The Bouvier Affair: Jacqueline Picasso’s daughter enters the fray
In brief: On 25 February, Yves Bouvier, who owns Natural Le Coultre, the main operator of the Ports Francs in Geneva, Luxembourg, Singapore, and possibly also in the near future Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong, was arrested in Monaco during an investigation by Monaco’s judiciary. Dmitri Rybolovlev, President of AS Monaco, has filed a complaint on the grounds of information he received about possible fraud and price manipulation by the Swiss businessman.
Several weeks later, we were surprised to hear that the situation was more serious than it first seemed since Yves Bouvier was suspected of having over-invoiced the Russian billionaire on several colossal transactions*, making…READ MORE
Several weeks later, we were surprised to hear that the situation was more serious than it first seemed since Yves Bouvier was suspected of having over-invoiced the Russian billionaire on several colossal transactions*, making tens, or even hundreds of millions of Euros along the way. Yves Bouvier decided to resign as President of the board of directors of the Luxembourg Freeport, leaving one of his right-hand men, French art dealer Olivier Thomas to run things in his place.
Now, a new complaint has been laid by Catherine Hutin-Blay, the only daughter of the second wife of Pablo Picasso who heads a collection of several thousand works by the painter and was recently surprised to discover in photos published in the press that Dmitry Rybolovlev owned at least one of the paintings she inherited from her mother. She had placed the paintings in the hands of her trust advisor Oliver Thomas. The dealer, who owns the transport and warehousing company Art Transit International, had been commissioned by Catherine Hutin-Blay to transport and store several works from her collection in a safe warehouse in Gennevilliers. Upon checking, several of these could not be found, since they are apparently in the hands of the Russian magnate, who purchased them from – you guessed it – none other than Yves Bouvier.
We hope for Catherine Hutin-Blay’s sake (she was the victim of another big theft several years ago, in which 407 works from the 1930s to the 1970s were stolen by a certain Freddy, who had done some gardening for her – sounds very similar to the Le Guennec Affair, don’t you think?) that she will recover the works that Olivier Thomas is accused of stealing…
* Dmitri Rybolovlev supposedly purchased 37 paintings and sculptures for €2 billion via Yves Bouvier. The Swiss businessman’s premiums were supposed to be 2%, or a “mere” €40 million, but they sometimes hit 26%, as in the case of a Modigliani (Nu au coussin bleu, which sold for $118 million although the previous owner “only” made €93.5 million in the transaction, with Yves Bouvier taking $24.5 million en route.