Jeanneret v. Vichey: Sales of Illegally Exported Art under the Uniform Commercial Code

Pearlstein, William | January 1, 1984

Jeanneret v. Vichey reveals such a development. Depending on its final disposition, it may be of great consequence to the United States art market. The narrow legal question in Jeanneret is whether the Italian government’s threats to confiscate an illegally exported work of art or to fine its owner constitute a sufficiently substantial cloud on title to support a buyer’s claim of breach of the warranty of title provided by Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) ยง 2-312.11 The broader underlying issue is whether any exporting nation, by threatening actual or potential owners with fines or confiscation, can cloud the title to or impair the marketabil- ity of a work exported without the approval of the exporting nation. Neither the trial nor the appellate courts satisfactorily analyzed or an- swered these questions.