Courthouse News Service

Rothko Historian Can’t Shake Forgery Lawsuit

 

     MANHATTAN (CN) – A renowned Mark Rothko historian who staked his reputation on the provenance of an untitled $7.2 million artwork whose real painter is under indictment failed to prune civil claims against him, a federal judge ruled.
The case is one of many tied to the December 2011 collapse of the 165-year old Knoedler Gallery, as federal lawsuits poured in accusing the once-elite gallery of serial forgeries attributed to the likes of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.
Federal prosecutors indicted the alleged forger, Chinese-born Queens resident Pei Shen Qian, and accused money launderers, brothers Jose Carlos Bergantinos Diaz and Jesus Angel Bergantinos Diaz, in April 2014.
That same month, ultimate fighting entrepreneur Frank Fertitta entered the legal fray over the Qian forgery he allegedly bought from Knoedler: “Untitled (Orange, Red, and Blue),” a purported 1959 Rothko.
U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken refused to dismiss Fertitta’s allegations against art historian Oliver Wick and two other defendants on Thursday.
“Wick, a world-renowned Rothko expert, advised Fertitta on the provenance of the painting, confirming that ‘all is perfectly fine,'” Oetken wrote in a 23-page opinion. “For this Wick ‘st[ood] with [his] name as a Rothko scholar.’ … That turned out to be a mistake.” (Brackets in original)
Oetken upheld rescission, breach of warranty, and indemnification counts against Wick on Thursday.
Approached for comment Friday, Wick’s attorney, David Baum of the firm Dentons US LLP, emphasized the preliminary stage of the case.
“The court merely decided that the case can proceed beyond the initial stage,” Baum said in an email. “We are very confident that things will ultimately resolve in our favor. Like many other people caught up in this mess, Wick reasonably believed the work was genuine.”
Urs Kraft, whom Fertitta says coordinated the sale on behalf of a mysterious “Mr. X” and his son, “Mr. X, Jr.,” also failed to throw out the lawsuit.
Summarizing the allegations of the lawsuit, Oetken said “there is no Mr. X.”
Kraft must now face breach of warranty, breach of contract, fraud, fraudulent concealment, aiding and abetting fraud, indemnification, and rescission claims, Oetken ruled.
Kraft’s lawyer declined to comment.
Ex-Knoedler employee Jaime Andrade faces the heaviest charges of the three, including violating federal anti-racketeering law and a RICO conspiracy charge.
Andrade allegedly introduced Knoedler’s director, Ann Freedman, to Long Island gallerist Glafira Rosales, who sold the Rothko at issue in this case before pleading guilty to an $80 million fraud in 2013.
Andrade’s attorney, Silvia Serpe of Serpe Ryan LLP, cast her client as an unknowing party in Knoedler scandal.
“Mr. Andrade never knew that the gallery where he worked sold fake art,” Serpe said in an email. “He was a very low-level employee. It is a tragedy that this man, who is in his 80s, has been caught up in this.”

     Fertitta’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment. 

Courthouse News Service.

January 31st, 2015

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

Courthouse News Service

Rothko Historian Can’t Shake Forgery Lawsuit

 

