Wednesday, 4 March 2020

34 Items Seized from This Year's Brussels Antiques and Fine Arts fair

The outrageous carpet was not among the items seized
Arts Newspaper:

An aggressive display of strength from authorities has prompted heated debate around this year’s edition of the Brussels Antiques and Fine Arts fair (@BrafaArtFair ), where 34 artefacts were seized during public opening hours  
So, 34 ancient Egyptian, Asian and tribal artefacts were being displayed as "fine arts"? If there were indeed grounds for their seizure, in what way is doing so a "display of strength"? Do art dealers see this as a competition?
“I’ve participated in fairs in a variety of countries where authorities did routine checks,” says Vincent Geerling, the chairman of the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art. “However, this has been done discreetly, working with the fair and before the fair opened. What happened [at Brafa] was unacceptable. The authorities came in and conducted checks when the fair was open to the public, with up to four officers huddling around a stand, looking at pieces indiscriminately and handling objects without permission. It’s unheard of.”[...] Belgian media reports immediately following the event named numerous dealers, prompting fair organisers to issue a statement confirming its regret over “the poor image and ideas that may arise from the publication of incorrect information [...] Alongside increasing regulations—notably the Fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive introduced this January—it appears that the art market is beginning to feel the impact of greater scrutiny.

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