Knocked down, stolen
Chronicle of a traffic in Drouot
For one hundred and sixty years, the 800,000 pieces exhibited each year at the Hôtel Drouot have been entrusted exclusively to red-collar workers, all of Savoyard origin. They prepare the lots, present them to the public, redistribute them to buyers and store them. But in 2004, their prestige and that of the largest auction house in France was called into question: a painting by Courbet was stolen during an inventory. A few months later, a Savoyard offered the work to an expert. Justice then takes an interest in the affairs of an organization that has everything of a brotherhood, and discovers diamonds in their warehouse, works of art in their apartments, accounts kept precisely on mysterious sales. Thanks to his investigation, based on unpublished documents, the author leads us into the secrets of an astonishing traffic, worthy of a detective novel. An investigation carried out by the Office for the fight against the trafficking of cultural property which is still continuing today.
220 pages | ISBN: 9782315001439