Art dealer Mark Wies compensates Sotheby’s $ 4.2 million through a fake picture of Frans Hals


A picture that was falsified by Frans Hals. Photo: © Sotheby’s

London’s art dealer Mark Weiss will be forced to pay Sotheby’s $ 4.2 million to settle the dispute over the fake picture of Frans Hals.

The painting went through the hands of a French dealer, Giuliano Ruffini, involved in the sale of counterfeit works of old masters. Weiss and Sotheby’s succeeded in reaching a pre-trial agreement on the amount of compensation: Weiss will pay Sotheby’s $ 4.2 million “without any acknowledgment of responsibility,” other settlement conditions remain confidential.

Recall that in 2011, Sotheby’s acted as an intermediary in the private sale of the “Man’s Portrait” painting, which Mark Weiss previously bought from Julian Ruffini in conjunction with the Fairlight Arts Venture in London. In 2016, the picture was found to be false, and Sotheby’s returned to buyer Richard Hedren $ 11.2 million. Since then, Sotheby’s has been trying to charge that money from Weiss and Fairlight Arts Venture. Sotheby’s claim to Fairlight Arts Venture is under investigation. Weiss also has legal claims to Fairlight Arts Venture but refused to comment on them in a statement to the press.