     MANHATTAN (CN) – A renowned Mark Rothko historian who staked his reputation on the provenance of an untitled $7.2 million artwork whose real painter is under indictment failed to prune civil claims against him, a federal judge ruled.
The case is one of many tied to the December 2011 collapse of the 165-year old Knoedler Gallery, as federal lawsuits poured in accusing the once-elite gallery of serial forgeries attributed to the likes of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning.
Federal prosecutors indicted the alleged forger, Chinese-born Queens resident Pei Shen Qian, and accused money launderers, brothers Jose Carlos Bergantinos Diaz and Jesus Angel Bergantinos Diaz, in April 2014.
That same month, ultimate fighting entrepreneur Frank Fertitta entered the legal fray over the Qian forgery he allegedly bought from Knoedler: “Untitled (Orange, Red, and Blue),” a purported 1959 Rothko.
U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken refused to dismiss Fertitta’s allegations against art historian Oliver Wick and two other defendants on Thursday.
“Wick, a world-renowned Rothko expert, advised Fertitta on the provenance of the painting, confirming that ‘all is perfectly fine,'” Oetken wrote in a 23-page opinion. “For this Wick ‘st[ood] with [his] name as a Rothko scholar.’ … That turned out to be a mistake.” (Brackets in original)
Oetken upheld rescission, breach of warranty, and indemnification counts against Wick on Thursday.
Approached for comment Friday, Wick’s attorney, David Baum of the firm Dentons US LLP, emphasized the preliminary stage of the case.
“The court merely decided that the case can proceed beyond the initial stage,” Baum said in an email. “We are very confident that things will ultimately resolve in our favor. Like many other people caught up in this mess, Wick reasonably believed the work was genuine.”
Urs Kraft, whom Fertitta says coordinated the sale on behalf of a mysterious “Mr. X” and his son, “Mr. X, Jr.,” also failed to throw out the lawsuit.
Summarizing the allegations of the lawsuit, Oetken said “there is no Mr. X.”
Kraft must now face breach of warranty, breach of contract, fraud, fraudulent concealment, aiding and abetting fraud, indemnification, and rescission claims, Oetken ruled.
Kraft’s lawyer declined to comment.
Ex-Knoedler employee Jaime Andrade faces the heaviest charges of the three, including violating federal anti-racketeering law and a RICO conspiracy charge.
Andrade allegedly introduced Knoedler’s director, Ann Freedman, to Long Island gallerist Glafira Rosales, who sold the Rothko at issue in this case before pleading guilty to an $80 million fraud in 2013.
Andrade’s attorney, Silvia Serpe of Serpe Ryan LLP, cast her client as an unknowing party in Knoedler scandal.
“Mr. Andrade never knew that the gallery where he worked sold fake art,” Serpe said in an email. “He was a very low-level employee. It is a tragedy that this man, who is in his 80s, has been caught up in this.”

     Fertitta’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment. 

Courthouse News Service.

January 31st, 2015

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

DALI FORGERY: Reliance on Art Gallery Reasonable, No Duty for Art Buyer to Conduct Own Due Diligence

In a recent case, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in an unpublished opinion that claims against Park West Galleries, Inc. for fraudulent concealment and breach of warranty could move forward despite West Galleries’ statute of limitations argument.

Time Line:

1999 – Purchase by buyer aboard cruise ship of Salvadore Dali’s Divine Comedy, complete set

2009 – Buyer attempts to sell the set and discovers that the works are not authentic by the Fine Art Register

2011 – Buyer brings suit on eleven counts including negligence, conspiracy, fraudulent concealment and breach of warranty claims.

Litigation

West Galleries argued that the claims were barred by the relevant statute of limitations because the purchase of the collection dated back to 1999.  Further, West Galleries argued that the buyer failed to do due diligence to discover the forgery.

On appeal, the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with the buyer that (i) the state’s tolling statute, MCL 600.5855 (which tolled the statute of limitation to the time of the discovery of the fake in 2009), applied due to West Galleries’ fraudulent concealment; and (ii) the buyer was not negligent in relying on the gallery’s “promise that the art was real and the appraisal was fair.”  The court noted,inter alia, that tolling was appropriate in this case because the gallery provided the buyer a certificate of authenticity and a written appraisal at the time of purchase, which was the affirmative act of concealment that prevented the buyer from further inquiring about the piece.

Although the buyer in this case was permitted to move forward on her claims, this case demonstrates again the importance of provenance. In this case, a prospective buyer of the collection tipped the seller that the authenticity of work offered by West Galleries was under investigation, which prompted the additional review of the work.  Provenance is key!

DALI FORGERY: Reliance on Art Gallery Reasonable, No Duty for Art Buyer to Conduct Own Due Diligence | Art Law.

