Featured Art

The UK’s Surprise Money Laundering Rules: Many art dealers blindsided last month

Many art dealers in the UK were blindsided when new regulations designed to crack down on money laundering were rushed into effect last month. The new rules require dealers to register with the government, officially verify client identities, and report any suspicious transactions. Failure to do so, and to keep… Read More

The emperor has no clothes: the scams and swindles driving up art prices

For many, the headline-making stunt Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan pulled at Art Basel Miami this year—Cattelan duct taped a banana to a blank white wall, called it “Comedian”, and sold it for $120,000—crystallized the problems with how art is valued. After Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog shattered records in… Read More

Fugitive Gambling Tycoon Fights for His Vast Trove of Artifacts

Public quarrels between politicians and rich businessmen over alleged links to organized crime are hardly new, especially in a country ranked among the most corrupt in Europe. The case of Vasil Bozhkov in Bulgaria, though, has captured the national imagination because it cuts to the heart of the Balkan country’s heritage. The… Read More
11th February 2020
The son of Equatorial Guinea’s leader and its vice president, notorious for his colourful lifestyle and lavish spending, was handed a three-year suspended jail sentence and a €30m (£25m) fine for graft by a Paris court on Monday, confirming his guilt in one of a string of high-profile “ill-gotten gains”… Read More
3rd February 2020
Art has come a long way from the more than 70,000-year-old drawings in the Blombos Cave of South Africa to, in perhaps its most “postmodern” iteration, its appearance in the EU’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD), which was to be implemented earlier this month.  With sales in the global… Read More
23rd January 2020
A year-long crackdown on Latvian banks’ reputation for money laundering and sanctions dodging appeared to have paid dividends January 22 with official recognition of its success from an important international organization. The Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism – MONEYVAL is a… Read More
23rd January 2020
A number of European Union countries failed to meet a Jan. 10 deadline to fully apply strict new measures against money laundering, compounding the bloc’s challenge in weeding out dirty money. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, is preparing to launch so-called infringement procedures next month to… Read More
13th January 2020
Britain’s embattled art trade, already rattled by the potential fallout from Brexit, is bracing for new rules intended to tackle money laundering and terrorism financing that some fear could further hamstring dealers in the country. As of Friday, “art market participants” in Britain are subject to the regulations when… Read More
13th January 2020
Incoming EU-level reforms to anti-money laundering laws are set to take legal effect on January 10, introducing new requirements for banks handling transactions linked to high-risk countries. EU member states are expected to write the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) into national law by the end of this week, tightening… Read More
9th January 2020
The U.K. art market is about to become more transparent. Starting Friday, art businesses registered in the country, including galleries, auction houses and freeport operators storing high-value items, will have to verify client identities on transactions exceeding 10,000 euros ($11,000), according to the regulations approved by Parliament shortly before Christmas. Read More
7th January 2020
Cristea Roberts, one of London’s leading art galleries, has sent a memo to all of their clients warning of strict Anti-Money Laundering legislation, effective from 10 January 2020. The new law requires all new and existing clients to provide identification when purchasing a work of art. This will be inline… Read More
6th January 2020
Russian collecting couple, Igor and Olga Toporovsky, have been arrested in Belgium on suspicion of fraud and money laundering, according to our sister publication, The Art Newspaper Russia (no charges have yet been brought). The pair are linked to a show of Russian avant-garde works held at the Museum of… Read More