The New York Times details the bizarre case of two employees of a fine art shipping firm (one a German citizen) who have been detained in China and face harsh penalties for what the government claims is their role in undervaluing works of art:
“Lots of people here are not going into work, or they are only using junior staff at their offices and galleries,” said a Beijing gallery director who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the tension surrounding the issue. “They can’t arrest everybody, but everyone is still nervous.”
In the meantime Nils Jennrich and Lydia Chu, employees of the art-handling company Integrated Fine Art Solutions, languish in a Beijing jail on suspicion of smuggling, a crime normally associated with the illegal importation of drugs or arms. The charges carry a maximum of a life sentence.
Two Arrests in China Unnerve Art World (New York Times)