The glamorous, uber-wealthy, largely unregulated and opaque world of art dealing and collecting has intrinsic features that make it vulnerable to fraud. Christopher A Noel of Sequor Law sketches recent cases and legislative steps toward combating the problem.
Andy Warhol is famously quoted as saying, “Art is what you can get away with.” Since the explosion of the contemporary art market during the past two decades, artists, collectors and fraudsters alike have embraced Warhol’s precarious perspective. The modern art market no longer exists in wood-panelled galleries lining the streets of London, Hong Kong and New York. Today’s collectors are mobile, purchasing artworks at all price points, sight unseen, during their commutes and while on holiday. These new business practices have had positive impact – UBS estimates that global art and antiquities sales in 2021 reached an estimated US$65.1 billion, surpassing even the peak sales figures seen in 2019.
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