PROJECT M
 

Caveat Emptor

Mark Rothko set a price record for contemporary art in 2012 when one of his paintings sold for $86.9 million. The international art market is running hot, but, as with any investment, there are risks

© fotofinder

Caveat Emptor

Mark Rothko set a price record for contemporary art in 2012 when one of his paintings sold for $86.9 million. The international art market is running hot, but, as with any investment, there are risks

Too good to be true

In his memoir Hauptweg und Nebenwege (1996), the late dealer and avid collector Heinz Berggruen, part of whose major collection can be viewed in museums worldwide, advises buyers to beware if the seller claims any of the following:

  • The piece has been owned by the same family for generations.
  • Forty years ago, when the artwork was acquired, the artist was unknown and nobody would have dreamt of forging his paintings.
  • Prominent experts have certified the work as genuine (promptly forgetting to mention that the certificates may also be forged).
  • The painting was part of a famous collection. (Even if true, famous collectors may also occasionally have fallen for a copy.)

Comments