January 31st, 2015

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

DALI FORGERY: Reliance on Art Gallery Reasonable, No Duty for Art Buyer to Conduct Own Due Diligence

In a recent case, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in an unpublished opinion that claims against Park West Galleries, Inc. for fraudulent concealment and breach of warranty could move forward despite West Galleries’ statute of limitations argument.

Time Line:

1999 – Purchase by buyer aboard cruise ship of Salvadore Dali’s Divine Comedy, complete set

2009 – Buyer attempts to sell the set and discovers that the works are not authentic by the Fine Art Register

2011 – Buyer brings suit on eleven counts including negligence, conspiracy, fraudulent concealment and breach of warranty claims.

Litigation

West Galleries argued that the claims were barred by the relevant statute of limitations because the purchase of the collection dated back to 1999.  Further, West Galleries argued that the buyer failed to do due diligence to discover the forgery.

On appeal, the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with the buyer that (i) the state’s tolling statute, MCL 600.5855 (which tolled the statute of limitation to the time of the discovery of the fake in 2009), applied due to West Galleries’ fraudulent concealment; and (ii) the buyer was not negligent in relying on the gallery’s “promise that the art was real and the appraisal was fair.”  The court noted,inter alia, that tolling was appropriate in this case because the gallery provided the buyer a certificate of authenticity and a written appraisal at the time of purchase, which was the affirmative act of concealment that prevented the buyer from further inquiring about the piece.

Although the buyer in this case was permitted to move forward on her claims, this case demonstrates again the importance of provenance. In this case, a prospective buyer of the collection tipped the seller that the authenticity of work offered by West Galleries was under investigation, which prompted the additional review of the work.  Provenance is key!

DALI FORGERY: Reliance on Art Gallery Reasonable, No Duty for Art Buyer to Conduct Own Due Diligence | Art Law.

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January 26th, 2015

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MILLIONS of dollars’ worth of art and artefacts have been traded through a controversial “pop up” and online auction house that sold paintings attributed to big-name Aboriginal artists even after being warned they were probably fakes.

Over the weekend the company, Arthouse Auctions, withdrew a painting expected to be sold today against the name of one of Australia’s highest profile Aboriginal artists, Tommy ­Watson, after being told by The Australian that the work was an alleged forgery.

Arthouse Auctions managing director and national head of art, Giovanna Fragomeli, had previously declared herself “absolutely” confident that the painting was authentic.

Arthouse has held at least 79 sales across five states and the ACT since 2011, appearing to target small-time collectors and mum-and-dad investors. Last year alone it reaped more than $2.3 million from 28 sales, according to “verified” online records.

Earlier this month, The Australian revealed that at least 15 canvases purportedly by 2012 ­National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art Award winner Barbara Moore had been faked, two of which turned up at an ­Arthouse sale in Brisbane in ­November.

The Australian can now reveal that at least nine allegedly fake works attributed to Watson ­appeared in Arthouse sales last year. Six of those nine paintings sold for a total of $69,250, according to records held by auction website Invaluable.com. Individual Watson works have changed hands for hundreds of thousands of dollars on the private market.

On October 24, head of Yanda Aboriginal Art and Watson’s “worldwide agent” Chris Simon wrote to Arthouse warning that two paintings scheduled for sale on October 26 “to my (Simon’s) experienced eye are not by Tommy.”

“I asked Tommy if he was res­ponsible for the works and he has denied painting them,” the letter said. “His family representatives also denied that Tommy had painted the advertised paintings.”

The letter demanded immediate removal of the works, which were instead sold for a combined total of $22,000, with no warnings about contested authorship, ­according to Invaluable.com’s records.

A copy of Simon’s letter has been obtained by The Australian.

The Australian sent a list of 13 works offered for sale by Arthouse as attributed to Watson to author and art consultant Ken McGregor, considered an authority on the Aboriginal painter’s art. McGregor identified nine paintings he said were definitely “not right” and one more he had doubts about.

