Regulation of the art market: interview with due diligence specialists Christopher Marinello (of Art Recovery International Ltd.) and Kirk Kashefi regulatory law barrister).
Q: You’ve been working within the art market for over 30 years, helping clients to recover lost or stolen artworks. Is there now more awareness of the need to check databases to investigate whether works are lost or stolen?
A: The proliferation of the Internet and social media has made the world a much smaller place. It has become a lot easier to locate stolen and looted works of art almost anywhere in the world and the ability to check the position on title of an artwork should be easier for people today.
he desirability of art, particularly high value, continues to fuel the upper end of the art market and there remains a need for greater due diligence not just on the artwork itself, but on the parties you are dealing with.
Nefarious characters continue to sell stolen or looted art and there are examples where this art appears on the open market-place rather than purely on the black market. There are also sellers and buyers who simply do not do their provenance research and check thoroughly issues of title before purchasing works of art and are at risk of lawsuits. Potentially disparaging news of title disputes travels a lot faster than it used to and the cost of litigation has become out of reach for many. Now more than ever, it is critical to check international databases (such as Artive) and perform extensive provenance research on works of art.