|Handled by Symes, sold at Christie's|
Just this year, the Dallas Museum of Art deaccessioned a looted terracotta head that it had bought from Symes in 1999, which, if Italy agrees, will remain at the DMA on long-term loan before its eventual repatriation. The head originated with Giacomo Medici, who was convicted in Italy of receiving stolen goods, illegal export of goods, and conspiracy to traffic.
Although Symes has never been criminally indicted, he was sentenced to a two-year prison term for contempt of court for not disclosing his assets in a civil dispute.
Christie's offered three works whose first known provenance was with Symes. A fourth that was handled by him was, according to the auction catalogue, "said" to have been collected earlier.
Three of the items sold. Shown here is a Greek marble head that was with Symes in 2001 and that bore an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000. It brought $182,500, including the auctioneer's premium.
Update: Blogging has been light because I have been working on some long articles that will be published soon. I have more posts planned and should be blogging regularly before too long.
Photo from the Christie's catalogue.
Text (c) Copyright 2012 Laura Gilbert.