Popular auction site Catawiki has come under fire: “Stop offering valuable artifacts if their provenance is unclear” | outside

According to the police’s Art Crime Division and antiquities experts, the risk of illegality is high due to a lack of internal oversight and transparency. This is what Richard Bronswijk, head of the Art Crime Team, told “De Telegraaf”.

The reason for the alarm is the sentencing in May of a major Katawiki dealer to 4.5 years in prison for dealing in stolen art from ancient times.

The popular auction site is operated from Amsterdam and has an annual turnover of around 80 million euros. Belgian buyers also regularly find their way to Katawiki.

“The big problem with these relics is that it is difficult or impossible to know whether they were obtained legally,” says police chief Bronswijk in “De Telegraaf”. He points out, for example, that “a huge amount of things are illegally mined or exported in countries like Egypt or Iraq.” “Catawiki isn’t keen about clarity and source control.”

In a response to both the Dutch Gazette and the police, Katawiki indicated that she wanted to speak to the Art Crime Division to “hear specifically what might be going on and make any adjustments”. “There is zero tolerance for illegal trade in Katawiki,” he stressed.

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Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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