In 2021, while cleaning out their home in Montpellier, a retired couple found several antiques, including: an ancient mask from Gabon. The couple asked an antiques dealer for an appraisal and eventually sold the African mask to him for €150, happy to make money on a “worthless” piece.
They thought it was garbage. Now they are going to court with the trafficker
However, the price offered by the dealer was not consistent with the actual value of the mask. After some time, the elderly people saw their mask at an auction. The antiquarian sold it in March 2022 for… 4.2 million euros (more than 19 million Polish zlotys).
It turns out that the retirees had been keeping an ultra-rare copy of a 19th-century Fang tribe ceremonial mask in their attic for years.Which was once an inspiration for great artists such as Pablo Picasso. “There are only a dozen or so pieces worldwide In Museums and Collections,” Insider reports.
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See also: Series of Discoveries in Janow Podlaski. Precious relics excavated from the ground
Now the pensioners are suing the dealer for 5.2 million euros On the pretext of defrauding them by concealing knowledge of the value of the commodity.
Court records show that the seller did not display the item in his store, But he contacted several auction houses. He had a feeling everyone was underselling the mask and finally the mask was radiocarbon dated. Only this made it possible to estimate its true value.
The couple also claims that the dealer also approached their gardenerTo obtain more information about their families and origins and to verify the authenticity of the work before consulting auction houses. Then he had to share the money with the gardener.
The court of first instance sided with the merchant, The couple was ordered to pay approximately $3,200 in restitution and court costs. However, the couple appealed the ruling and the case remains open. The Court of Appeal temporarily obtained the money from the sale of the mask.
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