Louvre caught up in trafficking probe
The Musée du Louvre says it will be a civil party in a criminal investigation into the alleged trafficking of ancient objects from the Middle East. The museum issued a statement condemning illicit artwork trafficking, saying it will bring a civil action “due to recent legal proceedings regarding the purchase of Egyptian antiquities by Louvre Abu Dhabi”.
The action comes after the former director Jean-Luc Martinez, who ran the Louvre between 2013-21, was charged by the Central Office for the Fight against illegal Trafficking in Cultural Goods (OCBC) with ‘complicity of fraud and laundering’ of antiquities allegedly smuggled from Egypt. Martinez has denied the allegations and has been unconditionally released.
The investigation was initiated by the Antiquities Trafficking Unit in Manhattan in 2017 – the year the Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased a First Century BC sarcophagus for €3.5m. It was returned to Egypt in 2019 after it was suggested the coffin had been stolen during the 2011 Arab Spring.
Christophe Kunicki, who worked for the auction house Bergé & Associates, was charged two years ago in Paris with criminal conspiracy, gang fraud and money laundering. Roben Dib, the manager of the Dyonisos Gallery in Hamburg, was similarly charged in March.
Dealer Jan Van Den Bosch dies
Decorative arts dealer Jan Van Den Bosch has died at the age of 88. He ran a dealership with his wife Carole in the Camden Passage area and, since 2008, in Grays antiques centre. The funeral, for close friends and family, is at Eden Valley Woodland Burial Ground, Edenbridge, on June 9.Dealer Jan Van Den Bosch dies aged 88
See obituary in this issue.
Christie’s launches two new courses
Christie’s Education has unveiled two new year-long programmes: Contemporary Art Business and the Art World Career Project. Both are hybrid courses and can be attended virtually or part virtually and in person. The courses provide access to specialists within the art market as well as offering hands-on experience with works of art.
Both programmes begin in September.
For more information visit education.christies.com
Roseberys revamps dec arts and design
South London auction house Roseberys has reorganised its decorative arts and modern design department.
Its sales, billed as Design since 1860, will increase from two to three a year.
As part of the changes Roseberys has appointed Jo Lloyd as the head of decorative arts to work with Nigel Dawson-Ellis, who has been promoted to head of Post-war and Contemporary design.
Lloyd joins from Bonhams where she was head of 20th century decorative arts and senior special ist in Knightsbridge. She works as both valuer and auctioneer. Dawson-Ellis, who has been at Roseberys since 2016, has a focus on modern design and previously worked at Phillips and Christie’s.
The former head of Roseberys’ design department Fiona Baker, who joined in 2017, has stepped down.
Coins stolen from Lockdales at fair
Two coins were stolen from the stand of coin dealer and auction house Lockdales at a recent fair. The coins, valued at around £20,000, were taken from its stand on May 28 from the Brentwood Centre Antiques & Collectors Fair.
The incident was reported to Essex police and the missing items are a five guinea William & Mary coin dated 1691 and a Diana Memorial gold £5 proof from 1999.
Lockdales of Ipswich added: “We would be grateful if the trade could be on the look-out for these coins.
“The five guineas in particular is quite distinctive.” Anyone with information should contact Essex Police by calling 101, quoting crime r e fe r ence numbe r 42/137590/22, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Mitchells opens business park
Auction house Mitchells of Cockermouth has opened a new business park for local firms in the Cumbrian town.
The firm’s chairman Ian Powley said: “We recognised the need for new business premises in the Cockermouth area and knew we could make better use of the resources and space available next to our livestock mart. Diversifying our business model by expanding the business park makes us more resilient to downturns in the economy and helps protect and strengthen Mitchells for the future.”
The most viewed stories for week May 26-June 1 on antiquestradegazette.com
1 Hunting pistol has plenty of stopping power
2 Diamond brooch given by Queen Elizabeth II as a thank-you for coronation duties
3 Civil war general Grant’s revolvers set US saleroom house record
4 A £105,000 Chinese vase found among the bric-a-brac
5 Ivory Act goes live on June 6
Television viewing figures for the 1970 FA Cup final which Chelsea won 2-1 against Leeds United after a replay (second only to the 1966 World Cup Final for a British sports broadcast). Alan Hudson’s winner’s medal is coming to auction at Noonans in London on June 15, consigned by the player himself, estimated at £20,000-30,000. He made 145 first-team appearances for Chelsea from 1969-74.