Prominent Swiss Art Dealer Confesses to Homicide

His motive remains unknown.

The village of Küsnacht where the homicide took place, taken from Lake Zürich Photo: Roland Zh via Wikimedia Commons
The village of Küsnacht where the homicide took place, taken from Lake Zürich
Photo: Roland Zh via Wikimedia Commons

A member of a prominent Swiss art dealing family has confessed to the killing of a 23-year-old man at a villa in the affluent village of Küsnacht on Zürich’s gold coast. According to numerous reports, the death occurred in the early morning hours of December 30 at the suspect’s parents’ home. The suspect, whose father is an art dealer, opened his own gallery several years ago. At the time of the incident, the family was reportedly on vacation in the alpine region of Graubünden, which contains the resort towns of St. Moritz and Davos, among others.

The 29-year-old suspect reportedly called police at around 7 AM, telling them that there was a severely injured individual laying on his floor. The young man was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived on the scene and the caller was placed in custody. Shortly thereafter, the suspect proffered what has been characterized as a “general confession” to the crime.

State prosecutor Alexander Knauss told 20 Minuten on Monday that the suspect remains in custody. He confirmed that the pair were acquainted and that, at this time, his investigators do not believe that a romantic relationship existed between them. According to sources who spoke to artnet News on the condition of anonymity, the suspect and victim had studied together in London.

Details regarding the exact circumstances surrounding the victim’s death remain under investigation. According to one neighbor, loud music could be heard coming from the villa at approximately 6 AM, or around one hour before the police were called, when the neighbor’s husband was leaving for work. She claimed that parties often occurred at the house when the parents were out of town. Police have neither confirmed if other individuals were present at the time of the homicide, nor if drugs were involved. According to reports, the victim is believed to have died due to severe head trauma following an argument.

Both the 29-year-old’s and his father’s galleries are located on the prominent Bahnhofstrasse in Zürich’s city center. The son specializes in Pop and street art on both the primary and secondary market, offering works by artists not officially represented by the gallery such as Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, and John Chamberlain. The son’s gallery website has been taken down. The family has declined various media outlets’ request for comment regarding the alleged homicide.


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