Law, crime and regulation

Legal cases, stolen art, regulation and tax issues remain important part of the art and antiques sector.

This category ranges from the levy of the Artist’s Resale Right to controversies over fakes and forgeries.


Houses of Parliament

New Charities Act will allow UK museums to deaccession parts of their collections

29 September 2022

An update to the Charities Act coming into force over the next year will allow museums in the UK to deaccession some items.

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A LAWYER WRITES: When an adviser can also become a buyer it is vital to make their position crystal clear

26 September 2022

Two cases dealt with recently underline problem of this clash of interests.

Parchment roundels

UK buyer sought for Elizabeth I roundels 

20 September 2022

A conjoined roundel manuscript given by the Archbishop of Canterbury to Queen Elizabeth I has been temporarily blocked from export in the hope a UK institution can raise the funds.

Marble head

Met museum hands back looted artefacts

12 September 2022

Twenty-seven looted artefacts seized from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art have been returned to Italy and Egypt as part of longrunning investigations by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit.

Jade pony

Jade thieves ordered to pay back proceeds of auction sales

12 September 2022

A man, who along with his father, stole valuable Chinese works of art from the home of an elderly Bedfordshire widow has been asked to pay back more than £200,000.

Sledge flag

UK buyer sought for Arctic exploration flag from Captain Henry Kellett

06 September 2022

A flag from polar explorer Captain Henry Kellett (1806-1875) has been barred from export in the hope £120,000 can be raised to keep it in the UK.

The Clock Tower in Southsea

Warrior figure stolen from former antiques shop

05 September 2022

The art and antiques trade has been asked to help track down a stolen wooden sculpture from a renowned former antiques shop in Hampshire.

Omai

National Portrait Gallery leads call to raise £50m to keep Reynolds’ Omai portrait in the UK

03 September 2022

Sir Joshua Reynolds’ portrait of Omai has been blocked from export to give institutions time to raise the funds to keep it in the UK and the National Portrait Gallery is leading the efforts.

John Ditchfield glass

Police appeal after van and dealers' stock stolen in Lincolnshire

02 September 2022

Lincolnshire police and an antiques dealer are appealing for any information to help track down a stolen van filled with stock.

Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli self portrait

UK buyer sought for £2m Lombardy portrait blocked from export

17 August 2022

A 17th century example of Lombard art has been blocked from leaving the UK in the hope an institution can raise the £2m to keep it here.

Anti-money laundering

Banks close down client accounts for some smaller auction houses due to anti-money laundering rules

15 August 2022

Chattels auction houses operating at the lower end of the market are being told to close client accounts as the banking sector tightens its rules.

Start sizing up the anti money laundering rules now because it affects both little and large businesses

15 August 2022

As the UK brought into force the EU’s fifth Money Laundering Directive in early 2020, it was believed that the art market had plenty of time to register and comply.

Christ carrying the Cross

National Gallery acquires two paintings via government tax scheme

09 August 2022

Two Italian pictures have joined the National Gallery’s collection via the government’s inheritance tax scheme.

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News in brief – including two Roman vases stolen in Surrey

08 August 2022

A round-up of art and antiques news from the previous seven days, including an appeal from police for information on two Roman vases stolen in Walton-on-Thames.

Gentileschi picture seized by Italian authorities may have been exported legally

26 July 2022

A picture believed to be by Artemisia Gentileschi, but previously exported as attributed to the artist, has been seized by Italy's police force.

ATG Lawyer Writes V3 JPG

A lawyer writes: Client confidentiality becomes a problem when anti money laundering rules kick in

25 July 2022

Two case studies reveal the kind of challenges the art trade has to tackle

Daniel Crouch

Book sellers face extra export red tape

18 July 2022

New environmental laws in Germany and France mean overseas sellers of smaller items such as books are tackling another layer of red tape on top of those already presented by Brexit.

Omai portrait

News in brief – including a new deadline to keep Joshua Reynolds' Omai portrait in the UK

18 July 2022

A round-up of art and antiques news from the previous seven days, including an export block extension for Sir Joshua Reynolds’ (1723-92) Omai portrait.

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ATG letter: Would that beautiful chess set be classed as museum quality?

18 July 2022

Referring to the UK’s near-total ban on selling antique ivory objects, would the beautiful Vizagatapam, India, c.1830-50, ivory chess set in the collection of Mr Holger Langer (Collector Interview, ATG No 2550) be classed as museum quality?

Murshidabad chairs

Furniture suite could be first ‘museum quality’ ivory sale

11 July 2022

A suite of solid ivory and gilt furniture sold by Christie’s on July 7 appears to be the first auction lot to benefit from the exemption to the Ivory Act allowing the sale of items of ‘outstandingly high artistic, cultural and historical value’.

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