In the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished category lies the decision by Swiss benefactor Remo Stoffel to purchase a cache of Alberto Giacometti works at the behest of the Grisons Art Museum in Chur, Switzerland.
Little did Stoffel know that buying the works and putting them on display in 2011 would alert the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti to their existence.
Now Swiss prosecutors have seized the works and it is up to the foundation to sue for their return which leaves Mr. Stoffel without much to show for his support:
The Foundation in Paris, home to some 5,000 Giacometti works, the world’s largest collection, has not said whom it accuses of theft. Sabine Longin, director of development at the foundation, told Reuters it would speak publicly of the issue only after the ownership battle had been resolved.
“They have asked us to confiscate the drawings and photographs, which we have done,” said Claudio Riedi of the local prosecutors’ office in the Swiss town of Chur where the museum holding the drawings and photos is located.
“Whether there is a separate request for them to be returned is up to the French court.”
The collection includes 16 Giacometti sketches and 101 photographs of him by famous photographers including Man Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau covering a period from the 1920s to the 1960s.