Strength of Art Market Continues

Georgina Adam the editor at large for the Artnewspaper writing for the Financial Times states the art market is back in gear.  Adams points to four items of interest to support her claim that the art markets are rebounding.  We have seen much positive growth over the past year, and the interest continues.  Much of this growth has come at the highest end of market sectors and it has yet to trickle down to the middle markets.

Adams notes the large number of sales and exhibition scheduled around the world, strong interest in an international art conference in Luxembourg, the growing debate on living artists rights, and of course where there is money, there is growth in underworld interest with fakes.  All of these items show an interest in the art markets by governments, the public, dealers, museum professionals and criminals.

Adams reports

A second Giacometti faking case has opened in Stuttgart, Germany, following on from a related case heard earlier this year, which resulted in guilty verdicts for three men accused of forging Giacometti bronzes (a judicial review is pending). In this new case, four men and a woman are accused of counterfeiting some 1,150 bronzes and plasters by the artist, which the police found in a “secret” warehouse in Mainz. According to the prosecution, the defendants attempted to sell 300 bronzes and 100 plasters, valued at €50m, through a New York gallery in 2008 and 2009. The prosecution says fakes worth around €9m were sold by the accused to buyers in Germany and elsewhere, and that they also tried to sell 17 works, worth €1.3m, to an undercover police investigator.

Press reports have named one of the accused as Lothar Wilfried Senke, who allegedly claimed that he knew Diego Giacometti, Alberto’s brother, and had access to a series of works that had been hidden for years.

The expert witness in the first trial was Mary Lisa Palmer, director of the Giacometti Association (there is also a rival Giacometti Foundation, but that’s another story). She says: “The way to rid the market of fakes is through education, but in the meantime the best thing to do is contact our association, which is also attentive to ‘provenance’.”
To read the full FT article, click HERE.

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