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Two meetings between members of the French trade association Syndicat National des Antiquaires were held earlier last week when the issue was discussed.

A spokesperson for the Biennale press office would not confirm the two long-term exhibitors had been barred but said a statement would be released shortly “explaining what exactly is happening with these two galleries and the policy of the [fair] on this issue”. Neither gallery was available for comment when contacted by ATG.

As reported last week, Laurent Kraemer of the Kraemer Gallery and Bill Pallot, furniture specialist at Didier Aaron & Cie, were taken into custody on June 7 as part of an ongoing investigation by French police into the fabrication of 18th century furniture. Both face charges relating to the sale of copies to the French national collection. A third unnamed man, a craftsman, was also arrested.

Kraemer, released on bail, has denied the allegations and says he bought and sold items in good faith. Pallot, who was detained, is reported to have admitted to the fabrication of royal seating furniture but only as “an intellectual challenge”.

The French Ministry of Culture have since issued a press release confirming chairs purchased for a total of €2.7m between 2008 and 2012 are forming part of an investigation including a pair of giltwood stools ‘by François Foliot (1720-61)’ acquired from Aaron  and two of four chairs ‘by Louis Delanois’ acquired in 2008 from Kraemer.

The Ministry promised a full enquiry  into acquisition procedures for all items entering national museums.