Print Turned into Spots by MSCHF, Courtroom Artists Face New Challenge, Banksy Pays Homage to Hospital Workers

UNITED STATES

Police Arrest Oxford Professor for Allegedly Selling Stolen Goods to the Museum of the Bible
Dirk Obbink, Ph.D., an associate professor in papyrology and Greek literature at Oxford, England, has been accused of stealing ancient papyrus fragments from Oxford University’s Sackler Library and selling 13 of the texts to the owners of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.
Continue Reading A Case for Indiana Jones: Oxford Professor Arrested for Allegedly Selling Stolen Goods & Other Art World Headlines

UNITED STATES

Proposed Copyright Legislation Meant to Streamline Dispute Resolution Faces Criticism
While several pieces of copyright legislation are expected to come before the U.S. Congress this year, arguably the most significant is the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act.

Continue Reading An Art World Copyright Update & Other Stories