“(Arthouse has) been actively selling paintings attributed to Tommy Watson that aren’t his,” Mr McGregor said.

He also claimed to have ­obtained independent confirmation that the works were inauthentic from Watson and his family. Arthouse last week published a catalogue for its latest ­Aboriginal Art & Artefacts Auction — scheduled to take place in Sydney today — containing one of the allegedly fake Watson works, offered for sale with a ­Certificate of Authenticity and “photos of the artist with the painting”. Arthouse offers a “100 per cent guarantee of authenticity based on the catalogue descriptions”, according to its website.

When telephoned by The Australian last week, Ms Fragomeli said she stood by her company’s guarantee and was confident the advertised work was painted by Watson. She promised to send supporting documentation, inc­lu­ding photographic evidence of authorship, that did not arrive. The Australian sent her detailed questions last Thursday.

No response had been rec­e­i­ved at the time of publication.

The suspect work had disappeared from the catalogue yesterday morning. It is not the first time Arthouse has been accused of trading dodgy art. In 2013, the company sold “original lithographs” attributed to Margaret Preston that turned out to be pages ripped from a magazine, according to a report by the ABC.

In November, Tjala Arts, based in SA’s APY Lands, circulated a flyer warning “Buyer ­Beware!”, after a painting purporting to be Amata Community Collaborative work from the APY Lands appeared in one of Arthouse’s catalogues.

via Millions made from selling fake Aboriginal works | The Australian.

January 26th, 2015

Posted In: fakes and forgeries

VIENNA WORLD MUSEUM IS SHRINKING

According to reports in the Austrian media, the World Museum, Vienna, will be giving up some 700 sq .m. of its space of 4600 sq.m for a House of History that is to be established in the Hofburg, the imperial palace where the World Museum has been since 1928.

 

World Museum,Vienna (formerly,Ethnology Museum).

 

This surprising decision was made by the Minister for Culture but is apparently also supported by the Director of the museum. (1) As readers may recall, the museum has been closed since 2000 for repairs. (2)

Most museums have complained of inadequate space for displaying the artefacts they hold and have been requesting more space, resulting in new buildings or continued complaints. This is the first time that an important museum has actually been deprived of some of its existing space. Is this a reflection of the Citys slogan:Wien ist anders, Vienna is different?

This shocking decision is said to be supported also by the present director of the museum who had previously stated he was surprised by the decision and was reported to have said the decision came to him as a thunderbolt. (3) Most readers will recognize that the director probably had no choice in the matter. Museum directors have not been known to display any tendency to demolition. They rather tend to be for aggrandizement and for the expansion of their establishment and its resources, both in terms of artefacts, space and personnel. The museum world has never embraced the notion that small is beautiful.

In addition, the Vienna World Museum is said to have now at its disposal only 130.000 Euros for exhibitions compared to a museum like Quai Branly Museum, Paris, that has at its disposal more than 5 millions Euros for exhibitions.

One does not need to have the foresight of a prophet to predict that a museum that has reduced space and less money for exhibition is not very likely to attract huge crowds; its attractions have been reduced with the consequent loss of importance and prestige. Diminished space, diminished resources are more likely to result in diminished prestige.

The Austrian authorities clearly demonstrate in this matter that they do not attach much importance to the World Museum,Vienna. They also show thereby that they do not necessarily attach great value to the non-European cultural objects that are in the museum as compared to European works in a museum such as the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

It is not for me to advise Austria as to how it utilises its resources or organizes its museums but as a person who has been concerned with museums and their artefacts, especially the non-European artefacts in Western museums, an obvious diminution of the status and importance of such museums cannot escape my attention as an observer.

Whatever dispositions are made as regards the World Museum, our constant interest has been the fate of the invaluable African artefacts in this museum. We have always advocated the restitution of some of these objects to their rightful owners in Africa. We have in countless articles suggested that, in all fairness, the World Museum, Vienna, should return to the Benin Monarch some of the 167 Benin Bronzes it holds. (4)

The position regarding the Benin Bronzes in Vienna is quite extraordinary.

