‘Lost Caravaggio’ sold privately ahead of scheduled auction | A painting thought to be a lost masterpiece by Caravaggio and due to be sold at auction in Toulouse on Thursday has been sold by private treaty, it was announced yesterday. Judith and Holofernes (c.1607) was discovered in a French attic five years ago by the auctioneer Marc Labarbe, and carried an estimate of €100–€150m. Eric Turquin, an old masters expert involved in the sale, commented: ‘We received an offer that could not be ignored and which we communicated to the owners of the painting. The fact that the offer came from someone close to an important museum convinced the sellers to accept.’ Under the terms of the transaction, the identity of the buyer and the price paid is confidential.
Sotheby’s must face Rybolovlev lawsuit | A federal judge in New York has ruled that Sotheby’s must face a $380m lawsuit brought against the auction house in October 2018 by Russian billionaire art collector Dmitry Rybolovlev. Last year, Rybolovlev accused the Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier of overcharging him for 38 artworks, sold for a total of $2bn; he alleges that Sotheby’s was involved in nearly a third of these sales. Sotheby’s had made a bid to dismiss the lawsuit in New York on the grounds that Rybolovlev is already involved in litigation in Switzerland.
Arrest warrant issued for art dealer Angela Gulbenkian | After her second failure to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today, a warrant has been issued for the arrest of art collector and dealer Angela Gulbenkian, who is accused of two counts of theft, amounting to more than £1m. A request for a second adjournment was turned down by the chairman of the bench, but may be granted if the defence makes a satisfactory submission as to the reason for the delay.