Category Archives: France

Public domain and the internet

Posted on: May 24, 2017 by Alexander Herman

A number of issues arise when we use images of artistic works online. Here, I am referring to copyright and to the specific treatment of images of older works that may – or may not – have fallen into the public domain. Of course, once copyright has expired in a work, that work will enter the public […]

Jeff Koons infringes French photographer’s copyright

Posted on: May 4, 2017 by Hélène Deslauriers

In March, Jeff Koons and the Pompidou Centre in Paris were held jointly liable for copyright infringement.  The work at issue was a porcelain sculpture of about 40 inches representing two naked children.  The sculpture was part of Koons’s ‘Banality’ series and was scheduled to be part of a Koons retrospective at the Pompidou Centre […]

Report on Conference for Safeguarding Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas

Posted on: December 9, 2016 by Fionnuala Rogers

“A country is not recognised by its size on the map, but by its culture” Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova quoted His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, former President of the UAE at the International Conference for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas on 2nd and 3rd December […]

Factual clarity and the missing Modigliani

Posted on: June 1, 2016 by Alexander Herman

Thanks to the release of the Panama Papers last month, more has been leaked in relation to the dispute involving Modigliani’s Seated Man with a Cane (the painting shown below, reputed to be worth £15 million), which places the current owner, a company named the International Art Center, against a descendant of Oscar Stettiner, the Parisian dealer from whom the painting […]

The Spies-Ernst case: Art experts in France can breathe a sigh of relief

Posted on: January 27, 2016 by Judith Bouchardeau and Mathilde Roellinger

The discovery of the art forgery scandal perpetrated by Wolfang Beltracchi has given rise to a number of legal proceedings. The recent decision of the Court of Appeal of Versailles, involving art expert Werner Spies and a painting attributed to Max Ernst, is among them. The facts are as follows. At the 2004 Paris Biennale […]

Art law practice event on 9 October in London

Posted on: September 3, 2015 by Ruth Redmond-Cooper

Our friends at the Franco-British Lawers Society (England & Wales section) will be hosting a free event in London on 9 October entitled ‘The Art of Advising – Art Law in Practice‘. The event will be held at Notre Dame University, London campus (famous venue for a number of IAL courses and conferences) and will run […]

Update on Freedom of Panorama

Posted on: July 10, 2015 by Alexander Herman

Just a quick update to say that yesterday the European Parliament voted – overwhelmingly – to remove the proposed restrictions on Freedom of Panorama (FOP) from the report currently being debated. The proposal had been outlined in two earlier blogs: here and here. That means the status quo will be maintained: countries such as the UK, […]

Former Vichy law on exporting works of art from France declared unconstitutional

Posted on: December 8, 2014 by Mathilde Roellinger

The French Constitutional Council, in a decision rendered on 14 November 2014, declared that article 2 of the law of 23 June 1941 concerning the export of works of art did not comply with the Constitution. The application for a priority preliminary ruling was submitted by an owner of precious furniture who, in the 1980s, […]

Nazi-looted tapestry returned by University of Sheffield

Posted on: June 27, 2014 by Alexander Herman

It has recently been reported that an 18th Century tapestry belonging to Comte Bernard de la Rochefoucauld and looted from the Château de Versainville during the Nazi occupation of France has been voluntarily returned by the University of Sheffield in the UK. The tapestry, which had been taken from the Comte’s residence, was later bought by the […]

Vienna Philharmonic to Return Stolen French Painting

Posted on: May 3, 2014 by Hélène Deslauriers

For decades, the Vienna Philharmonic, a 172-year-old institution, held in its storage facility a painting by French artist Paul Signac paintend in 1883. The painting, taken by a German official in 1940 from a French Resistance fighter, was given as a gift to the Viennese orchestra for performances given to German soldiers in France in […]