Thursday, April 02, 2015

Art Loss Register at work

Several fascinating bits of information in this article.
First, the itinerary of the object: from Nepal to the US and then to an end-buyer in China. 
Second, the role played by the Art Loss Register amongst dealers:
an expert hired to investigate the ownership of the piece informed Homsi that it was “almost assuredly” the same Samvara statue stolen in 1983 from the Itum Bahal Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, court papers say.
Homsi then emailed another dealer about the statue on June 20, acknowledging that the piece had “the black spot of theft,” the court papers say. He added that he was “too nervous” to conduct a search through the Art Loss Register — a comprehensive database on stolen works — for fear he would be proven right, according to the court papers.
Presumably the Chinese buyer didn't bother to consult the ALR either.
Too bad it is not mandatory to consult the Art Loss Register and to post to it the object one plans to try to sell so that others might get a chance to look it over in case the ALR doesn't have it posted. But the dealers would have to decide that such requirements were in their best interest, or else the chances of them being put into law are zero.

No comments: