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.


Deities

British antiques restorer arrested and investigated in US court case

27 July 2021

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating a multi-million-pound Asian antiquities ‘trafficking ring’ and has arrested a British antiques restorer as part of the case.

DH Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley's Lover

A dozen ‘national treasures’ saved for the nation after export licence blocks

21 July 2021

A dozen items deemed national treasures were bought by institutions between May 2018 and April 2020 with a value of £7.6m, according to the latest report.

Defra

Government launches consultation on extending antique ivory ban to hippos, narwhals, walruses and whales

20 July 2021

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has launched a consultation on extending the near-total ban on the antique ivory trade.

Dr Elena Greer with tortoises

A slow recovery: stolen tortoises resurface after 29 years

19 July 2021

Four Victorian bronze tortoises stolen from National Trust property Kingston Lacy in Dorset have been recovered nearly 30 years later.

Kempton

England relaxes coronavirus restrictions but recommendations remain in place

14 July 2021

The UK government has confirmed that from July 19 in England many of the coronavirus restrictions will be relaxed.

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Warning over Brexit effect on British hallmarking

12 July 2021

The British Hallmarking Council (BHC) is to raise concerns with the government about the impact of Brexit on antique gold and silver exports into the EU.

Leonardo drawing

One Leonardo sold, another caught up in a court battle

12 July 2021

Two Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) drawings created national news last week as Christie’s posted a record for a sketch by the great master in London while a court in Paris is to determine whether another can be legally exported from France.

Royal Mail advice

New VAT rules for EU imports take effect this month

08 July 2021

New VAT rules have been put in place by the European Union for distance selling.

The National Gallery of Greece

Picasso and Mondrian paintings stolen in Greek art theft returned

01 July 2021

Two paintings stolen from Greece's National Gallery in 2012 have been recovered and a builder has confessed to the crime, according to Reuters.

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London dealer hails victory in six-year legal battle over St James’s lease

28 June 2021

“We want art and antiques galleries to know that this area is now affordable," says dealer S Franses after High Court victory

Italy's Ministry of Culture

Italy seeks to open its art market with export threshold changes

28 June 2021

The export of Italian art has become easier following changes made to the country’s cultural laws.

Cutlers' Hall in Sheffield.

Cutlers' Hall in Sheffield calls for help to recover stolen silver

24 June 2021

A group of silver and silver plate items have been stolen from the Cutlers' Hall in Sheffield and police are seeking information on the incident.

S Franses Jermyn Street

Court judgment on rent for St James’s gallery ‘will impact wider market’

22 June 2021

A court victory for textile dealer S Franses will have wider implications for rents across the West End of London, experts predict.

Horn beakers

Saleroom pulls ‘looted artefacts from Maqdala’ after Ethiopian appeal

21 June 2021

A group of Ethiopian works of art believed to have been taken during the Battle of Maqdala in 1868 has been withdrawn from a Dorset auction after the Embassy of Ethiopia intervened.

Banquet still-life

Feasting and making merry at Christie's auction

21 June 2021

Restituted pictures remain a key area of supply for fresh Old Masters and Christie’s evening sale on July 8 includes two Dutch Golden Age paintings.

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London charity is beneficiary of restituted art

14 June 2021

A sight loss charity in London has benefited from a surprise windfall after pictures restituted to the estate of a benefactor were sold at auction in Vienna.

Old Master interior picture

Two Dutch Old Master pictures recovered by the Monuments Men and eventually restituted to Jewish businessman’s heirs come to auction

09 June 2021

Old Master pictures from the Dutch ‘Golden Age’ will be offered as part of Christie’s Classic Week of sales in July.

Arundel Castle

Reward offered for return of stolen treasures from Arundel Castle

08 June 2021

Insurers acting for the owners of Arundel Castle have offered a substantial reward for the safe return of all or part of the collection of items stolen on the night of May 21.

Mantuan roundel

Buyer sought for £20.4m Renaissance roundel to keep it in the UK

03 June 2021

A rare Renaissance roundel has been temporarily blocked from export by the UK government in the hope a buyer in the UK will emerge.

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Master forger Mark Hofmann's infamous work comes to auction

31 May 2021

The 'Oath of a Freeman', one of the most infamous forgeries in US history, heads to auction at Heritage this month. It comes for sale from Justin Schiller, the antiquarian bookseller who in 1985 attempted to broker its sale for $1.5m.

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