The Panama Papers reveal more art world maneuverings. Basil Goulandris a wealthy Greek shipowner who died in 1994 leaving a collection of 80 works by Cezanne, Chagall, Giacometti, Kandinsky, Monet, Matisse, Picasso, Pollock and Renoir. In other words, a serious collection.
Six years later, when his wife dies, the collection no longer exists. A dispute over the estate produces a seemingly backdated agreement for the art to be sold to a Panamanian company for below market rates.
According to the Tribune de Geneve, the beneficiary seems to have been Doda Voridis, Goulandris’s sister:
the Panama Papers reveal that, at that time, some paintings that belonged to Goulandris had been quietly sold via other shell companies.
Three years earlier, an oil Van Gogh in 1888 representing a basket of oranges is sold by the Panamanian company Jacob Portfolio Incorporated [to] Greg Renker, a wealthy American advertising, and his wife, Stacey. The transaction is by mutual agreement for $ 20 million.
At the same time, the company Tricornio Holdings, Panama, auctioned at Sotheby’s a painting by Pierre Bonnard entitled In the toilet. The painting will be sold in February 2005 in London for 2.8 million pounds, the equivalent of 4 million Swiss francs.
The same day, Sotheby’s is selling two works by Marc Chagall The Blue Violinist and Actors. Held by two Panamanian companies, Talara Holdings and Holdings Heredia, they appear in the sale catalog as coming from a “European private collection.” Contacted, Sotheby’s declined to comment on this inconsistency. In both cases, no mention of Goulandris nor Wilton Trading among the former owners.
The four offshore companies used to sell these paintings were all created during 2004 and disbanded the following year. All were managed by the same firm of lawyers in Geneva, Secretan Troyanov, and belonged to a mysterious Marie Voridis.