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Famed Swiss Couple accused of cheating Sotheby’s

According to a report by the New York Post, The Sotheby’s auction house has taken a Florida art seller and his wife to the court and has demanded a compensation of $7 million and legal fees. This turn of events occurs after Sotheby claims that the couple, well known in the art circles in France, sold a piece of art that Sotheby’s alleges to be fake. The work was sold as renowned sculptor and painter Diego Giacometti’s creation.

Giacometti’s grandiose and imaginative animal figurines that drew from the mythological and dream-like world that he created for himself during his childhood. These works have been exhibited at museums across France. Giacometti, who died in 1985, was the younger brother of and collaborator with the famed artist Alberto Giacometti.


Dealers Frederic Thut and wife Bettina Von Marnitz Thut committed a “brazen fraudulent scheme,” Sotheby’s claims in an Aug. 3 Manhattan Federal Court filing. The Thuts, who own Fine Art Auctions Miami, delivered seven artworks that they claimed were made by Giacometti to Sotheby’s between 2016 and 2017. The New York Post reports that the business deal took place after the couple claimed to have purchased a large collection of the artist’s work. Sotheby’s sold the art for millions, but learned in 2018 that an independent expert employed by a client found the pieces to be bogus.


Sotheby’s hired a handwriting analyst, who “determined that the provenance documents were forgeries,” according to the suit, The New York Post reports. Sleuths also obtained additional documents that threw light on the alleged fraud. Though Sotheby’s reimbursed buyers, the Thuts have not refunded the money they made, Sotheby’s claims. Neither Sotheby’s nor the Thuts were available for comment, says The New York Post.