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October Dubai sale moves to London

Christie’s is to move its autumn Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art sale from Dubai to London. The sale will be held on the evening of October 25 as part of Christie’s Middle Eastern Week.

Christie’s says it remains committed to the region where it first held sales in 2006, and auctions in the category will still be staged in Dubai in March.

US chain fined $3m over smuggling

A high-street chain in the US has been fined $3m in connection with the purchase and importing of a large number of ancient Iraqi artefacts.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby agreed to purchase more than 5500 items, including cuneiform tablets, clay bullae and cylinder seals, which had originated in the area of modern-day Iraq and were smuggled into the US through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel.

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A Sumerian cuneiform clay tablet was among the items illegally imported to the US by Hobby Lobby.

Court documents said that in 2010 Hobby Lobby, of Oklahoma City, ignored warnings and wired payment to multiple bank accounts in the UAE before receiving more than 10 packages that lacked the correct documentation and carried misleading labels.

After surrendering the items, Hobby Lobby has now agreed to introduce new purchasing procedures.

US art consultant takes TEFAF chair

The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) has appointed Nanne Dekking as its new chairman. He succeeds Willem van Roijen.

New York art consultant Dekking, who previously worked at Sotheby’s, has been appointed for his experience in both the institutional and private sectors of the art market.

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TEFAF chairman Nanne Dekking.

In Numbers

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The number of lots in the last-ever sale at Christie’s South Kensington. The Interiors event on Wednesday, July 19, will be followed by a get-together of current and former CSK staff at a nearby hotel.

TEFAF says “his knowledge of the US market, a key market for TEFAF and our dealer community, will be invaluable for driving the TEFAF organisation forward”.

$81m fine over Knoedler fakes

Glafira Rosales, the Long Island art dealer who in 2013 pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion in the Knoedler art forgery case, has been ordered to pay $81m to victims of the fraud.

The order, filed on July 5 in New York’s Southern District Court, follows Rosales’ sentencing in January to nine months of house arrest.

Rosales supplied Knoedler with dozens of abstract expressionist fakes painted by New York forger Pei-Shen Quian between 1994 and 2009. The gallery closed in 2011, with a series of civil lawsuits since settled out of court.

£3m jewellery theft at Masterpiece

The Metropolitan Police is investigating a £3m theft from Masterpiece London. Thieves stole several pieces of modern diamond jewellery from the stand of Switzerland-based jeweller Boghossian on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 4.

The theft took place at about 5.20pm but apparently went undiscovered until 9am the next day. Some exhibitors told ATG they were informed by an email from the fair organiser on Sunday, July 9.

CCTV footage apparently shows two men gaining access to a display case with a key before quickly leaving the fair.

A statement from theorganiser said: “Masterpiece is fully co-operating with the police and we take the security of the fair and the objects exhibited very seriously.”

The Met is appealing for witnesses and anyone with information can contact police via the 101 telephone number.

Dealer purchases Newark centre

Dealer Paul Pedley has bought the Newark Antiques Warehouse where he been a tenant for many years and will rename it Newark Antiques and Interiors.

The centre was owned by Nicholas Mellors, who also ran an auctioneering business from the site.

Mellors closed his auction firm earlier this year to pursue a career as a consultant and freelance auctioneer.

He sold the freehold of the warehouse and the business to Pedley for an undisclosed sum.

The centre hosts 30 furniture dealers on the ground floor and 60 specialist dealers on the first floor selling collectables.

Pedley, who has been a dealer for more than 20 years, said: “I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take over such a well-established antiques centre. There’s a fantastic sales team and a great mix of tenants. It has all the right ingredients to build on past achievements and to be even more successful in the future.”

He added: “I am going to modernise. The business needs investment in advertising and we will promote it via social media and an improved website.”

Chadwick sculpture among Olympia sales

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Among the top sales at the recent Art & Antiques Fair Olympia (June 25-July 1) was this 20in (51cm) pair of Lynn Chadwick figures. 'Maquette V, Two Winged Figures' cast in an edition of eight in 1973 (these numbered 3/8) were ticketed at $240,000 on the stand of Tanya Baxter Contemporary Art. A review of this year’s summer Olympia appears in this week’s Dealers’ Diary.

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2 Police investigating £3m Masterpiece theft

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4 Chiswick Auctions makes bold move to fill CSK vacuum

5 Locket given to George IV’s true love shines at Christie’s