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.


Gould drawing

English School double portrait and Gould watercolours are among the latest artworks to be saved by the nation

26 January 2023

Six artworks are set to be saved for the nation according to the latest Exports of Objects of Cultural Interest report.

Egyptian limestone relief

UK museum sought for Egyptian limestone relief depicting women musicians in pharaoh’s palace

25 January 2023

A limestone relief depicting a group of female musicians in the palace of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten has been temporarily blocked from export.

ATG Lawyer Writes V3 JPG

A Lawyer Writes: Andy Warhol painting of Prince photograph creates a legal question of fair or foul use

23 January 2023

Final appeal court decision is now imminent in copyright conundrum

Sheffield Assay Office

Plea to help find stolen silver from Sheffield Assay Office

19 January 2023

More than £100,000 worth of silverware has been stolen from the Sheffield Assay Office after a group of burglars broke in using an angle grinder.

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ATG letter: I received my VAT refund after ATG's coverage

09 January 2023

Thank you for taking up the irritating issue on behalf of your subscribers of eBay charging 20% VAT instead of the 5% directed by HMRC for antique items.

The Nativity

Ulster Museum acquires 16th century Nativity scene

05 January 2023

An Italian Nativity scene has been saved for the nation after it was blocked from export by the government.

ATG letter: Antiques VAT mess is on top of ‘increasingly poor security’

19 December 2022

Re my letter: ‘Why does eBay charge incorrect import VAT?’ Letters, ATG No 2560). Just so you know, I never heard back from eBay, plus it seems they continue to charge the wrong 20% duty on most if not all antique items being sent into the UK.

Royal Courts of Justice

Judgments made on London dealers in two separate court cases

12 December 2022

Two separate legal cases involving leading London art dealers have concluded in the High Court.

ATG letter: VAT – the onus should be on eBay

12 December 2022

I read in ATG Letters Nos 2564 and 2560 about the problem relating to VAT calculation from eBay.

Ivory casket

UK buyer sought for £1.5m French gothic ivory casket

06 December 2022

A 14th century French gothic ivory casket or coffret has been blocked from export by the UK government in the hope a British institution can raise the £1.5m funds needed to keep it in the country.

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A Lawyer Writes: Anti-money laundering regulations – beware of the money behind the deals

05 December 2022

Close investigation is vital to avoid difficulties with sanctioned individuals

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ATG letter: That £20 cost is down to the new Ivory Act charges

28 November 2022

I have just entered an early 19th century portrait miniature painted on ivory into my local auction and have been informed that, in order to enter it, I have to pay a £20 fee for it to be accepted for sale.

Bronzino portrait

News in Brief – including the auction of a returned Bronzino

28 November 2022

A round-up of art and antiques news from the previous seven days, including a Bronzino portrait restituted earlier this year to be offered at Sotheby’s.

Lalique vase

Plea for help to find stolen Lalique glass vase

23 November 2022

Police are appealing for help to track down a stolen Lalique glass vase.

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Flemish tapestry hunted down after wartime wrongs

21 November 2022

A rare early 16th century Flemish tapestry that was part of an impressive imperial commission is coming up for sale in France in early December.

Jennifer Mass

Scientists and art specialists propose standards for the art and antiques trade

15 November 2022

A group of scientists and art specialists met to discuss proposals to create industry-wide standards for condition reports and the verification of art and antiques.

Squadron Leader Scarf

UK buyer sought for record breaking RAF Victoria Cross medal

01 November 2022

An export block has been issued on a Victoria Cross medal in the hope a UK buyer will emerge.

Anti-money laundering

Art firms sign up to new EU money rules

31 October 2022

More than a thousand art market businesses have registered for HM Revenue and Customs’ Anti Money Laundering Supervision (AMLS) since its June 2021 launch.

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.

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