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October 2018

Banksy Strikes Again. Banksy’s “Love is in the Bin” formerly known as “Girl with a Balloon” piece sold at Sotheby’s auction only to be shredded inside its frame in front of the crowd’s eyes seconds later. He broadcasted the event on his Instagram account, which only leaves one wondering: was Banksy at the event to preform this stunt? Was the auction house in on it? Will the value of the piece now increase?

Paris Ruled. The Paris court of appeals confirmed the restitution of Camille Pissarro’s “Peas Harvest” (1887) to the heirs of Simon Bauer, a Jewish dealer who escaped Nazi-occupied Paris, leaving behind a sumptuous collection. Its blurry provenance reveal that it was acquired at auction by an American couple, who lent the piece to a Parisian museum in 2017. The restitution order comes as a final blow against pre-Washington bona fide  purchasers. See also our article investigating into the painting’s blurry provenance.

Typical Koons. Jeff Koons is once again under fire of copyright infringement for his use another’s images and symbols. This time, the suit concerns his “Fair D’Hiver” sculpture, which is essentially a 3D creation of the advertisement ran by French clothing company Naf Naf in the 1980’s. Is this the harmless age-old cycle of artists getting inspiration from previous genius, or is it illegal stealing of intellectual property? The French lower court is expected to rule on November 8.

From Guggenheim to FlechtheimGerman Expressionist painting “Artillerymen” (1915) by Ernest Ludwig is returned to the heirs of persecuted German Jewish art dealer Alfred Flechtheim. This is accomplished through the efforts of the Guggenheim foundation and is just one of many works the heirs are seeking reclamation for.

Art Goes on Birthright. Restitution of Nazi looted art goes on exhibit as the collection of Hitler’s art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt is brought to Israel through a bilateral agreement between Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel and German Culture Minister Monika Grütters. Although there are approximately 1,500 works in the collection, only four Jewish owners of the works have been identified so far.