Art Critique carried an article on 14 February warning that many common art market practices, though legal, are questionable from an ethical standpoint and have helped distort the market.  It claims that galleries and auction houses frequently plant fake bidders in auction rooms to bid up the artists they sponsor.  Though this would be fraud elsewhere, the article says that in the art world, auctioneers are allowed to call out non-existent bids in order to conceal a work’s undisclosed reserve and create the illusion of competition, thereby inciting genuine bidders to offer more than they would have otherwise.  It also questions the practice of third-party guarantees.  The head of the Swiss non-profit, the Basel Institute on Governance is quoted as saying that “the art market is an ideal playing ground for money laundering. We have to ask for clear transparency, where you got the money from and where it is going”.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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