Museums Keep Works Loaned by Fraudulent Art Adviser

Marc D'Avoine Photo: Oliver Berg via Recklinghauser Zeitung


Museums that were loaned works by the bankrupt art advisory firm belonging to imprisoned art adviser Helge Achenbach may keep the works in their collections as long as existent contracts are honored, Monopol reports.

The announcement was made by the preliminary administrator Marc D’Avoine on Monday. He declined to divulge the number of works currently on loan to or which specific works were involved.

Achenbach, a prominent Düsseldorf-based art adviser stands accused of allegedly defrauding millions of euros by manipulating invoices to earn higher commissions from the widow of Aldi heir Berthold Albrecht as well as the investors the Viehof brothers (“€18 Million Fraud Claim Against Art Adviser“).

However the future of the renowned Rheingold collection, owned by a group including both Achenbach and the Viehof brothers remains unclear. According to D’Avoine, the collection is not part of the insolvency proceedings because it does not count among the assets owned by Achenbach’s art advisory firm. Matters were complicated further after prosecutors from Essen froze Achenbach’s private assets, including his stake in the collection, following his arrest in June.

The lawsuit brought against Achenbach by the Viehof brothers concerns a private transaction and is unrelated to the Rheingold collection (“Second Billionaire Bilked by German Art Adviser“). They are seeking damages of around €1 million. Berthold Albrecht’s widow is seeking damages of around €20 million (“Art Adviser Fraud Tops €60 Million“).

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