All posts in Art law

New York judge declares Call of Duty to be art

In September 2018, the Victoria and Albert Museum presented an exhibition highlighting video games. They’re one of many institutions that have taken more notice of video games in recent years but the “is it art?” question still looms large. A New York judge has potentially made more room for video games in the art world […]

The Enduring Challenges of Authenticating Art

When the Allentown Art Museum sent their oil-on-oak painting Portrait of a Young Woman to specialists at New York University to be cleaned, they expected to get it back without the layers of overpainting and thick varnish which had obscured the portrait’s delicate brushwork. Since they weren’t immediately looking for any proof of authentication, they […]

US court upholds $6.75m ruling concerning the fate 5Pointz graffiti art

The US Court of Appeals has upheld a landmark decision that real estate developer Gerald Wolkoff did indeed violate the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) when he ordered 32 graffiti artworks to be whitewashed at 5Pointz. Thursday’s ruling, which was equally gratifying and shocking, gives credence to the artists whose works were destroyed and upholds […]

The emperor has no clothes: the scams and swindles driving up art prices

For many, the headline-making stunt Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan pulled at Art Basel Miami this year—Cattelan duct taped a banana to a blank white wall, called it “Comedian”, and sold it for $120,000—crystallized the problems with how art is valued. After Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog shattered records in 2013 to sell over Christie’s auction block […]

Gulbenkian case highlights authorities’ failure to pursue art fraud

International art fraud is once again under the spotlight with the news that London Metropolitan Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Angela Gulbenkian, a former high-society art heiress who failed to show up in court to answer accusations over the fraudulent sale of a Yayoi Kusama sculpture. Hong Kong-based art consultant Mathieu […]

Why should the art world be concerned about the prevalence of export bans?

Five years after he dramatically attempted to smuggle a rare Pablo Picasso painting out of Spain, Jaime Botín— the ex-president of Spanish financial institution Bankinter—has been sentenced to three years in jail and lumbered with a €91.7 million fine. The hefty punishment marks a significant increase over Botín’s already substantial sentence of 18 months and […]

When is a fake not a fake? Forgery fiasco involving Prince Charles highlights grey areas of the art world

In the wake of Prince Andrew’s controversial and ill-advised BBC interview, the British royal family has struggled to fend off unwanted media attention over his past and present conduct. The beleaguered prince braved a television appearance in an attempt to stamp out the flames of suspicion surrounding his relationship with disgraced financier and convicted sex […]