Christie's Sued Over Boris Kustodiev Sale

The Art Newspaper is reporting Christie's is being sued by Aurora Fine Art Fund which purchased a supposed Boris Kustodiev painting from the international auction house at a London sale in 2005. The art fund paid $2,89 million for Odalisque supposedly by 20th century Russian artist Boris Kustodiev. The painting was estimated to sell for between $309,000.00 and 4378,000.00 in the catalog.

According to the article, Chrisite's policy is if two experts or authorities challenge the authenticity within five years, the auction house will annul the sale. Aurora claims to have supplied a total of four reports signed off by 8 experts claiming the painting is not authentic. The painting has been returned to Christie's, and a spokesperson states the auction house is investigating the circumstances, but they remain confident in their position of attribution.

Aurora first approached Christie’s with its suspicions in mid-2006, but says that the auction house did not react. In May 2009 Rosokhran-Kultura, the Russian government’s cultural watchdog, released the latest issue of its catalogue of fraudulent paintings, which included Odalisque. Aurora has expert conclusions from leading Rus­sian art authorities, shown to The Art Newspaper, stating the painting is a fake. These include testimony from the State Tret­yakov Gallery, the State Russian Muse­um, the State Grabar Art Scien­tific Restor­ation Centre, and private expert Vladimir Petrov.

According to their catalogues, Christie’s provides a five-year guarantee of authenticity on works that it sells. During that period, if the buyer presents the conclusions of two experts that are accepted by the buyer and by Christie’s, then the house will annul the sale.

“Christie’s have been provided with four reports, signed in total by eight very well qualified experts in the field of Kustodiev, all of whom came to the conclusion that the painting is a forgery and that Christies’ attribution was therefore wrong,” said Andre Ruzhnikov, managing partner of Aurora, in a court statement.
 Click HERE to read the full Art Newspaper article.

No comments: