Category Archives: Switzerland

Crowdfunding allows Swiss to retain a Picasso

Posted on: August 2, 2018 by Hélène Deslauriers

In December 2017, a Swiss crowdfunding website, Qoqa, offered visitors to the site the opportunity to purchase a Picasso painting, Le Buste du Mousquetaire (1968).   For three months, a careful and efficient campaign was mounted, culminating in a victory, with sufficient funds raised to buy the Picasso. Le Buste du Mousquetaire now belongs to the Swiss people.  […]

Switzerland: legal dispute over Alberto Giacometti collection

Posted on: July 18, 2016 by Nina M. Neuhaus

Following a host of recent articles regarding the seizure of a Giacometti collection, this blog aims to shed some light on the case: On 24 February 2014, the State Prosecutor of the Canton of Graubünden seized as a precautionary measure a collection of Giacometti works from the Bündner Kunstmuseum. The Paris-based Fondation Alberto et Annette […]

Revision of the Swiss Copyright Act: Proposed Introduction of a Lending Right Causes a Stir

Posted on: May 3, 2016 by Nina M. Neuhaus

The Swiss Copyright Act (SCA) is currently under revision. On 11th December 2015, the Swiss Federal Council published the draft legislation and the explanatory notes. The proposed introduction of a lending right for art works in art. 13 para. 1 SCA caused a stir throughout the art market. The applicable law: Up until now, anyone who […]

The Bouvier affair and the problem of secret commissions

Posted on: April 6, 2016 by Tony Baumgartner

In the course of 2015 a scandal of potential significance to dealers and their clients emerged. Allegations involving Yves Bouvier, the well-known art dealer and the largest private shareholder in the Geneva freeports (Ports Francs & Entreports de Geneve SA), came to light when Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Russian oligarch, brought civil and criminal proceedings against […]

Switzerland: Fourth attempt to introduce the artist resale right

Posted on: February 3, 2016 by Nina M. Neuhaus

The artist resale right (ARR), also known by the French term droit de suite, is the inalienable right of the artist and his estate to receive a royalty on any resale of his artworks. Unlike other creators, such as musicians, screenwriters, and authors, artists earn money only from the initial sale of their works. However, […]

Switzerland provides financial support to provenance research projects

Posted on: January 25, 2016 by Nina M. Neuhaus

Switzerland was one of the 44 states that approved the Washington Principles on Nazi-confiscated Art in December 1998. By doing so, the Swiss Confederation obliged itself to identify artworks in its collections that were looted during the Second World War, undertake efforts to locate their pre-War owners or legal successors, and take measures to achieve […]

The Gurlitt case enters 2016

Posted on: January 8, 2016 by Alexander Herman

Since our last report on the Gurlitt case, there have been several developments. What better way, then, to begin the new year with a post on a story that has been unfolding since 2013? Plus ça change… The German-Bavarian appointed Task Force has now been folded into the German Lost Art Foundation, which will continue administering the remaining […]

Switzerland: revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Act will impact art dealers

Posted on: August 31, 2015 by Nina M. Neuhaus

On 1 January 2016, the revised Anti-Money Laundering Act (‘AMLA’) will enter into force. The impetus for this revision was the implementation of the Revised Financial Action Task Force Recommendations of 2012. The Financial Action Task Force (‘FATF’) is an inter-governmental organisation which was established by the G-7 Summit in Paris in 1989. Its goal is to […]

Customs Warehouses in Switzerland: An Introduction

Posted on: May 4, 2015 by Nina M. Neuhaus

A recent art fraud scandal has put Mr Yves Bouvier into the media spotlight. Mr Bouvier, also known as the ‘Freeport King’, oversees freeport operations in Geneva, Luxembourg, and Singapore. He is the largest private shareholder of Ports Francs & Entreports de Geneve SA, the company running the freeport in Geneva. (The majority shareholder is […]

Gurlitt update: much research, no restitutions.

Posted on: February 24, 2015 by Alexander Herman

In a press release last week, the Kunstmuseum Bern explained that, due to the legal challenge to Cornelius Gurlitt’s will by his cousin Uta Werner (discussed by Nina Neuhaus here), there have as yet been no restitutions of artworks from the 2012 Munich art trove, neither by the museum, nor by any other body. Of course, news […]