The recriminations from the 85 withdrawn Joan Miró works that were meant to be sold earlier this week in London are already flying. Although a judge ruled the sale could go through, Christie’s chosen to postpone the sale. Now Portugal’s government has re-affirmed its desire to see the works sold:
Christie’s backed out because of a legal imbroglio in Portugal, where the opposition Socialists had lodged a challenge to the Miro auction.
Although a Portuguese court shot down the Socialists’ request on Tuesday, Christie’s decided to not go ahead after the court pointed out “irregularities” in the export of the paintings. […] Passos Coelho said Christie’s was to blame for the aborted auction, saying the firm was responsible “for organising everything”, including the export paperwork and insurance.
“With its experience, it should have taken more care,” he said.
The prime minister said Portugal was still determined to sell the paintings — with Christie’s “or maybe other auction houses” — because it was unable to maintain the multi-million-euro cost of maintaining and securing the valuable artworks.
Portugal still plans Miro art sale despite auction hitch (AFP)