Rumblings in the Auction World

In April, the leak of 11.5 million files from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca — the so-called Panama Papers — showed how collectors like the Russian billionaire Dmitry E. Rybolovlev and dealers like David Nahmad used offshore shell companies and Swiss “freeports” to shield their assets.

Soon after the revelations, the Swiss authorities seized a Modigliani portrait valued at up to $25 million that had been the subject of a long legal battle. The painting had been stored in the Geneva Freeport by the International Art Center, an entity registered in Panama that, the leaked papers showed, since 2014 has been solely owned by Mr. Nahmad, the patriarch of the family of dealers.

In a separate case last month, Swiss officials, working with the United States authorities, seized works by van Gogh and Monet that had been bought by the Malaysian financier Jho Low, who is…

Read the full article at nytimes.com…

Leave a Reply