 

Members of the notorious British Punitive Expedition of 1897 against Benin, posing proudly with looted Benin ivories and bronze objects.

 

These fine works of art from Benin were looted by a British invasion army in 1897 and, later in the same year of invasion, some of the booty items were sold to Austria. The Benin Monarch has at various occasions repeatedly requested the return of some of his precious artefacts but so far, not a single object has been returned by the World Museum despite United Nations and UNESCO resolutions. (5) The museum has since 2000 been closed to the public as stated already. Visitors going to Vienna from Benin or elsewhere cannot see these excellent works of art. When, and if, the World Museum reopens in 2017 as projected, it will have less space for displaying the 167 Benin Bronzes as well as the other items of the 200,000 objects it holds. So why is the museum keeping objects it cannot display whilst the owners have been asking for the return of some of the artefacts?

 

Commemorative head of an Oba, Benin, Nigeria, now in World Museum (formerly Vlkerkunde Museum) Vienna, Austria.

 

 

 

 

 

Kwame Opoku, 23 January,2015

 

NOTES

1. http://wien.orf.at/news/stories/2690173/

http://t.co/zjCbF98f1L

http://t.co/EMr2k2xGdA

Offener Brief von ICOM sterreich an Bundesminister Dr. Josef Ostermayer,16.01.2015

 http://www.salzburg.com/nachrichten/oesterreich/kultur/sn/artikel/weltmu

http://derstandard.at/2000010585599/Weltmuseum-Wien-wird-verkleinert

http://oe1.orf.at/artikel/397403

http://oe1.orf.at/artikel/397080

2. Kwame Opoku, www.modernghana.com/…/ethnology-museumvienna-changes-name-to

3. Der 2012 bestellte neue Direktor des Museums fr Vlkerkunde, Steven Engelsman, der das Haus 2013 in “Weltmuseum Wien” umbenannt und Plne zu einer Verschrnkung der Weltruf genieenden Sammlungen des Hauses mit den wichtigen Fragen der Gegenwart vorgelegt hatte, berichtete davon, wie er am 20. November bei einem Termin mit Minister Ostermayer aus allen Wolken gefallen sei, als er die neuen Vorstellungen der Politik erfahren musste. “In einem einzigen Moment wandelte sich Rckenwind in Gegenwind.

 Weltmuseum Wien: “Redimensionierung in die andere Richtung” gefordertAPA 15.1.2015 http://www.weltmuseumwien.at/

Comments of the Director oft he World Museum

 4. K.Opoku,

Queen-Mother Idia and Others Must Return Home: Training Courses are no Substitutes for Looted Treasures

www.modernghana.com/…/queen-mother-idia-and-others-must-return-h

 

5. K. Opoku Opening of the Exhibition Benin Kings and Rituals: Court Arts from Nigeria

http://www.culture-and-development.info


K. Opoku, Further Report from the exhibition Benin-Kings and Rituals: Court Arts from Nigeria

www.modernghana.com/…/furtherreport-from-the-exhibition-benin-kin

 

 

 

 

ANNEX

LIST OF HOLDERS OF BENIN ARTEFACTS

Almost every Western museum has some Benin objects. Here is a short list of some of the places where the Benin Bronzes are to be found and their numbers. Various catalogues of exhibitions on Benin art or African art also list the private collections of the Benin Bronzes. Many museums refuse to inform the public about the number of Benin artefacts they have and do not display permanently the Benin artefacts in their possession since they do not have enough space. A museum such as Vlkerkundemuseum, Vienna, now World Museum, has closed since 15 years the African section where the Benin artefacts were, apparently due to renovation works which are not likely to be finished before 2017. Since that museum will have less space in future, it will clearly not be in a position to display all the Benin Bronzes it holds.

 

Berlin – Ethnologisches Museum 580.

 

Boston, – Museum of Fine Arts 28.

 

Chicago – Art Institute of Chicago 20, Field Museum 400.

