The Art Loss Register is delighted to announce that, as of this week, 100 auction houses are subscribing to its due diligence services.
This represents an increase of 50% in the number of auction houses checking their catalogues with the Art Loss Register in the last three years, reflecting the growing importance for art market professionals to carry out due diligence.
The Art Loss Register’s scope is worldwide, with subscribers based in the UK, USA, France, Norway, Austria and Holland, and with growing numbers from Germany, Switzerland and Italy. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of smaller and regional auction house subscribers. The Art Loss Register checks 400,000 items offered on the international art market each year, the majority of which are in auction catalogues.
The key benefit for auction houses of searching items with the Art Loss Register is that it significantly reduces the risk of selling items that are stolen or subject to a claim, and the reputational and financial risks associated with this.
For the victims of theft and insurers, the increase in the number of auction houses working with the Art Loss Register means that their chances of recovery are significantly improving.
Last year alone, the Art Loss Register located stolen items ranging from artworks by Matisse, Picasso, Warhol, Keith Haring and Anish Kapoor, to Rolex watches, tribal art, English furniture and Roman antiquities in the sale catalogues of auction houses.
James Ratcliffe, General Counsel and Director of Recoveries at the Art Loss Register said, “It is fantastic to see the huge increase in subscribing auction houses over the last three years. This is testament both to the hard work and skills of the whole team here at the ALR; and also the increasing recognition across the market of the need to carry out a recognised standard of due diligence on transactions. As a result, it is becoming more and more difficult for thieves to profit from the theft of art.”