Art$/Fund$ The disconnection between artists not being able to collect resale royalty in the United States and the limits imposed on the donation of art works by artists to the museums are at a stark contrast with the trend of purchasing art as an asset class. Recent discussions about Art as Investment are further supported by the proliferation of art funds and endorsement from renowned asset managers such as Laurence D. Fink. Little support is mustered for sharing financial windfalls with the artists.
Cultural Property – Smuggling Ring New York art dealer Subhash Kapoor was arrested back in 2011 for trafficking stolen antiques, and is now on trial in India, accused of operating a $150 million smuggling ring. For over 30 years Kapoor ran the New York based gallery Art of the Past, and is now accused of steeling thousands of ancient artifacts from religious institutions in India, which he then sold through a separate import/export business to numerous museums. His sister, girlfriend and gallery manager have also been indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Recently the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, announced it will be turning over a work titled “Maharaja Serfoji II of Tanjavur and his son Shivaji II” in connection with the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing investigation. It is unknown whether the museum will get its money back.