Tuesday 16 August 2022

‘Sotheby’s London sold stolen Dutch art despite warnings’

Auction house Sotheby’s in London sold a work of art by Dutch artist JJ Schoonhoven this spring, despite being warned it was stolen, the NRC reports on Tuesday.

The work, a papermache relief, was one of several pieces of art stolen from the Bommel van Dam museum in Venlo in March.

The NRC says the sale went ahead even though the Art Loss Register, a data bank of stolen works, had warned Sotheby’s about their suspicions. Sotheby’s has declined to comment on the claims because of the ongoing police investigation.


The work, which dates from 1969, was sold for almost €214,000. It was sold under a different name and had been turned 90 degrees in the auction catalogue.

The sale came to light last week when someone, described by the NRC as a fence, reported to the police in Amsterdam with two other stolen Schoonhovens and admitted selling one through Sotheby’s.

Meanwhile, Sotheby’s had also been to the police after the buyers became suspicious about their new purchase’s provenance.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.