 

Cologne – Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum 73.

 

Glasgow _ Kelvingrove and St, Mungos Museum of Religious Life 22.

 

Hamburg – Museum fr Vlkerkunde, Museum fr Kunst und Gewerbe 196.

 

Dresden – Staatliches Museum fr Vlkerkunde 182.

 

Leipzig – Museum fr Vlkerkunde 87.

 

Leiden – Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde 98.

 

London – British Museum 900.

New York – Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art 163.

 

Oxford – Pitt-Rivers Museum/ Pitt-Rivers country residence, Rushmore in Farnham/Dorset 327.

 

Stuttgart – Linden Museum-Staatliches Museum fr Vlkerkunde 80.

 

Vienna – Museum fr Vlkerkunde now World Museum 167.

 

VIENNA WORLD MUSEUM IS SHRINKING.

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Kunstroof Westfries Museum en raadslid (voormalig wethouder) Tonnaer

www.museumbeveiliging.com/2015/01/09/kunstroof-westfries-museum-en-raadslid-voormalig-wethouder-tonnaer/

09/01/2015 – 12:33

Raadsleden: ‘Kunstroof Westfries Museum mag niet vergeten worden’

dichtbij.nl

/west-friesland/regionaal-nieuws/artikel/3853127/raadsleden-kunstroof-westfries-museum-mag-niet-vergeten-worden.aspx

Uit dichtbij.nl, regio West-Friesland:

HOORN – Het is vrijdag tien jaar geleden dat uit het Westfries Museum 24 zeventiende eeuwse schilderen en zestig zilverwerken werden gestolen ,,De kunstroof dreigt vergeten te worden. Dit verontrust ons”, zeggen raadsleden Roger Tonnaer (Fractie Tonnaer) en Robert Vinkenborg (HOP). Om die reden stellen de fracties vragen aan het college van Hoorn.

Die meneer Tonnaer toch! Was hij niet destijds, tijdens de roof, de verantwoordelijke wetgever die nooit een vinger uitstak naar het Westfries Museum? Was hij destijds niet de wethouder die samen met de pathalogisch liegende (voormalig) directeur Ruud Spruit in de pers volhield dat de beveiliging van het museum prima in orde was? Is hij verontrust dat de kunstroof dreigt te worden vergeten? Te laat, meneer Tonnaer, te laat. U had verontrust moeten zijn over de beveiliging van het museum voordat de omvangrijke diefstal plaatsvond. Aan de krokodillentranen tien jaar na de diefstal heeft niemand iets.

Tonnaer en Vinkenborg ….. vrezen dat het evenement en het politieonderzoek niets hebben opgeleverd. Ze hopen dat er meer bekendheid komt voor de gestolen werken, bijvoorbeeld door ze weer te geven op de site van het museum of door het organiseren van andere evenementen. De raadsleden willen graag dat de gemeente het Westfries Museum hierbij ondersteunt.

Meer bekendheid door de gestolen werken weer te geven op de site van het museum? Die schilderijen werden meteen na de diefstal op de site van het museum weergegeven. Weet Tonnaer zelfs dat net? Zijn ze er weer afgehaald? Kan ik mij niet voorstellen.

Van het college in Hoorn willen de twee weten of er nog onderzoek gedaan wordt naar de gestolen schilderen en de zilverwerken. Een andere vraag is, of de werken in The Art Loss Register zijn opgenomen en hoeveel dat tot nu toe heeft gekost.

Die schilderijen werden na de diefstal meteen gemeld bij het Art Loss Register. Ruud Spruit stak in een alles behalve fraai stuk hoernalistiek de loftrompet over het Art Loss Register in een met fouten doorspekt boek (zie:

http://www.museumbeveiliging.com/2009/08/31/kunstdiefstal-loont-falend-voormalig-directeur-westfries-museum-vertaalt-boek-over-kunstdiefstal/

). “Spruit houdt als een bedelende baviaan zijn morsige schrijverskont omhoog voor iedereen die betalen wil”). Tonnaer wil weten wat de registratie bij het Art Loss Register kost. Volgens mij was een telefoontje naar het ALR voldoende geweest om dat te achterhalen. Bovendien: registratie bij deze premiejagers is niet de enige optie; de database van Interpol en die van de Carabinieri zijn vele malen groter dan die van het Art Loss Register.

Lees meer:

Raadsleden: ‘Kunstroof Westfries Museum mag niet vergeten worden’ – Hoorn – dichtbij.nl – West-Friesland

.

Ton Cremers

January 9th, 2015

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January 9th, 2015

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Raadsleden: ‘Kunstroof Westfries Museum mag niet vergeten worden’

Beschrijving: ite-icondichtbij.nl/west-friesland/regionaal-nieuws/artikel/3853127/raadsleden-kunstroof-westfries-museum-mag-niet-vergeten-worden.aspx

Uit dichtbij.nl, regio West-Friesland:

HOORN – Het is vrijdag tien jaar geleden dat uit het Westfries Museum 24 zeventiende eeuwse schilderen en zestig zilverwerken werden gestolen ,,De kunstroof dreigt vergeten te worden. Dit verontrust ons”, zeggen raadsleden Roger Tonnaer (Fractie Tonnaer) en Robert Vinkenborg (HOP). Om die reden stellen de fracties vragen aan het college van Hoorn.

Die meneer Tonnaer toch! Was hij niet destijds, tijdens de roof, de verantwoordelijke wetgever die nooit een vinger uitstak naar het Westfries Museum? Was hij destijds niet de wethouder die samen met de pathalogisch liegende (voormalig) directeur Ruud Spruit in de pers volhield dat de beveiliging van het museum prima in orde was? Is hij verontrust dat de kunstroof dreigt te worden vergeten? Te laat, meneer Tonnaer, te laat. U had verontrust moeten zijn over de beveiliging van het museum voordat de omvangrijke diefstal plaatsvond. Aan de krokodillentranen tien jaar na de diefstal heeft niemand iets.

Tonnaer en Vinkenborg ….. vrezen dat het evenement en het politieonderzoek niets hebben opgeleverd. Ze hopen dat er meer bekendheid komt voor de gestolen werken, bijvoorbeeld door ze weer te geven op de site van het museum of door het organiseren van andere evenementen. De raadsleden willen graag dat de gemeente het Westfries Museum hierbij ondersteunt.

Meer bekendheid door de gestolen werken weer te geven op de site van het museum? Die schilderijen werden meteen na de diefstal op de site van het museum weergegeven. Weet Tonnaer zelfs dat net? Zijn ze er weer afgehaald? Kan ik mij niet voorstellen.

Van het college in Hoorn willen de twee weten of er nog onderzoek gedaan wordt naar de gestolen schilderen en de zilverwerken. Een andere vraag is, of de werken in The Art Loss Register zijn opgenomen en hoeveel dat tot nu toe heeft gekost.

Die schilderijen werden na de diefstal meteen gemeld bij het Art Loss Register. Ruud Spruit stak in een alles behalve fraai stuk hoernalistiek de loftrompet over het Art Loss Register in een met fouten doorspekt boek (zie: http://www.museumbeveiliging.com/2009/08/31/kunstdiefstal-loont-falend-voormalig-directeur-westfries-museum-vertaalt-boek-over-kunstdiefstal/). “Spruit houdt als een bedelende baviaan zijn morsige schrijverskont omhoog voor iedereen die betalen wil”). Tonnaer wil weten wat de registratie bij het Art Loss Register kost. Volgens mij was een telefoontje naar het ALR voldoende geweest om dat te achterhalen. Bovendien: registratie bij deze premiejagers is niet de enige optie; de database van Interpol en die van de Carabinieri zijn vele malen groter dan die van het Art Loss Register.

Lees meer:

Raadsleden: ‘Kunstroof Westfries Museum mag niet vergeten worden’ – Hoorn – dichtbij.nl – West-Friesland.

