Connoisseurs wanted

November 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Something unusual is happening on the art market in France at the moment: 6,000 artworks are desperately looking for their owners. Following the scandal of their robbery by warehousemen from the famous Drouot auction house revealed in December 2009, searches have been led to find more than 250 tons of objects now sealed, most of them still unidentified at the moment. Among this priceless catalog are paintings from Matisse, Chagall, Gauguin or Picasso but also sculptures and silverware. In order to identify the victims of this traffic, a website has been put together under the direction of the judge displaying pictures of the stolen artworks. The method is quite unusual as victims would normally come to enquire directly about their loss, but it meets the scale of this robbery that covers all France. How come owners didn’t claim for their works earlier? That is because they were entrusted to the auction house, often as part of a succession, which makes the attribution much harder. Still it seems hard to believe that so many little marvels are not asked for. In any case, there are three more months to go for the owners to find back their lost treasure.

-Anne-Claire

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