Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Judge Allows Collector to Sue Christie’s

A Manhattan judge has allowed art collector Guido Orsi to pursue his lawsuit against Christie’s auction house for allowing a purported Basquiat painting it allegedly knew was a fake to be sold anyway. Christie’s auctioned off the untitled work in 1990 for $242,000, crediting it to Jean-Michel Basquiat.


Insane Lawsuit Continues

We covered this story earlier this year, and now, the legal battle over Martín Ramírez’s drawings and art work continues to gain attention. The Guardian picks this story up today.

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Peru to Sue Yale University for Inca Artifacts

Peru has reportedly approved a plan to sue Yale for thousands of Inca artifacts excavated by a U.S. scholar at Machu Picchu.

On a related note, officials from the Simferopol Art Museum in south Ukraine told Germany’s Foreign Ministry the museum [they] “had no plans to give up” the 87 paintings thought originally to have belonged to the Suermondt- Ludwig Art Museum in the German city Aachen.


Cooper Union Removes “insensitive” Art (Updated)


Seems like this is the age of institutional censorship and curatorial alterations. That, or another clear example of what happens when political correctness becomes the overriding and fundamental factor in cultural production, to the extent that institutional critiques takes second-fiddle to issues of insensitivity, marking a clear path to a type of fascist appeasement to the lowest common denominator.

November 15, 2008

According to the Boston Globe, the New York Civil Liberties Union has demanded that New York City officials explain why they ordered a private art school to remove a banner displaying an image of Josef Stalin.

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Basel-based Art Dealers to Return Stolen ‘loot’

A huge haul of antiquities found in Basel, Switzerland, in 2001 is to be returned to Italy. The items, taken from archeological sites in the eastern Italian region of Apulia and in northern Italy, were found in the possession of a married couple who are Basel-based art dealers. Swiss police seized them based on a tip from Italy, which conducted an 18-month investigation into antiquities smuggling.

The couple also faces charges. The woman could face prosecution in Switzerland for handling stolen goods, said Markus Melzl, a spokesman for Swiss prosecutors. Her husband has been charged in Italy with exporting cultural antiquities illegally, handling stolen goods and belonging to a criminal organization, Melzl said.

More from the CBC.


Minneapolis Institute of Arts to Return Nazi ‘Loot’

From yesterday’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

After 10 years of detective work, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts has concluded that a $2.8 million painting it has owned for decades was stolen by the Nazis. The museum has returned the 1911 painting, Fernand Leger’s “Smoke Over Rooftops,” to the French heirs of a Jewish art collector who died in 1948.

“Having researched this to the end of the road, we decided we had to return the painting; it was the right thing to do,” said Art Institute Director Kaywin Feldman.


Berlusconi: Graffiti Makes Italy Look Like Africa

According to today’s NY Times, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi says:

he wants to outlaw graffiti, making it a crime to write or draw on city walls and public buildings in Italy without permission. Mr. Berlusconi said on Wednesday that measures to discourage “people who spoil walls and shops” would be introduced by decree at a cabinet meeting on Friday. Penalties could include fines and even prison sentences, the prime minister said. Early this month, Mr. Berlusconi said that he wanted to eliminate graffiti “because in some of our cities, it looks like we’re in Africa rather than Europe.”


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