Ex-banker's artwork returned to Brazil

  • September 22, 2010 12:53

  • Email
Roy Lichtenstein's "Modern Painting with Yellow Interweave"

The US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York returned two seized paintings to Brazil on Tuesday. Part of a large collection smuggled into the U.S. in 2006, Roy Lichtenstein's "Modern Painting with Yellow Interweave"  and "Figures dans une structure" by Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres García were among the assets of fraudulent Brazilian banker Edemar Cid Ferreira.

After Ferreira's Banco Santos collapsed under $1 billion debt, he was sentenced to 21 years in prison. Brazilian authorities went to claim his assets only to find out his art collection included works missing from museums and that about $30 million worth of art had disappeared.

Some of Ferreira's artwork was eventually smuggled into the U.S. under false artist's names and with understated values on invoices. A Basquait titled "Hannibal," for example, estimated to be worth upwards of $4 million, entered U.S. customs with a value of $100.

An art dealer in Connecticut tipped Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents when the artwork came to be shopped around the East Coast, according to NBCNewYork.

Collectors and dealers unwittingly purchased Ferreira-owned paintings, including the Lichtenstein which Los Angeles-based Ace Gallery sold to the collector Seth Landsberg. U.S. authorities seized the work in 2008 when it turned up at Sotheby's, according to WNYC.

Landsberg then lost his claim to the artwork when the U.S. government took ownership of the painting, returning it to Brazil on Sept. 21.

Pedro Vieera Abramovay, Brazil's National Secretary of Justice, says the paintings will be publicly displayed and then sold to help reimburse the victims of Ferreira's fraud.
The forfeiture of Basquait's "Hannibal" and two other artworks are under appeal.

  • Email

More News Feed Headlines

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) Sunset, 1830-5.

After 13 Years, ARTFIXdaily to Cease Daily News Service

  • ArtfixDaily / August 15th, 2022

ARTFIXdaily will end weekday e-newsletter service after 13 years of publishing art world press releases, events and ...

Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Critical Mass, 2002 (Courtesy of the Cheech Marin Collection and Riverside Art Museum).

Inaugural Exhibition at The Cheech Highlights Groundbreaking Chicano Artists

  • ArtfixDaily / July 7th, 2022

One of the nation’s first permanent spaces dedicated to showcasing Chicano art and culture opened on June ...

Jacob Lawrence,.  .  .  is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?—Patrick Henry,1775 , Panel 1, 1955, from Struggle: From the History of the American People, 1954–56, egg tempera on hardboard.  Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross.  © 2022 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Crystal Bridges Explores the U.S. Constitution Through Art in New Exhibition 'We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy'

  • ArtfixDaily / July 7th, 2022

Original print of the U.S. Constitution headlines exhibition sponsored by Ken Griffin (who purchased it for $43.2 ...

Salvador Dalí (1904–1989), Christ of St John of the Cross, 1951, oil on canvas © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Dalí / El Greco Side-by-Side Exhibit Prompts: 'Are They Really Paintings of the Same Thing?'

  • ArtfixDaily / July 6th, 2022

From July 9 to December 4, 2022, The Auckland Project in the U.K. will unite two Spanish masterpieces from British ...