Art Investment

Sotheby's has lost a court to the Ministry of culture of Greece for the sale of sculptures of the VIII century BC.

This decision can affect the entire market of antiquities

this story Began in may 2018, when the auction house Sotheby's were exhibited ancient Greek bronze figurine of horse from the collection of Howard and Surety Barnett. The day before the start of the auction, the organizers asked the representative of the Ministry of culture of Greece, saying that this lot has a disputed provenance and must be returned to Greece. After treatment lot, the estimate of which was $150–$250 thousand was withdrawn from the auction.

it was Later revealed that at the time the figure passed through the hands of art-дилера Robin Simes, known for his participation in the transactions of the illicit antiquities. Despite this, the representatives of the collector has demanded from Greece direct evidence of the illegality of the sale of the subject, which the Greek authorities were unable to provide. Subsequently, the representatives of the auction house and owners of collection filed a lawsuit against Greece, arguing that the representative acted "without lawful justification", and demanded the decision that the bronze sculpture was "lawfully and in good faith, purchased by the late Howard Barnett". The lawsuit also required to recognize that Greece has no ownership rights in and figure that Sotheby's can "legally" sell the job.

9 Jun 2020 court of Appeals of the United States ruled in favor of Greece, saying the country cannot be charged with a violation of the transaction or causing financial damage to the former owner of the work as it is not valid to commercial interests. Commenting on the decision, the representative of Sotheby's said: "Although we are disappointed with the decision [of the court], it does not affect what lies in the heart of the matter: there is no evidence to support the claims of Greece for the possession of a bronze sculpture. We together with our customer consider next steps."

In turn, Leyla Amendola, counsel for the Greek side in this proceeding, said the court's decision "will have a positive impact on the market of antiquities... new-Йоркские the courts have long sought to protect the market from a wave of illegally exported or stolen property, and this decision will allow foreign States to continue to communicate with members of the art-рынка to prevent the illegal sale of items and the protection of consumers."

She also added that now "from-за fear of litigation, auction houses and art-дилерам will be more difficult to prevent representatives of foreign countries to obtain information about the suspicious items on the market".


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