Saturday, April 9, 2016

“Panama Papers”: search in Geneva in search of Modigliani – The World

The canvas & quot; Man sitting (leaning on a cane) & quot; Modigliani, is at the heart of a legal battle between a family despoiled during the war and an art dealer.

According to our information, the prosecution s’ interested in a painting by Modigliani, The man sitting leaning on a cane . A painting valued at $ 25 million, the “Panama papers” would have revealed the true owner, art collector David Nahmad, according to a survey of the World and Sunday Morning published Friday by the Tribune de Genève . Contacted, the Crown had wished to make no comment.

The “Panama papers’ three-point

  • The world and 108 other newsrooms in 76 countries, coordinated by the International Consortium of investigative journalists (ICIJ), had access to a wealth of new information that cast a harsh light on the opaque world of offshore finance and tax havens.
  • 11.5 million files from the archives of the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca, specialist domiciliation of offshore companies between 1977 and 2015. This is the biggest leak information never exploited by the media.
  • “Panama papers” reveal that in addition to thousands of anonymous numerous heads of state, billionaires, big names in sports, celebrities or personalities within the scope of international sanctions have used offshore arrangements to conceal their assets


Read the survey of “World” “Panama papers” documents reveal the true owner of a Modigliani disappeared

Acquired in 1996 in an auction at Christie’s in London, the picture would be the property of International Art Center (IAC), an offshore company registered in Panama. Since 2009 he is at the center of an international controversy, he was plundered during World War II. So says the Canadian Mondex Corp, specialized in the hunt for looted objects. Which seized the US court in 2011 on behalf of Philippe Maestracci, a French farmer, grand-son of the owner allegedly looted by the Nazis, Oscar Stettiner.

So far, the US court was not failed to establish the true identity of the owner of the work. The Nahmad family would always have defended the picture, explaining that his exclusive owner was IAC. Supporting documentation, Le Matin Dimanche says that today the sole owner of IAC, created in 1995 by the firm Mossack Fonseca, is none other than David Nahmad since January 2014.

If the real owner of the painting was a mystery until these revelations, the presence of the work to the Ports francs has long been known: the company Rodolphe Haller has already told the US court that she was storing on behalf of IAC. Moreover, a source close to the matter, “the picture came out four or five times frank Ports to be shown in public exhibitions” . The question of who it really belongs therefore does not seem decisive in establishing its spoliation.

But the mystery surrounding the identity of the owner once again raises the issue of market transparency of Art, like Ports francs. Unlike financial intermediaries, art dealers are not subject to the law on money laundering. So they do not have the obligation to identify the beneficial owners of the works. No more than elsewhere francs Ports: despite a recent tightening of regulations, only the identity of the owner must be on the mandatory inventory for each stored object

A deficiency.? Director of Ports Francs de Genève, Alain Decrausaz wants more transparency to this universe : “Firstly, I advocate that from a certain value, the works of art are provided with a passport indicating not only the transactions they have been, but also their owners and assigns successive right. On the other hand, we expect the Swiss legislature that requires users free ports to know the beneficiaries of the works. For now, the requirements are limited to the identity of the owner, but business like this perhaps will accelerate the agenda, including in relevant international bodies such as the FATF. “

Alexis Favre (


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