Christie’s defeated in court battle over artist’s royalties

In a landmark judgment, a French court held on 24 March that art sellers must pay artist’s resale rights.

The ruling from the Versailles Court of Appeal marked the culmination of an eight-year legal battle between Christie’s auction house and two French associations of antique dealers and galleries. The battle began when the Syndicat National des antiquaires (SNA) and the Comité des galeries d’art sued Christie’s for unfair competition and abuse of its position. Christie’s had insisted that buyers pay artist’s royalties for works sold during an Yves Saint Laurent-Pierre Bergé sale in 2009.  Continue reading

New York antiquities dealer arrested in crackdown on illegal trafficking

Prominent New York art dealer, Nancy Wiener, was arrested last Wednesday (21 December) on suspicion of trafficking illegal Asian antiquities. According to the complaint filed in Manhattan’s Criminal Court, Wiener sold stolen objects to Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses, international museums and private buyers. She has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property and conspiracy to buy, smuggle and launder millions of dollars worth of antiquities from East Asia.  Continue reading

Experts detained on suspicion of selling fake Louis XV chairs

Two Parisian antique dealers have been arrested on suspicion of selling fake Louis XV chairs to the Palace of Versailles, Le Monde reported on Thursday (9 June).

Laurent Kraemer, of Kraemer Gallery and Bill Pallot, both experts in 18th century furniture, were detained by art fraud officers from a specialist French police unit, ‘l’office central de lutte contre le trafic de biens culturels’ (l’OCBC) on Tuesday (7 June). They had been under investigation by the OCBC since 2012. Continue reading

Developments at Sotheby’s: New CEO Appointed and Partnership with eBay Launched

Sotheby’s has announced that Tad Smith has been appointed as President and CEO, replacing William Ruprecht who resigned in November. Smith, who is 49, was formerly president and CEO of the Madison Square Garden Company. Chosen on the strength of his experience with brands and brand strategy rather than with auction houses, he told the media that he plans to implement a five-year plan for the company, which will include an accelerated adoption of new technologies. Continue reading