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The Art Dossier on September 12, 2013 with 0 Comments

Counterfeit admission tickets to the Louvre are circulating in France. “Museum staff last month began noticing that several dozen Chinese tourists with tour groups held counterfeit tickets ‘of a strange consistency, [with] poor paper quality and ink that hadn’t set properly’, the daily Le Parisien reported. Later in August better-quality forged items began appearing with serial numbers – exact copies of the museum’s entry tickets. Also last month Belgian customs officials reportedly seized 4,000 counterfeit Louvre tickets hidden in a parcel from China.” [Guardian]

Artworks stolen during the Holocaust have yet to be returned to their rightful heirs and experts wonder if it will ever be returned. “As Eizenstat suggested, some countries have a better record than others in dealing with the return of stolen artworks. Somewhat paradoxically, although far from flawless, it is Germany and Austria that are at the forefront of art restitution these days. Many of the largest and most important museums in these two countries, where much of the looted art was stolen and/or deposited, are state owned or financed. This makes it somewhat easier for these institutions to follow legislative directives to study their collections and identify artworks with questionable provenances and then, despite the passage of time, to take the steps necessary to return the works to their rightful owners.” [ARTnews]

Earlier this week, ArtInternational Istanbul was ordered to drop the ‘Istanbul’ from its name due to a breach of copyright. “’A court hearing took place between the organisers of Contemporary Istanbul (İkon Fuarcılık) and [ArtInternational co-founders] Fiera Milano Interteks over an alleged breach of copyright concerning the use of the name ArtInternational Istanbul for the new modern and contemporary art fair launching in Istanbul in September 2013,’ says a spokesman for ArtInternational. He says, however, that the ruling is temporary. ‘A decision was made that, until the conclusion of the case, scheduled for late September, ArtInternational (the name legally owned by Fiera Milano Interteks) should remove the location of the fair ‘Istanbul’ from its title,’ the spokesman adds.” [The Art Newspaper]

On Wednesday, Ralph E. Lerner, a prominent art-world lawyer, was accused of fraudulently taking $750,000 from the Cy Twombly foundation. “The accusation was detailed in a lawsuit filed earlier this year alleging serious misconduct over the past two years in the handling of the money and works that Twombly left behind. In the latest development, lawyers for the Cy Twombly Foundation asked the court for permission to name Mr. Lerner as a defendant in the lawsuit. The new papers claim that Mr. Lerner, as the secretary and a director of the board of the foundation, charged the foundation unauthorized fees for legal services and hid those charges from other members of the board by having the bills mailed to a post office box in New York and a corporate address in Delaware, and arranging wire transfers that sidestepped oversight by the foundation’s accountants.” [NY Times ]

Cy Twombly with his art in 2005. A director of the Twombly foundation now faces accusations in a civil suit. Michael Stravato for The New York Times.

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