Category Archives: United Kingdom

An art market without rules? The new Freeport opportunity in the UK

Posted on: April 15, 2021 by Eve Gatenby

“Our clients choose us because we have no priority above their property,” remarks the guide touring Robert Pattinson and John David Washington’s characters through a freeport in Christopher Nolan’s 2020 thriller Tenet. The underground vaults they are walking through are alluringly filled with artworks that give subtle hints at Impressionist and Abstract Expressionist masterpieces. These two characters […]

Museum ethics: when the law plays catch up

Posted on: March 23, 2021 by Alexander Herman

Readers of this blog will know of our interest in a particular piece of EU law that came into effect throughout the EU territory on 28th December 2020. This predated the end of the Brexit Transition Period by three days and so applied to the UK as well. The legislation was Regulation 2019/880 on the […]

Report on latest study forum

Posted on: February 10, 2021 by Georgiana Stables

On Saturday 6th February, we hosted our second virtual study forum. It was a full day of captivating and perceptive talks by a range of speakers within the art law field. To kick-start the day, Dr Donna Yates (Associate Professor, Maastricht University) spoke about a Cambodian sculpture stolen from Koh Ker during the Cambodian Civil […]

Looking ahead to 2021

Posted on: January 5, 2021 by Alexander Herman

If 2020 taught us anything it’s that making predictions is a futile – perhaps perilous – exercise. Looking back at our predictions for 2020 from last January only confirms this. Who would have thought that a global pandemic would tear through the fabric of our cozy existence, all the while upsetting a number of accepted […]

UK government announces change to export licensing system

Posted on: December 22, 2020 by Alexander Herman

If the end of year is necessarily a busy time, this has only been accentuated by the chaos wreaked by the pandemic and, for those in the UK, the impending end of the Brexit transition period (which expires on 31 December). We can certainly say that the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport […]

Treasure, treasure everywhere – Government plans to update Treasure Act

Posted on: December 11, 2020 by Rebecca Hawkes-Reynolds

On Friday 2nd December 2020 it is likely that many archaeologists, curators and metal detectorists woke up pleased at the announcement from the Government that the definition of treasure for the Treasure Act 1996 will be revised. However, it is also equally probable that the same number were perplexed and worried as to how this […]

Brexit and importing cultural goods

Posted on: December 9, 2020 by Alexander Herman

The Brexit Transition Period is set to end on 31st December at midnight Brussels time, 11.00 pm in the UK – everyone knows that. But what many people do not seem to know, even those in the cultural sector, is that by happenstance a particular provision of EU law will come into effect in the […]

To tunnel or not to tunnel? Government grants permission for Stonehenge tunnel bypass

Posted on: November 23, 2020 by Rebecca Hawkes-Reynolds

On Thursday 12 November 2020, Secretary of State for Transport (SoS) Grant Shapps issued a letter granting permission for the construction of a dual carriageway two mile long tunnel that will reroute the existing A303 south of Stonehenge. The scheme is estimated to cost £1.7 billion. This road is the main link between south-east and […]

A tale of two protests: Museum protest then and now

Posted on: November 9, 2020 by Alexander Herman

Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza (left) is a man on a mission. A prolific protestor at museums in France and the Netherlands, he targets objects on display that originate from Africa, lifts them from their stands and parades them around the galleries while making pronouncements on the crimes of European colonialism. ‘Je part avec à la maison,’ he […]

High Court orders London gallery to provide information about stolen Signac

Posted on: November 3, 2020 by Michael Bowmer

A Norwich Pharmacal order was recently made against a London gallery requiring it to disclose information concerning a painting which the claimant contended had been stolen from her. In doing so the court refused to accept the argument on behalf of the gallery that no order should be made on account of the custom and […]