Category Archives: Art Transactions

Gurlitt trove eludes restitution efforts owing to unresolved provenance questions

Posted on: July 1, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

The full story of the billion-dollar art collection gathered by Nazi art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt during World War II may never be told. After years spent trying to determine the collection’s history, the prior owners of a large majority of those works remain unknown. This is a story we have followed with interest throughout its […]

Recent report on the illicit antiquities trade receives mixed response

Posted on: June 10, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

A UNESCO-backed research project into the illicit trade in cultural property in Germany has recently released its final report. The ‘ILLICID Project’, launched by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, aimed to increase understanding of illicit trafficking networks and financial flows linked to organised crime and terrorism. However, the findings of the final […]

A final judgment? Court of Appeal rules in favour of the Ivory Act 2018

Posted on: June 5, 2020 by Charlotte Dunn

We have been following the debate over the UK’s position on ivory on the IAL blog over the past few years. The latest development has seen the Court of Appeal uphold the decision of the High Court, finding the Ivory Act 2018 to be lawful. What does this mean for the future of the ivory […]

What is a listed building? The Supreme Court provides clarity

Posted on: June 4, 2020 by Rebecca Reynolds

The IAL has been closely following the case of Mr Dill and the two lead urns in its passage through the courts over the past two years. Mr Dill sold the urns in 2009 without knowing that they were individually listed and therefore their removal required listed building consent. Having lost at the High Court […]

Application of HEAR Act brought into question by U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review Picasso restitution case

Posted on: April 17, 2020 by Stephanie Drawdy

The U.S. Supreme Court seemed inclined to fold its arms and look out the proverbial window when it recently refused to review a case that time-barred a restitution claim over a Picasso sold in late 1930s Europe. By its refusal, America’s highest court has raised questions over the application of the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery […]

UK Guidance on Anti-Money Laundering released for the art market

Posted on: March 10, 2020 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

The highly anticipated guidance on implementing and complying with the new anti-money laundering rules for the art trade was finally released a few weeks ago. The lengthy document, which totals over 100 pages, was in fact prepared by the British Art Market Federation (BAMF), and has received formal approval by the HMRC. As such, it […]

Combatting Money Laundering in the Art Trade: Changes for Europe and the UK

Posted on: January 10, 2020 by Julia Rodrigues Casella Hommes

Important changes are imminent for the art market as the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive enters into force in the UK this Friday, the 10th of January 2020. The directive has been hurriedly transposed into UK law through the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019, which were laid before Parliament on the 20th […]

Appeal for Restitution of Nazi-Plundered Pissarro Centers on Application of Spanish versus U.S. Law

Posted on: December 24, 2019 by Stephanie Drawdy

A buyer who purchases stolen property does not receive good title – depending on the jurisdiction. The Cassirer family has learned this lesson all too well after nearly two decades attempting to reclaim a Nazi-looted painting by Impressionist Master Camille Pissarro. Earlier this year, a U.S. federal court in California awarded the Pissarro to a […]

Japanese Museum claims title to the Reynolds painting stolen in UK

Posted on: October 1, 2019 by Makoto Shimada

According to recent articles in the Antiques Trade Gazette, Art Newspaper and several other English papers, a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds stolen in the UK has ended up in Japan at the collection of the Fuji Tokyo Art Museum (“the Museum”). The Museum claims that it purchased the work with valid title. Facts In […]

Dispute over the Isleworth Mona Lisa goes to Italian courtrooms

Posted on: September 25, 2019 by Eleonora Chielli

The Court of Florence is dealing with a case involving the ‘Isleworth Mona Lisa’, a painting attributed to Leonardo, though with some uncertainty. Whilst the question of attribution is not the focus of this post, it should be noted that following a debate lasting for more than a century about the attribution of this painting, […]