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France is bidding to buy one of two rare works by Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn to prevent its current owner, the Rothschild family, from shipping the painting to Amsterdam.

Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin said the Bank of France would make an “exceptional” donation of 80 million euros ($89 million) to purchase one of the 17th century paintings for the Louvre Museum, just four days after the Netherlands said it had made an offer to buy both masterpieces.

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The National Bank of Hungary purchased a painting by 16th century artist Titian for 4.5 billion forints ($16 million), making it the most valuable piece in the monetary authority’s 100 million-euro art collection program.

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The Rijksmuseum has purchased a large canvas by the 17th-century painter Jan Asselijn at The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in Maastricht. The painting shows the breach of the St. Anthony’s Dike (now the Zeeburger Dike) in Amsterdam, which resulted from the St. Peter’s Flood of 1651. The purchase was made possible with the support of the Scato Gockinga Fund / Rijksmuseum Fund, the Turing Foundation and an anonymous donor. To celebrate its 10-year role as a main sponsor of the Rijksmuseum, ING also contributed to the acquisition.

Jan Asselijn (c.1610-1652), who personally witnessed the flood in Amsterdam in 1651, recorded the breach of the dam in both a journalistic and a dramatic sense.

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A UK government export bar has been placed on a recently rediscovered and gloriously light-filled harbor scene by the 17th-century French painter Claude Lorrain. The painting, considered one of the finest examples of Claude’s seaport scenes, will leave the UK unless £5,066,500 can be raised following its purchase by an overseas buyer.

The export bar was ordered by the culture minister, Ed Vaizey, on the recommendation of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), which decides on whether art should be considered of national importance and worth trying to keep in the UK.

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The Spanish newspaper "El Confidential" has reported that the Museo del Prado has purchased a Renaissance triptych, depicting the birth and adoration of Jesus, for €4 million.

The artist behind the piece remains unidentified, but experts have deduced it was painted in around 1450 in Castilla, Spain. It previously belonged to the Álvarez Fisa Collection.

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A 200-year-old chandelier made for the summer palace of Jérôme Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother and King of Westphalia from 1807 to 1813, has a new home. The chandelier, created by the German firm Werner & Mieth in 1810-1811, has been purchased by the Toledo Museum of Art for its collection.

The Spiral Chandelier is made of cast, chased and fire-gilded bronze armature hung with cut and polished glass pendants.

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One of the late sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al-Thani's final purchases is catching up with him, as members of Qatar's ruling family are now being sued for some $7.5 million that the collector's estate still owes for a set of rare stamps he won at auction before his death.

Known as the “British Guiana collection," the stamps, from the estate of John E. du Pont, were offered by David Feldman Stamp Auctions in June. Though the price may seem extravagant, it was not even the most expensive stamp auction of that month: a 19th-century one-cent magenta, also from the du Pont estate by way of British colonial Guiana, fetched an astronomical $9.5 from an anonymous buyer at Sotheby's New York, smashing the record for a single stamp.

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At long last, Art Basel has full ownership of its Hong Kong edition, with parent company MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd. having finally acquired the remaining 40 percent of shares in Asian Art Fairs Limited in Hong Kong.

Art Basel's purchase of Asian Art Fairs was first announced on July 1, 2011. At that time, MCH Group picked up 60 percent of the company's shares, with the option of enacting a complete buyout in 2014.

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The National Gallery in London will acquire George Bellows’ ‘Men on the Docks’ for $25.5 million from Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. The masterpiece, which is being purchased with money from a fund established by the late philanthropist John Paul Getty, will be the first major American painting to enter the museum’s collection.

The National Gallery houses one of the most celebrated collections of Western European paintings in the world and plans to expand its holdings to include paintings created outside of Europe but still in the Western European tradition. The Gallery decided to acquire ‘Men on the Docks’ because of its European-influenced technique and handling.

Borned and raised in Columbus, Ohio, George Bellows moved to New York City in 1904 to study with the influential artist and teacher, Robert Henri, and soon became the youngest member of the Ashcan School. Dedicated to chronicling the realities of day-to-day life, Bellows made a name as the boldest of the Ashcan artists. He is best known for his paintings of boxing matches and gritty New York City scenes.

The National Gallery currently has paintings by American-born European artists and a minor, rarely displayed work by the American landscape painter George Inness. 

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Wednesday, 03 July 2013 13:59

Andy Warhol Foundation Ends Lengthy Legal Battle

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has ended a six-year clash with its insurer Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, recovering almost $6.6 million in legal fees. The battle between the foundation and its insurer began over authentication issues and snowballed to include the repayment of related legal fees.

The dispute began in 2007 when art collector Joe Simon-Whelan sued the foundation’s authentication branch for alleged fraud and conspiracy relating to the purchase of his 1965 Andy Warhol self-portrait, which he paid approximately $200,000 for in 1989 and was later deemed inauthentic. Another collector, Susan Shaer, filed a similar suit again the foundation in 2010 bringing the legal fees doled out to nearly $7 million.

According to a statement released by the foundation, “both suits alleged an absurd scheme to manipulate the prices for Andy Warhol’s (1928-1987) artwork yet [they] were forced to dismiss their claims in late 2010…The Foundation’s insurers nevertheless refused to reimburse the Foundation for its legal costs incurred in defending these bogus suits, alleging that the Foundation’s insurance policies did not cover claims of this nature.” The funds have since been repaid by Philadelphia Indemnity and transferred to the foundation’s endowment.

The Andy Warhol Foundation was established in 1987 following the artist’s sudden death. The organization’s mission is to support the creation, presentation and documentation of contemporary visual art.

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