Miro's collection at Christie's: a story of a big break

When one of the largest auction houses just a few hours before the auction removes the widely publicized, large collection of paintings by the famous artist - the scandalous background is evident. So, meet: in the case of Joan Miro's 85 works - millions of euros, the court, Christie's, the crisis, the party, the government, the parliament, the Internet, and the cultural people of Portugal.

Collection and capital

It is no secret that the most successful and resonant auction auction houses are held at the sale of entire collections of famous artists. So it had to happen with an impressive collection of 85 works of Juan Miro (1893−1983) at Christie's auction in early February. All these paintings, drawings, sculptures and collages of a Catalan Spanish abstract artist once belonged to a Portuguese bank that burst! Banco Português de Negócios BPN bought the work of the master from private collections in Japan from 2003 to 2006. Alas, this excellent investment did not help the capitalists in the crisis year 2008: the bank went bankrupt and was nationalized. And this means that the collection of works by Joan Miro was transferred to the state. Trying to compensate for the loss of the budget, the Portuguese government decides to part with this cultural fund, valuing it at $ 49 million and putting it up for auction.Red spider eats the sunHoan (Joan) Miro1948

Millions for painting?

At Christie's, they were not slow to announce to the world that "this is one of the largest and most impressive collections of works by the artist that have ever been sold at auction." For many lots it was planned to get the amount of three times the estimate. Catalogs and news were filled with images of famous canvases, such as Women and Birds (Femmes et oiseaux, 1968) with an estimate of 4–7 million pounds, and Painting (Peinture, 1953, 2 , 5−3.5 million pounds). Optimistic financial forecasts for Joan Miro's work were more than reasonable. For example, in 2012, his “Painting (Blue Star)” (“Peinture (Etoile Bleue)”) was sold for a record amount of 37 million dollars for the artist’s paintings. Meanwhile, trading in London on February 4–5, 2014, was a time of high expectations. However, it was necessary to take into account the political situation in the country.

If the Government is up to something, then the left opposition is against! The official seller of the collection was the current authorities of Portugal, and such a major reason for the scandal could not be missed. Needless to say, the deed is good: how can one deprive a country of such wealth? Artists, politicians and cultural citizens of Portugal have supported a very serious petition to ban the sale of paintings on the Internet: just look at “Signor to the President of the Republic of Portugal”! Since its appearance on January 2, less than a month, 9.3 thousand signatures have been collected (at the time of this writing - already more than 10 thousand), which served as a good reason for official proceedings.

And the court of Portugal - do not mind?

The next move after the petition - the Prosecutor General’s Office is suing the providência cautelar procedure, and the Portuguese MP from the opposition Socialist Party Gabriela Canavillas (one of the initiators of the proceedings) claims the media that the incident with the pictures is “another proof that the government thinks only with concepts accounting and values ​​nothing else. " The audience and collectors waited for the outcome of the proceedings with bated breath. And ... it's a failure! The Lisbon Administrative Court does not adopt a “prohibitive decision” to postpone the sale of the Miro collection. Is the road open? Not at all! The same court ruled that the Ministry of Culture of Portugal does not have permission to export paintings abroad! And, as a result of the whole story - a decision that shocked potential buyers of the February auction at Christie's. decided to withdraw the collection from the auction.“The legal uncertainty created by the ongoing dispute means that we cannot confidently offer work for sale,” said a statement released just hours before the start of the auction. However, the values ​​are still in the game: the intentions to sell part of the collection are quite honest, but only after examining the specialists and obtaining permission to sell them. However, in any case, the sale of the world's largest collection of works by Miro, ever put up for auction, no longer goes.