The sale of a Portuguese collection of 85 works by the spanish Surrealist artist Joan Miró will go ahead now that a judge has overturned a ruling banning the export of the art. The judge stated yesterday that the works are not of ‘cultural heritage’ and therefore could leave the country for an auction at Christie’s in London. The Portuguese government will now squander the proceeds from the sale on public services and salaries, in the deficit ridden EU country. The funds raised from the sale will not be going to the arts.
Christie’s estimated the total value of the works of more than £30 million, showing it as “one of the largest and most impressive collections of the artist ever auctioned.” The works were seized by the government from a private bank that had gone under in 2008. The sale was first canceled in February after a court decision and again in late April by the Lisbon Administrative Court who blocked the collection’s sale.
Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s: “It is an honour to bring to the market such a comprehensive collection of works by Jean Miró, one of the great modern masters of the 20th century. Tracing Miró’s oeuvre across seven decades, the breadth of works to be offered provides an unparalleled opportunity for collectors at every price level to celebrate and engage with the creative genius and joyous immediacy of Miró’s work. Having held the inaugural standalone Dada and Surrealism sale in 1989 and established the first annual Art of the Surreal Sale in 2001, we have witnessed the exponential growth in global demand for works in this category, attracting new collectors each year, with Miró’s work in particular transcending traditional categories and appealing to both Impressionist & Modern Art and Post-War & Contemporary Art collectors.”