A jurisdictional dispute reports that the painting that was considered the most expensive in the world so far was in fact sold for a much smaller amount than was previously stated.
It was found out that the Qatar museum department purchased a picture of Paul Gauguin "Nafea Faa Ipoipo?" for $ 210 million 3 years ago, which is $ 90 million less than originally reported.
The New York Times and other news agencies reported back in 2015 that the painting was sold to a buyer from Qatar for $ 300 million by Sotheby's representative, Rudolf Shtekelin. If this were a confirmed information, the canvas would become the most expensive in the world.
Prices for private sales of works of art are usually kept in secret, especially when the cost reaches astronomical level. However, Wednesday began with a trial in the High Court of London, where all deal aspects that had taken almost two years of negotiations were now disclosed.
In September 2014, Shtekelin sold the picture to a limited company run by British art dealer Guy Bennett on behalf of the Emir of Qatar named Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. According to the documents submitted to the court, the Swiss auctioneer Simon de Pury was involved in the transactions. De Puyre together with his wife Mikaela de Pury and their limited company sued Stechelyn, stating that he must pay a commission of $10 million for the sale.
Neither of sides had written agreement on the commission. De Pury's lawyer, Jonathan Cohen, wrote the following in the comment to the High Court last week:
It would be unusual to find some agreements that were made verbally, but this does not apply to an art market that continues to operate in a gentlemanlike manner based on mutual trust.
Shtekelin states that de Pury had deceived him about other higher offers for the painting, depriving any possible "gentlemanly" agreement or any other way.