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Art Market & You : THE NIRAV MODI SCAM

The Nirav Modi Scam

Through Art Market & You, Art From Us provides you with Analysis, Opinion and Factual Reports regarding the current on-goings of the Global Art Market. In this article, we explore the Nirav Modi Scam.

Billionaire businessman turned fugitive overnight. Nirav Modi, the well known Indian diamond merchant was arrested in London on 19th March, 2019 for fraud, money laundering and several other criminal charges relating to the Punjab National Bank case. Modi allegedly embezzled the bank of $2 billion. For repair and recovery, the tax recovery office of the Indian Income Tax department is auctioning off Modi’s art collection through Saffron Art.

Liquifying in Times of Trouble

Its a story that repeats itself periodically in the art world. A major scandal surrounding a multi-billion dollar business breaks out and the art collection is the first to go. However, in the hustle bustle of it all, mustn’t we consider the impact of such sales on the art market and the market of the artist.

Collection Highlights

Discreetly keeping the scandal out of the auction, Saffron art has called the exhibition Modern and Contemporary Indian Art, with a Selection of Contemporary Chinese Paintings. Modi’s name has been strictly kept out of any press material for the sale. The live auction is being held simply ‘on behalf of tax recovery officer’.

Modi’s entire collection is valued at about $5 million, amassed over 2 decades. Here are a few highlights :

F N Souza’s 1987 painting has a pre-sale estimate of Rs 4,00,000 – 6,00,000.

K K Hebbar’s Wish Fulfilling Tree holds a pre-sale estimate of about Rs 40,00,000 – 50,00,000.

Akbar Padamsee’s Grey Nude is valued at a pre-sale estimate of Rs 1,50,00,000 – 2,00,00,000.

The auction will be held on 26th March, 2019. Watch this space for more updates!


To read more on facts and opinions, visit Art Market & You.

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