The street british artist Banksy is to be found in spite of himself at the heart of an imbroglio in Belgium, where the justice has taken place under the receiver 58 of his works due to a lack of insurance, later discovered by an exhibitor in brussels. The information, revealed Thursday by the daily newspaper The Echo which has described the decision as”extremely rare”, has been confirmed on Friday by the lawyer of the centre Stanislas Eskenazi. “My client is a small charity that was only to make available an exhibition space. We wanted to protect in the face of a huge risk,” he said.
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The case is complex. The exhibition Banksy Unauthorized , opened in early November in the premises of Strokar, was, as its name indicates, organized without the consent of the artist. Already passed through several european cities, including Berlin, it was showing 58 works of a total value estimated at 15 million euros… paintings, photographs and silkscreen prints from for the most part of private collections, and compiled by Steve Lazarides, the former agent of Banksy with which the latter broke in 2009. Acting as a kind of intermediary, a company established in Germany, On Entertainment, had requested Strokar to expose in the belgian capital. The company in question claimed to benefit from the rights and permissions to show these works.
“My client is a small charity that was only a space of exposure”
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But the conditions under which the rights of exhibition have been granted? What about the insurance? Collectors and owners did they know where and how their works were traveling? These issues must now be resolved by the belgian courts in the coming months, in proceedings on the merits between Steve Lazarides and his company Lazinc to On Entertainment. According to Stanislas Eskenazi, the German firm did not want to produce the contracts of insurance of the works when Strokar he has requested then that the show was already in progress. “They said, “this is our problem, not yours,” says the lawyer.
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in the Face of these uncertainties and the risk of problems in the event of theft or damage,Strokara preferred type “in extreme urgency”, the court of commerce of Brussels. It has designated this week a bailiff to put the works under receivership. Thing made on Thursday. The works in question “appear to be exposed without the consent of the legitimate owners of rights on them” and “not regularly insured”, has justified the tribunal de commerce, according to The Echo . “There are reasons to fear for their integrity, so that it appears to be necessary to secure it more quickly”, he added.