ARR was not included in the UK government's published list of laws to be revoked at the end of this year following the previous Brexit trade deal and the UK government’s Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill.

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ARR is here to stay, government says

The government has reiterated that Artist’s Resale Right (ARR) will remain in force within UK law.

The UK agreed to follow the existing ARR regulations under the Brexit trade deal that came into effect in January 2021 (as reported by ATG No 2476). However, as a retained EU law ARR was at risk of being revoked in the government’s Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill this year.

But last month, when the government tabled an amendment to the bill, there was final confirmation that the ARR legislation is protected: ARR was not included in the published list of laws to be revoked at the end of this year.

Christian Zimmermann, CEO of The Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS), said: “Removing ARR from the Retained EU Laws Bill sends a clear message to UK artists – that your talent and contributions to the creative industries is valued and that your rights continue to be protected.”

Seized artefacts return to Iraq

Two artefacts jointly valued at $275,000 have been returned to Iraq after the latest investigation by New York’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr announced that a Mesopotamian limestone elephant and a Sumerian alabaster bull have been given to the “people of Iraq”.

The objects were reported to have been looted from the ancient city of Uruk, now known as Warka, during the Gulf War and smuggled into New York in the late 1990s.

The alabaster bull was seized from the private collection of US investor, art collector and philanthropist Shelby White (who is also on the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

The limestone elephant was recovered from a storage unit that belonged to antiquities dealer Robin Symes. It is believed to have been stored there since arriving from Iraq.

These repatriations are the latest in a long line announced by the office of the Manhattan District At torney. Its Antiquities Trafficking Unit was set up in 2018 and since then it has conducted multiple investigations and returned more than 2450 antiquities to 24 countries, valued at more than $230m.

Separately, the Greek culture minister Lina Mendoni announced the return of 351 objects from the collection of Symes this month. Among the artefacts being repatriated is a 2nd-century bronze statue of Alexander the Great.

Canova Helen of Troy bust for sale

Bust of Helen by Antonio Canova

Bust of Helen by Antonio Canova, estimate £2.5m-4m at Christie’s.

Christie’s will offer a marble bust of Helen of Troy by Antonio Canova (1757-1822) in London this summer.

Measuring 19¼in (50cm) high, it was given by Canova to British politician Robert, Viscount Castlereagh (1769- 1822) in recognition of his efforts to secure the return of works of art to Italy at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. It then passed by descent to the vendors at Christie’s and it is estimated at £2.5m-4m at the Old Master evening sale on July 6.

The bust forms part of Canova’s series of ‘Ideal Heads’, largely created in the latter part of his career, and has been exhibited publicly only twice – most recently at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in 1997 and previously at the Royal Academy in 1972.

Ching takes on Christie’s role

Kevin Ching

Kevin Ching joins Christie's as chairman Asia.

Christie’s has hired Kevin Ching as chairman Asia. Based in Hong Kong, Ching joins from Sotheby’s where he was chief executive officer in Asia from 2006-21.

He has more than 17 years’ experience of strategic business planning and client development in Asia. He joins the team of Francis Belin, president Christie’s Asia Pacific.

Christie’s plans to move its Asia Pacific headquarters to The Henderson tower in Hong Kong in 2024.

Woodward and Newman focus

An auction series of more than 300 items from actors and celebrity couple Joanne Woodward (b.1930) and Paul Newman (1925-2008) will be offered at Sotheby’s New York this month. An exhibition of lots will open at its NY gallery from June 1-11.

The World of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman sales comprise: Important Watches on June 9, Life and Legacy from May 31-June 12 (featuring memorabilia from their careers) and a car-focused sale titled High Speed from May 31-June 13.

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The number of films made by Hollywood legend James Dean before he died in a car crash aged just 24. Los Angeles auction house Nate D Sanders is offering nearly 400 lots of Dean memorabilia from the estate of the actor’s agent, Jane Deacy, whom he regarded as a second mother after his birth mother died when he was nine. Deacy opened her own agency in 1952 to represent Dean, then a struggling actor who had just moved to New York to turn his fortunes around.