France’s culture ministry has issued a new report ordering museums to step up their policies after questions were raised over the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s takeover and crackdown on art extortion. specialists Christian Giacomotte, Marie Christine Labourdette and Arnaud Osredchuk. Photo credit: M. Habibie/French Ministry of Culture/twitter
November 24 (UPI) — France’s culture ministry has issued a new report recommending museums step up their policies after questions were raised over the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s crackdown on its takeover and art extortion.
The report comes after Jean-Luc Martinez, former director of the Louvre Museum, and François Charnier, curator, obtained antiquities suspected of being looted from Egypt that were purchased for $50 million. , announced after being indicted and accused of “complicity in gang fraud and laundering.”
France’s culture minister, Lima Abdul-Malak, has commissioned three arts experts, Christian Giacomotte, Marie-Christine Labourdette and Arnaud Osredchuk, to improve the security of museum acquisitions, the ministry said on Monday. said in a press release.
Recommendations made by the report include the creation of a joint task force dedicated to provenance and acquisition between government ministries and local law enforcement officers, and a digitized police force for those who sell art. This includes expanding access to records.
Other recommendations included the creation of training and educational programs within the Ministry of Culture to study the provenance of works of art. Provenance is a term that describes the traces of how a work was acquired by an individual or institution as it changed owners over the years.
Giacomotte is a director of the National Museums Authority and chairman of the Auditory Committee of the French Association of Museums, which “facilitated the founding” of Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Labourdette has been President of the City of Architectural Heritage, an agency under the Ministry of Culture that promotes French-style architecture in France and abroad. From her 2021, she is the governor of the Château de Fontainebleau, a medieval castle.
Oseredczuk is an auditor specializing in property management and regulation and was General Manager of the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie from 2017 to 2020.
Together, the three experts interviewed more than 60 art professionals and came up with 42 recommendations for addressing issues such as money laundering in the art world.
“When an acquisition involves risk, the two main issues are the authenticity and provenance of the object,” the French Ministry of Culture said in a news release.
“Questions of authenticity sparked internal work in the ministry in 2017 when the Versailles public authority acquired fake 18th-century furniture. Sensitivity increases with age for objects; more acute for certain archaeological objects and those coming from zones of conflict or looting.”
Experts said in their report that certain acquisitions by Louvre Abu Dhabi “highlighted the risks” the museum suffered during the acquisition process, and that officials in charge of the acquisitions were “adequately trained” on such risks. No,’ he said.
“Provenance capacity, a relatively recent concern, has not been clearly identified and mobilized in museum collection chains,” the report said.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Culture told ArtNet News that it has already started moving forward on some of the recommendations made in the report.
After the French report was commissioned, the Antiquities Coalition, an international group campaigning against “cultural racketeering” and the illegal trade in ancient arts and crafts against the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, said it was “strong and concrete.” We urge you to take decisive and immediate action.” in june.
“It is very important that the Metropolitan Museum of Art take steps to regain public trust. What should museums do in the U.S. art market today when it should be the gold standard of due diligence and transparency?” We are setting the standard for what is not,” the Antiquities Coalition said in a statement at the time.
“We have asked the Metropolitan Police to follow the example of France and assemble an ad hoc commission of eminent experts to clarify why these ethical and legal lapses occurred and, more importantly, As such, we urge you to ensure that they never happen again.”
The Antiquities Coalition’s statement also came after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced his office had seized five Egyptian sculptures worth more than $3 million from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.