Lempertz Appoints Henri Moretus Plantin de Bouchot As Managing Director of Brussels Branch
The German auctioneers are strengthening abroad.
The German auction house Kunsthaus Lempertz has appointed Henri Moretus Plantin de Bouchot as director of the company’s Brussels branch.
The 49-year-old Belgian has over 10 years experience in auctions, most recently as founder and managing director of his own auction house, specializing in comics.
Having recently undergone extensive renovation Lempertz’s Brussels headquarters on the historic Rue du Grand Cerf, Moretus has expressed his desire to transform the heritage listed building into a center for exhibitions, concerts, and conferences.
“We have appointed a man who’s very well known in Brussels,” Lempertz managing director Killian Jay von Seldeneck told artnet News in a telephone interview. “Henri is deeply rooted in the Flemish and French collector’s community, and we hope to be perceived as a Belgian auction house in Brussels,” he added.
The appointment comes amid a time of uncertainty in the German art market due to the changing legal framework surrounding the country’s cultural heritage protection legislation. According to von Seldeneck, the house is seeking to strengthen its presence abroad, starting with the appointment of a well-known Belgian auctions expert.
“Other German auction houses are looking abroad for places to conduct their auctions for older, and ancient artworks,” von Seldeneck added. “Lempertz is in the fortunate position of already having a branch in Brussels, so we don’t have to look for anything.”
According to Moretus Plantin de Bouchot the most pressing matter will be to establish the house in a competitive local auction market. “I think first we have to establish the name Lempertz in Brussels,” he said. “There is lots of competition here in Brussels and across the border in Paris for example, and we need to raise the house’s profile. That is the first phase.”
However the auctioneer is optimistic. “We had a pre-sale exhibition recently at the headquarters which was attended by four, five hundred visitors. We have to do more events like this to promote the name in Belgium.”
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