Georgina Adam has the latest from the dark saga of the Drouot salerooms where Savoyard porters were free to help themselves to objects for decades:
It is a parade of shame: photographs of 6,000 pieces, found in the storage containers of the art handlers of the Parisian saleroom Drouot and believed stolen, have been put on the internet by the French police. The scandal, which led to the ending of the porters’ cosy 150-year monopoly, came after a number of handlers and four auctioneers were investigated for handling stolen goods and corruption: the investigations continue. So far the French police have carried out 147 raids on various handlers and seized a huge volume of objects. Now they are appealing for anyone to get in touch if they recognise anything on the site (avisderecherches.interieur.gouv.fr). Drouot, which seems to have done more hand-wringing than taking action (despite being slammed in a ministry of justice report), rapidly put out a statement pointing out that the objects were not found in Drouot itself and bleats that it is just another “victim” in this lamentable affair.
The Art Market: Lots to Think About (Financial Times)