Tag Archives: australia

Mossgreen Auction House: A Fall from Grace

Posted on: March 12, 2018 by Holly Woodhouse

The Australian Financial Review recently reported the collapse of Mossgreen Auction House, which has left the Australian art market reeling and industry insiders calling for reform.  The auction house is now being wound down after failed attempts to restructure the company. Founded in 2004 by British-born Paul Sumner, Mossgreen Auction House and Gallery quickly grew to […]

Diploma course for museum professionals completed in Sydney

Posted on: April 8, 2017 by Alexander Herman

Well done to all the students on our Diploma in Law and Collections Management course (DipLCM) that finished last week in Sydney. We were happy to see that participants hailed from a variety of institutions throughout both Australia and New Zealand. A very good dynamic within the group; and we probably learned as much from the class […]

Two more Indian artefacts returned by Australia

Posted on: September 21, 2016 by Alexander Herman

Following on from the return of the Shiva Nataraja idol from the National Gallery of Australia in 2014, two more Indian artefacts are now set to be restituted by the same institution to their country of origin. These are the sculptures ‘Goddess Pratyangira’ and ‘Worshippers of the Buddha’, both purchased by the gallery in 2005 […]

Aboriginal bark etching returned to Australia… for now

Posted on: April 15, 2016 by Alexander Herman

Since we last reported on the matter, there have been some (potentially positive) developments on the issue of the Australian Aboriginal bark etchings in the collection of the British Museum being claimed by descendants of the Dja Dja Wurrung people who had initially made them in the mid 19th century. An article by Paul Daley in the Guardian from […]

Art and Limitation Periods

Posted on: August 19, 2015 by Alexander Herman

A painting was stolen in 1991. It was a work referred to as Girl in Sunlight by Australian impressionist Rupert Bunny (see below). It was owned by James Watt from Melbourne. Watt tried to recover the painting, but there was nothing he could do. He died in 1993. In May 2010 the painting was seized by the […]

Behind the scenes of the Subhash Kapoor operation

Posted on: July 30, 2015 by Ruth Redmond-Cooper

An interesting and in-depth article appeared last week in the New York Times about Subhash Kapoor’s antiquities smuggling operation. This involved looted antiquities that had been taken from a number of cultural and religious sites throughout India, then sold to unsuspecting buyers. These were buyers of importance, including the National Gallery of Australia, which had purchased […]

Seminar on International Art Transactions

Posted on: May 26, 2015 by Nina M. Neuhaus

On 13 May, the Institute of Art and Law with the generous support of Maurice Turnor Gardner LLP hosted a seminar exploring a variety of legal issues surrounding international art transactions. Here is a brief summary: The first speaker was Professor Norman Palmer (3 Stone Buildings), who discussed the various risks associated with the international transfer of cultural […]

Canada returns Khajuraho sculpture to India

Posted on: April 29, 2015 by Alexander Herman

Earlier this month, it was reported that Canada was returning a 900-year-old sandstone statue to India. This was done with all the necessary pomp and ceremony, with each nation’s prime minister more than ready for a dual photo op with the piece. Of course it represented much more than mere cultural restitution: as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated, cultural relations between […]

Criticism mounts ahead of BM show on Aboriginal art

Posted on: April 20, 2015 by Alexander Herman

Having highlighted the issue in an earlier post, the criticism of the upcoming British Museum exhibition, Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilization (a purposely ambiguous title?) has become more vociferous with a cutting article published recently in The Guardian provocatively entitled ‘Preservation or plunder? The battle over the British Museum’s Indigenous Australian show’. Past events involving the Dja Dja Wurrung bark etchings are […]

MacGregor’s lasting legacy at the BM?

Posted on: April 8, 2015 by Alexander Herman

Today it was announced that British Museum Director Neil MacGregor will step down at the end of 2015. This will come as a shock to most. Certainly since within the last year the heads of two of Britain’s most respectable cultural institutions, the National Gallery (Nicholas Penny) and the National Portrait Gallery (Sandy Nairne), have also […]