FBI: Sotheby’s defrauded of $5 million in auction scheme

Antonio DiMarco in court at a bond hearing in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. Image courtesy of Broward County Courts

NEW YORK — A fine art consultant in New York and an interior designer in Florida stole an elderly woman’s identity and used it to bid millions of dollars on famous paintings and defraud the renowned Sotheby’s auction house, federal prosecutors allege in court filings.

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Los Angeles dealer gets probation for selling illegal ivory

Image of a narwhal and, directly above it, a beluga, the narwhal’s closest living relative. Public domain image

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A Los Angeles antiques dealer has been sentenced to three years of probation after being convicted of selling ivory tusks in violation of state law.

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French court rules Pissarro painting belongs to Jewish heirs

‘Cueillette des Pois’ by Camille Pissarro from the Simon Bauer collection stolen during World War II. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

PARIS (AP) – A Paris appeals court on Tuesday upheld a ruling ordering an American couple to return a Camille Pissarro painting to the descendants of a Jewish family that owned the art work before it was seized during World War II. Read more

Copy of ‘Lady Chatterley’ used at obscenity trial for sale

Image courtesy of Mid-Hudson Auction Galleries and LiveAuctioneers

LONDON (AP) – A paperback copy of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” used by the judge in the U.K. obscenity trial of the novel’s publisher is expected to sell at auction for up to 15,000 pounds ($20,000),auctioneerSotheby’s said Wednesday.

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Ruling: national monuments lawsuits to stay in Washington

The Sixshooter Peaks in Bears Ears National Monument, San Juan County, Utah. U.S. Bureau of Land Management public domain image

WASHINGTON — Today a federal judge ruled that the lawsuits to decide the fate of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments will be heard in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. This is the venue in which they were originally filed by the Native American Tribes for whom Bears Ears is sacred, as well as conservation, outdoor recreation, and paleontology groups fighting to defend the monuments. On December 4, 2017, President Trump slashed Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, stripping nearly 2 million acres of lands of Antiquities Act protections.

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Untangling pop artist Robert Indiana’s estate may take years

Robert Indiana (American, b. 1928), ‘LOVE,’ 1966, oil on canvas, 71-7/8 × 71-7/8 × 2-1/2 in. Indianapolis Museum of Art, James E. Roberts Fund, 67.8 © 2016 Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

ROCKLAND, Maine (AP) – Pop artist Robert Indiana had a simple wish: He wanted to transform his island home into a museum to preserve and show his art collection to the public. The reality is far more complicated.

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Jewish collector’s descendant gets Nazi-looted Renoir back

NEW YORK (AP) – The granddaughter of a Jewish art collector whose paintings were stolen by the Nazis had a family reunion with one of the works on Wednesday after almost eight decades, an impressionist piece by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

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Woman sentenced to prison for stealing money from museum

An example of a fine Russian antique icon is Rublev’s three angels being hosted by Abraham at Mamre. Circa 1400. Image: The Yorck Project, 2002

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) – A Massachusetts woman who pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Museum of Russian Icons, where she worked, has been sentenced to 20 months in prison. A federal judge this week put 36-year-old Jennifer Delorey McNamara behind bars even though her lawyer argued for no prison time.

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Peru celebrates return of stolen Sican gold mask found in Germany

This ceremonial mask, which is unrelated to the one stolen from Peru, is shown only as an example of Sican gold artistry. It dates to 900-1100 A.D. and is part of the Dallas Museum of Art’s permanent collection. Public domain image

LIMA, Peru (AP) – Peru is celebrating the return of an ancient funeral mask made of gold following a two-decade legal battle to repatriate the smuggled antiquity from Germany.

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An original pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in her lead role as Dorothy Gale in the film classic 'The Wizard of Oz,' displayed at the American History Museum, The Smithsonian Institution. Image courtesy of RadioFan at en.wikipedia.

Sting operation recovered Dorothy’s stolen ruby slippers

An original pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in her lead role as Dorothy Gale in the film classic 'The Wizard of Oz,' displayed at the American History Museum, The Smithsonian Institution. Image courtesy of RadioFan at en.wikipedia.

An original pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in her lead role as Dorothy Gale in the film classic ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ displayed at the American History Museum, The Smithsonian Institution. Note: This is not the same pair stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in 2005. Image courtesy of RadioFan at en.wikipedia.

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) – A pair of ruby slippers used in “The Wizard of Oz” and later stolen from a Minnesota museum were recovered in a sting operation after a man approached the shoes’ insurer and said he could help get them back, the FBI said Tuesday.

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