2,000 Works to Bail Out Bankrupt Achenbach

Helge Achenbach.
Photo: Andreas Endermann via RP-Online.

Two thousand artworks and three classic cars, belonging to three companies owned by the disgraced German art advisor Helge Achenbach, will be put on the market, Die Welt has reported.

Achenbach’s companies went into administration after he was accused by the family of the late Aldi-supermarket heir Berthold Albrecht of marking up purchase invoices to earn higher commissions. The Albrecht family is seeking €19 million in damages (see “Fraud Claim Against Art Advisor”).

According to the DPAAchenbach’s three companies have accumulated debts of €40–50 million from around 100 creditors. The administrator Marc d’Avoine hopes that the sale of the artworks and the classic cars will generate €6.9 million. Achenbach’s personal collection, as well as his stake in the Rheingold collection, is not being sold.

The top 70 pieces, which are said to include works by Gerhard Richter, Peter Doig, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, and Jörg Immendorff, are due to go under the hammer in London as soon as February.

D’Avoine stressed that the art would be sold in several phases in order to prevent individual artist’s prices from plummeting; “This is not a sell off,” he insisted. The remaining works are to be auctioned in Germany and sold to institutions or private collections.

A 1952 Allard J2X Le Mans and a 1971 Rolls-Royce are also being put on the market. d’Avoine divulged that Achenbach’s classic Bentley, which once belonged to Joseph Beuys, had already been sold.

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