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US judge Paul Gardephe is considering nearly two dozen motions of enormous consequence for the first trial in the $60m Knoedler Gallery forgery scandal scheduled to begin on 25 January. The motions concern what evidence the jury will hear, and so will help influence their verdict on whether the defendants—the gallery, its former director Ann Freedman, and its owner 8-31 Holdings—should pay the collectors Domenico and Eleanore De Sole up to $25.3m for selling the couple a fake Mark Rothko painting in 2004.

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The heirs of a Jewish Cabaret performer who was murdered by the Nazis in 1941 persuaded a Manhattan judge Tuesday to block the sale and transport of two Egon Schiele paintings that were part of his extensive collection.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos ordered London-based art dealer Richard Nagy and the Conservancy that runs the Park Avenue Armory's annual art show to freeze the disposal of the watercolors — worth an estimated $5 million — until he can hold a hearing December 1.

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A Manhattan judge has ruled in favor of Mount Sinai Beth Israel, allowing the hospital to keep $4 million in donations, including an Édouard Manet painting, given by the late heiress Huguette Clark. Her relatives had sued, claiming Clark was manipulated into giving away her fortune.

Clark spent the last two decades of her life at Beth Israel. After an operation in 1992, she opted to remain under the institution's care, rather than returning home. She died in 2011, at 104 years old.

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Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev had decided to send off a tough 2014 in New York City. The Monaco-based billionaire had been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons after a Swiss judge awarded his ex-wife Elena $4.5 billion in their seven-year divorce battle. An avid art collector, Rybolovlev decided to spend New Year’s Eve with Sandy Heller, Steve Cohen’s well-known art advisor. As they exchanged war stories, one particular tale made his jaw drop: it was about a beautiful "Nude" by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani that Cohen sold for a juicy $93.5 million to a mystery buyer. What Heller didn’t know was that behind the veil of anonymity stood Rybolovlev, fuming internally on that December 31. Rybolovlev had paid his trusted friend and art broker Yves Bouvier $118 million for the piece, more than $22 million above what he just found out the market value should’ve been, including the fee.

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The US Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum in the case of the ownership of Lucas Cranach the Elder's paintings "Adam" and "Eve" (both circa 1530). The artworks originally belonged to Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, who in 1940 was forced to flee the Netherlands following the Nazi invasion.

The case, which has been in federal court since 2007, was originally dismissed in the museum's favor in 2012. Goudstikker's daughter-in-law, Marei Von Saher, got a second chance last June, when a judge ruled that the pursuit of her claims did not conflict with US federal policy (see Norton Simon's Nazi-Looted Adam and Eve to Head Back to Court).

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Monday, 05 January 2015 16:08

Judge Okays Christo’s Arkansas River Project

A plan by internationally-renowned artist Christo to hang miles of fabric over the Arkansas River is moving forward.

United States District Judge William Martinez ruled Friday that the Bureau of Land Management did not violate federal law in its November 2011 approval of the artist's Over The River project.

Opposition group Rags Over the Arkansas River (ROAR) claimed that the BLM's decision violated the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

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Less than two weeks after a federal judge approved Detroit’s historic bankruptcy plan, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) has raised nearly 90% of its $100m goal to support the city’s regeneration. The museum has secured $87m in pledges toward the so-called Grand Bargain, an $816m scheme to support Detroit’s pensions and permanently transfer ownership of the DIA’s city-owned art to the museum.

The day before the judge’s verdict on 7 November, the DIA announced that 21 Japanese businesses with branches in Detroit, including Mitsubishi and Panasonic, had pledged $2.2m. Three-quarters of the money will go toward DIA’s commitment to the Grand Bargain, while the remaining 25% will help fund a long-planned but previously stalled reinstallation of the museum’s Japanese collection in a new gallery.

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It’s a flip-flop over an art flip. In a surprising reversal, a Dallas judge has dismissed collector Marguerite Hoffman’s lawsuit for breach of contract against finance mogul David Martinez and defunct New York gallery L&M Arts, in a case that involves a spectacular flip of a multi-million dollar Mark Rothko.

Back in 2007, Martinez paid Hoffman $19 million for the painting, then turned around just three years later and sold it at Sotheby’s for a headline-grabbing $31.4 million (in the interim, court papers say, it was kept out of sight in storage).

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Thursday, 21 August 2014 11:58

Judge Issues Arrest Warrant for Banksy Vandal

Todd Shaughnessy an Utah District Court Judge has issued a warrant for the arrest of David William Noll after he failed to appear in court charged with vandalizing two important murals by the British graffiti artist Banksy. In his absents Mr. Noll was charged with one count of criminal mischief for the distractive act which took place on New Years Eve 2014. The alleged criminal posted two videos on YouTube documenting the crime. Noll has now been charged with a second-degree felony dating back to 8th April 2014. He now could face up to 15 years in jail plus a $10,000 fine. A hearing will take place on 15 September.

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The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation is challenging a Florida judge’s $24.6 million award to three friends of the artist for overseeing his estate.

Christopher Rauschenberg, the foundation’s chairman, said he and other directors felt a responsibility to file the notice to appeal, on Wednesday, August 13. “Our job is to advance the best interests of the foundation and its charitable mission,” he said in a statement.

A year ago, Christopher Rauschenberg was quoted in the New York Times saying, “If a judge says $60 million is fair, we’ll put it behind us and continue with the charitable stuff.”

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