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.


Stolen rare books

Stolen collection of antiquarian books worth £2.5m recovered from underground store in Romania

19 September 2020

A collection of rare books valued at more than £2.5m and stolen from a London warehouse in 2017 has been recovered in Romania.

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Consultation will be final step before Ivory Act is law

14 September 2020

A government consultation on the minutiae of elements of the Ivory Act is required prior to the implementing of the new law.

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US tariffs on Chinese art take effect as New York auction series begins

07 September 2020

This month’s Asian art series in New York could be the last sales to avoid the new trade tariffs that have been imposed by the Trump administration.

Art market will be given more time to register under Money Laundering Directive

31 August 2020

Art market businesses will have more time to register under the 5th Money Laundering Directive.

ATG letter: Who decides on ivory merit now?

31 August 2020

MADAM – The imminent Ivory Act is, not to put too fine a point on it, an ill-considered waste of space, introduced by the ill-advised misguided.

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Ivory Act: no more challenges to new law says Supreme Court

17 August 2020

The Ivory Act 2018 is now expected to come into effect this year after dealers and collectors of antique ivory were refused a final appeal.

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Police call for help to find stolen Cotswolds post box sawn from its mount

13 August 2020

A Royal Mail post box has been sawn from its mount in a Cotswold village and local police are hoping to trace it.

Bernardo Bellotto's view of Dresden

Sotheby’s to offer restituted view of Dresden acquired by Hitler's art dealer

21 July 2020

An Old Master painting restored to the family of its original Jewish owner will be offered at Sotheby’s next week with an estimate of £3m-4m.

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Overseas buyer for Armada maps unless £600,000 is found

20 July 2020

A public campaign to keep rare maps of the Spanish Armada in the country will be needed to raise the required £600,000.

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Rare Spanish Armada maps blocked from export in the hope a UK buyer can pay £600,000 to save them for the nation

13 July 2020

A group of 10 drawings that depict the Elizabethan naval battle have been temporarily prevented from being exported in the hope an institutional buyer can raise funds to keep them in the UK.

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Government issues export bar for Roman marble Celtic hounds in hope of finding UK buyer

08 July 2020

The owner of a pair of Celtic hounds has been temporarily prevented from exporting the sculptures by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

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Appeal to help find stolen wedding ring of elderly care home resident

02 July 2020

The family of an elderly lady in a care home in north London is hoping the antiques and jewellery trade may spot three rings that have been stolen.

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Antique clocks reported stolen from Foreign & Commonwealth Office

29 June 2020

A group of antique clocks has been reported stolen from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

News In Brief - including the arrest of five antiquities specialists in Paris

29 June 2020

A round-up of art and antiques news from the previous seven days, including the arrest of antiquities dealers and experts in Paris relating to looted Middle Eastern artefacts.

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Allow access to antiquities files, says Christie’s

22 June 2020

Following the removal of four lots from a New York sale, Christie’s has expressed frustration at being denied access to key information on possible looted antiquities.

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Legal wrangle into disputed Frans Hals painting continues as investment firm wins right to appeal

17 June 2020

The legal dispute over a Frans Hals (1582-1666) painting sold via Sotheby’s by Old Master picture dealer Mark Weiss and Fairlight Art Ventures is set to reach the Court of Appeal.

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Raid on eBay seller's 'fake medal factory' run from garden shed leaves market reeling

15 June 2020

A trading standards investigation has unearthed a ‘medal factory’ in Derbyshire, sparking the fear that thousands of fake military awards and badges could be in circulation.

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Market for illicit antiquities valued ‘in millions not billions’

15 June 2020

The antiquities trade has welcomed a new independent report that estimates the volume of looted objects on the market is much smaller than previous reports have suggested.

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Art Deco sculpture takes a final dance as the near-total trading ban looms over antique ivory

15 June 2020

As the implementation of the Ivory Act 2018 draws closer, it is approaching closing time at the last-chance saloon for UK owners who wish to monetise Art Deco chryselephantine sculpture.

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Sotheby’s loses New York court case against Greece over ancient horse figurine

10 June 2020

The Greek ministry of culture has won a court ruling over auction house Sotheby’s involving the ownership of an 8th century BC horse figurine.

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