Art Industry News: Leaked Documents Lift the Lid on Patrick Drahi’s Art Collection + Other Stories

Plus, Dresden closes investigation into four security guards suspected in the Green Vault heist and White Cube names its U.S. senior director.

Patrick Drahi, French President of telecom and media group Altice at the French Senate. (Photo by Daniel Pier/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Friday, November 11.


Two Men Get Jail Time for Vandalizing Petroglyphs – Jonathan Pavon and Daniel Plata were sentenced for defacing petroglyphs at a site in Nevada known as the White River Narrows. Pavon was sentenced to a year and a day for tagging the prehistoric rocks with “Cluer” written across 20 feet; Plata, who was sentenced to four months in prison and eight months house arrest, tagged “Velor” around the site. (The Art Newspaper)

Speed Museum Receives 177-Piece Art Collection – Alfred Shands, a former board member of the Louisville, Kentucky-based museum, along with his wife Mary, donated a trove of contemporary artworks set to be exhibited in a show organized by former Speed curator Julien Robson. The “remarkable” gift includes ceramics by Betty Woodman, a sculpture by Anish Kapoor, and abstract works by Howard Hodgkin. (ARTnews)

Patrick Drahi’s Art Collection – Documents leaked by hackers to the French journal Reflets purport to reveal that the billionaire Sotheby’s owner’s $750 million art collection includes more than 200 pieces including Alberto Giacometti’s Grand Femme I (1960), valued at €76.6 million, and Francis Bacon’s Triptych inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschyluss (1981), worth €75.2 million. They also reveal alleged exchanges with his tax advisors. Drahi, who won an injunction in a commercial court preventing Reflets from publishing further articles based on the leaked information, declined to respond to a request for comment from Swiss newswire Heidi News, with a spokesperson saying he does not, as a rule, respond to “allegations relative to his private life, to his children or his religion.” (TAN) (Heidi News)

Green Vault Update – The Dresden public prosecutor’s office has closed its investigation into four security guards suspected of aiding and abetting aggravated gang theft during the billion-dollar heist. Authorities thought they might have transferred security-related documents to the perpetrators ahead of the theft, and were additionally suspicious that they had not reacted adequately to the crime. The investigation was dropped after nothing concrete could be established. (Press release)


Courtney Willis Blair Joins White Cube – Willis Blair will lead the gallery’s forthcoming New York gallery as U.S. senior director beginning on January 1, 2023. Previously, Willis Blair was a partner and senior director at Mitchell-Innes & Nash, and the founder of Entre Nous, an international group of Black women art dealers. (Press release

Getty Acquires Photos by Kamoinge Artists – The California-based museum has acquired 60 works by nine artists, all of whom were part of the influential Kamoinge Workshop. The Getty also acquired 14 portraits taken by Anthony Barboza of Kamoinge members, depicting the individuals as they captured scenes of Black life in America. (Press release)

Record-Breaking Ferrari Sale – The ex-Schumacher F2003-GA, the iconic Ferrari in which Michael Schumacher secured his sixth world championship, is now the most valuable Formula One car ever sold. The vehicle fetched 14.63 million CHF ($15.1 million), easily overtaking the previous most-expensive car, another ex-Schumacher Ferrari that sold for $7.5 million in 2017. (Press release)

New York Returns 192 Antiquities to Pakistan – A cache of stolen antiquities worth nearly $3.4 million has been restituted to the people of Pakistan, with 187 of them stemming from the ongoing investigation into disgraced dealer Subhash Kapoor. Earlier this month, Kapoor was sentenced to 10 years in prison by an Indian court for his international looting practices.  (Press release)


Wu Tsang’s Venice Installation Gets a New Home – The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has acquired Wu Tsang’s Of Whales (2022), an immersive video and sound installation on view in the 2022 Venice Biennale. The work will be installed in the museum’s atrium, a space that is free to the public.  (Press release)

Wu Tsand, Of Whales (2022), with support from VIVE Arts., VIA Art Fund, LUMA Foundation, ATLAS V, Albyon Studio. Courtesy the Artist, Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Antenna Space, Shanghai, Cabinet, London. Photo by Matteo De Fina.

Wu Tsand, Of Whales (2022), with support from VIVE Arts., VIA Art Fund, LUMA Foundation, ATLAS V, Albyon Studio. Courtesy the Artist, Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Antenna Space, Shanghai, Cabinet, London. Photo by Matteo De Fina.

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