Irish auction houses are not happy about being left out of the sales of art forfeited by Irish debtors in the country’s real estate collapse:
James O’Halloran of Adam’s auctioneers wrote to Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan about the way Nama seemed to have automatically gone to Christie’s of London for a recent high-profile sale of art works belonging to developer Derek Quinlan. […] Irish auctioneers believe that the process should be subject to public-procurement policy, given the large sums of money involved and the fact that Nama is a State agency. […]
It is also understood that there is warehouse in Naas, Co Kildare, that is full of general Nama-related art works, including half-a-dozen Jack Yeats paintings.
Among other developers associated with Nama who have valuable art works are David Daly, David Arnold, of D2 Private, and Paddy Kelly.
Mr Whyte also believes that Nama is not getting value for money for the Irish State.
He points out that it has already given one of the paintings, Sir John Lavery’s The Return From The Market, for which Mr Quinlan paid over €800,000 for in 2001, to the National Gallery, rather than sell it to decrease the loss to the taxpayer on Mr Quinlan’s bank debts.
Another painting — an oil by Jack Yeats, which Mr Quinlan bought for over €300,000 — was sold privately to the National Gallery for €170,000.
“Over €1.1m of taxpayers’ assets have been disposed of by Nama for less than 20 per cent of their original value,” he argues, although many will be happy to see the State at least gain such works for its national art institutions.
Irish Art Houses Snubbed by NAMA (Irish Independent)