Photo London
Photo London at Somerset House. Photo by Graham Carlow.

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Photo fair snaps September date

Photo London Digital is to go ahead this autumn with exhibitors from 14 countries. The Somerset House event will take place on September 9-12 with the digital element running alongside and then ongoing until September 28. It will be accompanied by a public programme of events and exhibitions.

Greek National Gallery recovery

Two paintings stolen from Greece’s National Gallery in 2012 have been recovered and a builder has confessed to the crime, according to Reuters. The Pablo Picasso oil Woman’s Head was donated to the gallery by the artist himself in 1949.

Greece’s culture minister Lina Mendoni said it was especially important “as the great painter personally dedicated it to the Greek people for their struggle against fascist and Nazi (occupying) forces and bears his hand-written dedication”.

An early oil by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, Stammer Mill with Summer House from 1905, was also recovered. However, a third work taken from the gallery, a sketch by Italian painter Guglielmo Caccia, is said to have been destroyed

Police arrested the 49-year-old site worker who is said to have admitted to the theft.

Portuguese buyer under investigation

A leading Portuguese art collector and museum owner is being investigated for money laundering and fraud.

Joe Berardo, 76, was detained by the public prosecutors’ office and police last week. He has been under scrutiny in relation to a series of loans received from Portuguese banks.

The banks seized the art collection from the Museu Colecao Berardo in Lisbon in 2019 as collateral and handed over the safeguarding of the works to the state.

The museum continues to operate. Berardo, who owns other collections, is expected to appear before a judge in due course.

‘Risks and action’ guidance for AMPs

HM Revenue and Customs has issued new guidance for Art Market Participants (AMPs) in connection with the 5th Money Laundering Directive (known as 5MLD)

The new guidance ‘Understanding Risks and Taking Action for art market participants businesses’ can be found on the government website.

5MLD took effect on January 10 2020, requiring auction houses, galleries and dealerships to conduct stricter due diligence on buyers who purchase works of art above a threshold of €10,000 (including linked transactions).

The regulation requires AMPs – anyone trading in or acting as an intermediary in the trade of works of art that sell for above the threshold – to register and a pay a fee with HMRC by June 10.

A rock and roller and other hires

Howard Kramer

Howard Kramer of Bonhams.

Howard Kramer has joined Bonhams as senior specialist for popular culture.

He joins from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where he was curatorial director. He is author of The Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Rock and is a recognised authority on the history of rock and roll as well as the roots and branches of American music and popular culture.

Mark Holder

Mark Holder of Hansons.

Hansons Auctioneers has hired toy expert Mark Holder.

Based at the firm’s Staffordshire saleroom, Bishton Hall he will lead its new Country House Toy Nostalgia auctions – the first on July 10. A specialist in model railways he has been a dealer for a number of years.

Lee Scrambler

Lee Scambler of 1818 Auctions.

Cumbria firm 1818 Auctioneers has appointed Lee Scambler as a new saleroom assistant.

He joins the 15-strong team at a time when the firm has increased its fortnightly sales to deal with the quantity of consignments since the easing of lockdown.

Most read

The most viewed stories for week June 24-30 on

1 Pick of the week: £220,000 for enigmatic faces of the Interregnum

2 Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield calls for help to recover stolen silver

3 Calling jewellery dealers to take part in new ITV show

4 Mouseman powder bowl stars in our pick of five auction highlights

5 German all-time auction record: Sino-Tibetan bronze takes €9.5m bid at Nagel

In Numbers


The percentage of responders to the biennial Society of London Art Dealers’ survey who said they feared that Brexit would leave them worse off. Only 4% thought that it would make things better. More than a third suggested that the Government should use the opportunity to abolish import VAT.