Christie's antiquities sale makes $19.3m; Colin Gleadell fingers the owner of Sotheby's Monet grainstacks; Etel Adnan and other modern Middle Eastern painters perform well in London.
This commentary by Marion Maneker is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.)
They Should Get It
The Tribune de l’Art’s Didier Rykner has a passion for outrage. He reveals that the owners of Rembrandt’s The Standard Bearer, probably the greatest Rembrandt work still in private hands, had approached the French government requesting an export certificate nine months before it was announced that French government would invoke a 30 month waiting period to try to raise the €165m asking price.
- “Since we announced the refusal of the export certificate, we learned that the Ministry of Culture (not Franck Riester who was not yet in office) and the Elysee are since July 2018 aware that the owners wanted sell this painting. They came to announce it directly to the ministry, accompanied by the Rijksmuseum's lawyer. The Dutch museum is indeed decided to buy the work if France could not, for the sum requested which amounts to 165 million euros.”
To Rykner it is a scandal that the government didn’t act quickly, before the Yellow Vest protests and Notre Dame fire made any government action politically impossible. To the rest of us it might be more of a scandal that the government is delaying the sale by two and a half years when there is little to no chance of raising the money domestically and a top-ranked European museum (with a superior claim to cultural heritage) being kept waiting.
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