Thursday 9 July 2015

Problems at Hôtel Drouot auction house

French auction house "cols rouges" removal men to stand trial for €2.2m alleged art theft, they are  accused of stealing items while transporting them to the auction house
When collectors of art or other valuable objects contacted the auction house saying they had pieces to sell, the auction house's porters, also known as 'red collars', would transport them.[...]  It is alleged that during moves, the red collars would keep the most valuable objects for themselves, to sell on at the auction house later. [...] When questioned by police, one porter said that the favourite targets were the estates of wealthy deceased people - the families of the dead usually had no idea of the extent of their collections, so items could be taken without danger.
A strong case if ever there was one for collectors keeping detailed records of the contents of their collection.

Doug Bolton, ' Hôtel Drouot auction house removal men and auctioneers to stand trial for alleged art thefts' the Independent 08 July 2015.

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