The saga concludes in the trial of German art adviser Helge Achenbach that began in December – after the 62-year-old was accused of defrauding one of the country’s richest families of tens of millions in the sales of paintings and vintage cars, resulting in estimated damages of €23 million. A district court in Düsseldorf ruled on Tuesday that German art adviser must pay €19.4 million in damages to the heirs of Aldi Supermarket heir Berthold Albrecht, the DPA reports.
The ruling culminates a civil court case brought against Achenbach following allegations that he defrauded Albrecht of up to €23 million. The art adviser is also part of a criminal trial, taking place in Essen, in which he has given partial confessions.
Meanwhile, German auction house Van Ham has won the rights to sell artworks still owned by the adviser’s bankrupt company, Achenbach Art Consulting. The consignment follows extensive negotiations with administrator Marc d’Avoine and the company’s creditors. The sales will take place in June 2015.
Sotheby’s has also secured around 100 pieces from the collection, which will be auctioned in New York. Achenbach’s company filed for bankruptcy following the fraud allegations – according to news sources.
The collection is said to include around 1,600 pieces. According to a statement; Van Ham is due to sell around 100 pieces at an evening sale in Cologne, including artworks by artists such as Jörg Immendorff, Markus Lüpertz, Joseph Beuys, and Georg Baselitz. The remaining 1,400 pieces will go under the hammer at two separate day auctions in Düsseldorf.
Estimates for the works from the collection are varied but could reach many millions. The works on offer range from small-format prints to large-scale canvases.