There is no definition of an artist estate in Lebanese law. Paul Guiragossian Foundation is, like any other foundation, considered an association under the law. When you start a foundation, you have to specify what its goals are. One of the reasons to create an artist estate is to protect the works and keep the legacy alive for the future generations.

Once a foundation has been officially registered, it has its own legal personality, which means it has the right to sue. In Lebanon, in addition to the Associations Law, we have an intellectual property law and copyright law. This is one of the oldest in the region, having been established in 1924 and amended in 1999. This law gives the right to the artist or the legal representative of the artist to sue anyone who uses or breaches their intellectual property. There is also the criminal law or penal code in Lebanon, which protects in the case of forgery. No one can stop me from making a painting similar to Paul Guiragossian’s, unless I am copying or faking it by putting the name of Paul Guiragossian.

If either of these two laws is breached, whether in Lebanon, Europe or anywhere, I can sue this person in the name of Paul Guiragossian Foundation because it is a legal personality. We have won landmark cases relating to people infringing on copyright. We won a case five years ago that was the first of its kind in the region. It is important to spread awareness of these issues.

Lebanese law is in compliance with all international laws on intellectual property and copyright. Major international auction houses, such as Sotheby’s or Christie’s, abide by Paul Guiragossian Foundation rules because they know we are only asking for our rights in case there is a breach. We are trying to find a balance between enforcing our rights as a foundation based on Lebanese and international law and the trend in Lebanon, which is “we can do whatever we want as no one is asking”. All estates face this problem. At the Paul Guiraggosian Foundation we are trying to change this trend and even though we have made progress it is a continuous struggle. Maybe we seem like the bad guys, but we are simply asking for our rights. We don’t have gas or diamonds in Lebanon, but we do have intellectual products, and once all artists think this way, things will move forward and change.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

selections-arts-logo

SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.

RANDOM READS
Love YSL Exhibition. Image from Palácio Duques de Cadaval website

LOVE YSL EXHIBITION

‘My introduction to Marrakech came with a jolt: The city…

Toygun Özdemir, Ribbit, Ribbit and Self-portrait in Three Colours, 2021. Oil on canvas, 125 × 200 × 3 cm

LISTE ART FAIR / BASEL 2022

Since its foundation, Liste has been regarded as one of…

Installation view, Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity at the Dallas Museum of Art. Courtesy of Dallas Museum of Art. Photo by John Smith.

CARTIER AND ISLAMIC ART: IN SEARCH OF MODERNITY

Cartier and Islamic Art: In Search of Modernity traces inspirations…

Wadi AlFann, AlUla. Courtesy of the Royal Commission for AlUla

FIVE ERA-DEFINING ARTWORKS COMMISSIONED FOR ICONIC NEW CULTURAL DESTINATION WADI ALFANN, VALLEY OF THE ARTS, ALULA

The Royal Commission for AlUla reveals plans for Wadi AlFann,…

The Displaced Hive, 2022

THE DISPLACED HIVE BY CLARA CARVAJAL

With a view to the diverse and contradictory field of…

Menhat Helmy alongside her _To the Point_ print at Morley college in London (1976).

ARTIST ESTATES: MENHAT HELMY

MENHAT HELMY B.JULY 11, 1925 IN HELWAN, EGYPT, D.MAY 10,…

august 2022

26febAll Day07augAREF EL RAYESS

05marAll Day09octFAHD BURKI | DAYDREAMS

14aprAll Day04sepDominique Gonzalez-Foerster | Alienarium 5