Monday, February 7, 2011
Estate Unsettlement: L’Affaire Wildenstein in Paris
The art collecting world remains as much about collecting name cache as it does about collecting art. Becoming a trusted dealer and banking on that brand name allows you to build your bank account. It’s that seemingly unbreakable circle of influence that makes the recent L’affaire Guy Wildenstein in Paris all the more scandalous and troubling for art collectors and art lovers. Wildenstein, an international dealer in Old Master and Impressionist art for decades, stands accused of stealing valuable art works from the estates of dead customers entrusted to his care. The French government seized a room full of works believed to have been seized unlawfully by Wildenstein. Mix in the fact that Wildenstein is a major contributor and “bon ami” of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and you have the makings of a major scandal of international proportions that leaves not just Wildenstein’s estate and his victims’ estates unsettled, but shakes the foundation of art dealing to its very core. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Estate Unsettlement."