Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Failure to keep proper records costs dealer hundreds of thousands

An art collector spotted five of his paintings that he thought were in storage on offer at Bonhams in 2002, how they got there is a mystery (Antiques Trade Gazette, 'Failure to keep proper records costs dealer hundreds of thousands', 17 Mar 2008), but:
A dealer has had to hand over £300,000 worth of paintings after a judge ruled that his records were not sufficient to show he had acquired them in good faith. He is also facing what is anticipated to be a six-figure bill for costs. Dealer Michael Marks had to return the two disputed works by Indian painter Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002) to collector Aziz Kurtha after failing to persuade the High Court that a chain of transactions gave him legal title to them. Mr Justice Tugendhat questioned the credibility of what little paperwork there was and stressed the importance of keeping detailed and accurate records of transactions. He further warned Mr Marks that the lack of a detailed and contemporaneous audit trail, setting out the transactions and provenance, could have exposed him and others to “very serious risks” including that of criminal prosecution.  [...].
The paintings did not turn up in the Art Loss Register

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