Wednesday, February 20, 2019

“You can’t just go and copy historical monuments”

Bangladesh’s construction of an exact copy of the Taj Mahal has sparked a diplomatic fight between India and Bangladesh, centering on the question of whether or not it is possible to claim copyright on a building.

According to The Times Online, “[t]he project has cost about £40 million and is being built about 20 miles northeast of Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital. But the Indians are upset. ‘You can’t just go and copy historical monuments,’ an official at the Indian High Commission in Dhaka told a reporter this week.”

Bangladeshi officials are enraged by suggestions that the Taj Mahal is protected by some sort of copyright.

“I’m not sure what they are talking about,” one said. “Show me where it says that emulating a building like this can be illegal.”


Nazi ‘loot’ to Return to Rightful Owner

Two paintings that once belonged to Montreal art dealer Max Stern, but were looted by the Nazis during the Second World War, will be returned to his estate today in Berlin.

A 2007 court decision was the first in U.S. legal history dealing with the forced sale of Jewish-owned art in Nazi Germany. The judge in that case equated the forced sale in 1937 to theft.

Clarence Epstein, the director of the Max Stern Art Restitution Project, which has spent the past seven years tracking down works from Stern’s former collection, says the judgment is groundbreaking for all claimants of looted art. “This means that every painting that was part of that forced sale … is equivalent to the Winterhalter,” Mr. Epstein said. “If that painting was deemed to be a looted work, then so are the other 227 paintings sold during that auction.”

“The great majority of Jewish artists and dealers lost their art not through straight confiscation, but because they were forced to sell it,” Mr. Konte said. He added that they were generally sold considerably below fair market value.

According to Anna Rubin, director of the New York State Banking Department’s Holocaust Claims Processing Office, more than 600,000 works of art, rare books, pieces of furniture, sculptures and jewelry were looted during the Nazi regime.

More from the Ottawa Citizen.


Damien Hirst Threatens 16-year-old Artist With Lawsuit

Damien Hirst, arguably an appropriationist king himself, threatened a 16 year-old artist with a lawsuit unless the young artist stopped using Hirst’s diamond-studded skull image first. According to The Independent, Cartrain (the young artist’s moniker), “was surprised to learn Hirst had not only seen the work but also contacted the Design and Artists Copyright Society (Dacs), who apparently informed the young artist he had infringed Hirst’s copyright. The older man [Hirst] has reportedly demanded that Cartrain not only remove the works from sale but ;’deliver up’ originals, along with any profit made on those sold, or face legal action.”

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French Investigate Fake 20th Century Furniture

French investigators have arrested a Ukrainian man and four members of an artist’s family, suspecting them of having produced and sold fake 20th-century furniture by Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Alexandre Noll and Pierre Chareau over the past three years.

Investigators discovered some 60 pieces of furniture in the suspects’ homes, including 15 Perriand tables, 20 Noll sculptures, along with Chareau lamps and Prouvé tables. Sud-Ouest said other pieces had been sold through art galleries and at auction between 2005 and 2008, and a Prouvé table had sold for $180,000 in the US.

More from The Art Newspaper.


Installation Banned at Art Basel Miami

An Art Basel Miami installation has been denied by Miami City officials.

Miami officials have barred the installation of artist Cooper’s Roman-style, black-ink-spewing Dark Fountain, which was commissioned for the fair, from a public park. “The ink stains,” says Max Sklar, the city’s tourism honcho.

Cooper says his work dramatizes the increasingly toxic state of the environment. “This isn’t Disney pretend,” he says. “This is real, live public art. You can look at it and enjoy it.

Sklar isn’t budging. “We’re not asking him to change the very nature of his work,” he says. “Just to accommodate it to a public setting.”

See full story at New York Magazine.


After Lawsuit, Mexican Masters in Hiding

kahlo.jpg(Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait as a Tehuana (Diego on my Mind). One of 95 artworks in dispute).

In today’s NY Times, an interesting story regarding the legal dispute over famous Mexican artworks.

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Art Dealer Arrested for Selling Modernist Forgeries

Giuseppe Concepcion, a prominent New York and Miami art dealer, has been arrested on charges of selling forged paintings bearing the names of artists including Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall and Tom Wesselmann. Concepcion was arrested in Miami on Friday on wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property charges brought in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

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