Sotheby’s auction house accused of negligence Automatic translate
LONDON. The former owner of the painting, sold for 42,000 pounds, filed a new lawsuit against Sotheby’s Auction House after the painting was attributed to Caravaggio’s work and the new owner estimated it at 10 million pounds.
we already written about disputes between the seller of this picture and the auction house, and this story continues to this day, for two years now. Lancelot Thwaytes inherited the "Shulers" picture from his father. In 2006, he sold it at auction for £ 42,000, after she was assigned to unknown followers of Caravaggio. A little later, the new owner of the canvas, a respected art historian and well-known collector Sir Denis Mahon, on his 97th birthday appreciated the work as a genuine work of Caravaggio, worth 10 million pounds.
Now, Mr. Twites filed a lawsuit against Sotheby’s, claiming that the Auction House could not conduct a correct examination of the painting, and therefore did not fulfill its professional duties.
Sotheby’s, for its part, refutes all allegations against it and continues to insist that the controversial painting is "clearly inferior" in quality to the master’s works.
The work looks similar to another Caravaggio painting “Shulers”, now owned by the Kimball Museum in Texas and valued at £ 50 million.
The controversial canvas was acquired in 1962 by the father of Mr. Twites for £ 140. Sotheby’s experts are currently evaluating the work as belonging to "one of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s followers." The attribution of the picture states: "in our [Sotheby’s] view, this is a work in the style of a famous artist, written during his lifetime or in those years close to this, but not necessarily his student."
In documents submitted to the court on behalf of Mr. Twites, lawyers criticize the auction house for negligence and claim that Sotheby’s was not able to conduct proper tests of its own and get proper expert advice. Now, the lawyers are demanding full compensation for the losses of Lancelot Twites, which he suffered as a result of an incorrect assessment of his property. Moreover, lawyers are sure that in case of proper identification of the picture, its price at the auction could reach 11 million pounds.
Henry Legge, representing Mr Twaites, told the court that Sotheby’s simply did not perform the tests the owner of the painting insisted on. “They returned to him and said that they had taken x-rays of the canvas and that it was not Caravaggio, but in fact, they did not conduct this study,” he said. “When the painting was sold to the new owner, he cleaned it and sent it to research, including under infrared rays, as a result of which the work was attributed to Caravaggio.”
Sotheby’s, for its part, denies all allegations of “negligence and causal loss”, insisting that the auction house experts appreciated the picture correctly and with all due “skill and diligence”. Moreover, the fact that the picture does not belong to the work of Caravaggio is supported by the opinion of a number of art critics.
Sir Denis, who considered work a genuine work of Caravaggio, died in 2011, bequeathed a collection of 60 valuable masterpieces of the Italian Baroque nation.
Controversial work is currently on display at the Museum of the Order of St. John (Museum of the Order of St John) and is insured for 10 million pounds.
To date, the hearing on this issue continues.
Anna Sidorova © Gallerix.ru
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