Sotheby’s knowingly sells stolen Dutch work


A work by Dutch artist Jan Schoonhoven stolen from the Museum van Bommel van Dam in Venlo last March was auctioned off by London auction house Sotheby’s in what the Dutch media has called the ‘gaffe of the century’.

Sotheby’s auctioned a white relief made from papier-maché and latex paint for close to 214, 000 euro despite a warning from the Art Loss Register, a London databank of stolen artwork.

And if that isn’t sloppy enough, the Sotheby’s catalogue had the work printed under a false name and the picture of the work was rotated 90 degrees. Two art traders, one British and one Dutch, recognised the stolen work, pointed it out, and only then did Sotheby’s decide to inform the police.


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