Ton Cremers

January 9th, 2015

Posted In: diefstal uit museum, Ruud Spruit en Westfries Museum

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January 5th, 2015

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Courthouse News Service

By BARBARA LEONARD  Tweet  

Couple Says Gallery Sold a Bogus Rockwell

 

     HACKENSACK, N.J. (CN) – A Manhattan art gallery passed off a MobilOil advertisement as a “guaranteed” Norman Rockwell, for which it charged $347,437, a couple claims in court.
Barry and Isabel Knispel, of Saddle River, N.J., filed the complaint in Bergen County Superior Court against Gallery 63 Antiques and the owners of that Midtown East shop.
It was Gallery 63 that solicited the Knispels, who say they are “known art collectors,” 20 years ago, the Dec. 23 complaint alleges.
Those negotiations allegedly led the Knispels to purchase multiple paintings from Gallery 63, “including a piece represented to them by Gallery 63 as an original Norman Rockwell, titled ‘Mending His Ways.'”
Emphasizing that they “never visited Gallery 63’s New York location,” the Knispels claim to have negotiated via telephone, mailed the gallery a check and had the painting delivered to their home, where it has hung ever since.
On Oct. 8, 1994, the same day that the gallery issued the Knispels a $347,437 bill of sale for the painting, it had a specialist appraise the artwork.
The Knispels say the now-deceased Laurence Casper examined the painting, holding “himself out to the public as ‘an art historian by academic training at the graduate school of New York University.'”
“A purported ‘Certified Appraiser by the Appraisers Association of America,'” Casper also held himself out as “a specialist in American painting of the 19th and 20th century,” the complaint states.
The complaint quotes Casper’s written appraisal as stating that “the brush strokes, the painting texture and the draftsmanship [are] consistent with Rockwell’s technique.” (Brackets added.)
“The type of faces and expressions are typical of his characters in other paintings as well,” Casper allegedly wrote.
“The painting is not recorded and I believe the painting was commissioned for an advertisement and never used,” the appraisal allegedly continues. “In my opinion, [the painting] is an original by Norman Rockwell with all the humor and artistic quality that Rockwell created in all his works.” (Brackets in original.)
Based on the Casper appraisal, and a guarantee from the gallery’s bill of sale as to the “originality” of the painting’s oil, the Knispels have maintained a $1.75 million insurance policy on the painting, according to the complaint.
The Knispels say, in connection with a 2013 policy renewal, that their insurer wanted the purported Rockwell painting and other art in the couple’s collection re-examined for authenticity.
New York Fine Art Appraisers thus examined the painting at the request of the Knispels, but their report “reveals the painting is not an ‘original oil on canvas by Norman Rockwell’ as represented by defendants,” the complaint states.
“Rather, the painting was determined to be an illustration for a MobilOil advertisement by Harold Anderson, titled ‘Patching Pants,'” the complaint continues. “NYFAA noted that the Rockwell signature was painted over the signature of the original artist and that this alteration is (and should have been) open and obvious to any appraiser with training and experience similar to Casper’s.”
The Knispels say their fake Rockwell “is now valued at only $20,000.”
“Defendants Gallery 63, Casper and Casper Fine Arts should have discovered and notified the Knispels of the obvious evidence of forgery and that the painting was not, in fact, an original Rockwell,” the complaint states.
The Knispels seek punitive damages for breach of contract and fraud.
Gallery 63 Antiques is named as a defendant, as well as its Cresskill-based owner Lawrence Sepenuk, and the Estate of Rochelle Sepenuk.
In addition to the Estate of Laurence Casper, the complaint also names Casper Fine Arts & Appraisals Inc. as a defendant.

     Donald Ottaunick with Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard in Hackensack represents the Knispels. 

Courthouse News Service.

January 3rd, 2015

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January 3rd, 2015

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January 3rd, 2015

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January 3rd, 2015

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January 3rd, 2015

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January 3rd, 2015

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January 3rd, 2015

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