Marketplace  -  Trafficking

Why should the art world be concerned about the prevalence of export bans?

Five years after he dramatically attempted to smuggle a rare Pablo Picasso painting out of Spain, Jaime Botín— the ex-president of Spanish financial institution Bankinter—has been sentenced to three years in jail and lumbered with a €91.7 million fine. The hefty punishment marks a significant increase over Botín’s already substantial sentence of 18 months and […]

Works by Salvador Dalí stolen from Stockholm gallery

Early this morning in Stockholm, thieves stole a bronze sculpture and etchings by Salvador Dalí. The works were on display at the Couleur Gallery in the Östermalm district of the country’s capital city. The theft has been described as a smash and grab, and one that’s added to the list of artworks stolen in recent […]

The Long Game: how Wolfgang Beltracchi conned the art world

Former art forger John Myatt—who in the 1980s forged hundreds of “masterworks” and fenced them to institutions as venerable as London’s Tate Gallery—recently told reporters that in his opinion, pulling off such a scheme is “just as easy today”. Recent events would seem to prove Myatt’s point. In late 2019, Prince Charles’s charitable foundation was […]

Art world awash with artifice, forgery and deceit – by design?

An Italian gardener made global headlines last month after stumbling across what appears to be the second most sought-after piece of stolen artwork in the world. The unassuming groundskeeper made the incredible find while maintaining the estate surrounding the Ricci Oddi modern art gallery in the northern Italian city of Piacenza, where the painting – […]

Export ban blocks £8m Thomas Gainsborough painting from leaving the UK

Thomas Gainsborough is one of England’s iconic artists. His work, much like JMW Turner’s, seems to be synonymous with the country having captured the English countryside with many of his works. Now, in an effort to keep a work that was sold over the summer by Gainsborough in the UK, a temporary export ban has […]

When is a fake not a fake? Forgery fiasco involving Prince Charles highlights grey areas of the art world

In the wake of Prince Andrew’s controversial and ill-advised BBC interview, the British royal family has struggled to fend off unwanted media attention over his past and present conduct. The beleaguered prince braved a television appearance in an attempt to stamp out the flames of suspicion surrounding his relationship with disgraced financier and convicted sex […]

Search for ‘America,’ a.k.a. the golden toilet, continues

The search for what is easily the most ‘luxurious loo,’ as one BBC article put it, in the world continues, but three more suspects have been arrested by police. The toilet, entitled America by Italian conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan, was part of an exhibition of works by the artist at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace and […]