The French artwork vendor and collector Giuliano Ruffini, who’s suspected to be the mastermind behind a sequence of solid Previous Masters that shook the artwork world, is seemingly on the run from police, in accordance with sources near the investigation in Italy and France. Ruffini, aged 77, has a warrant out for his arrest in Europe, launched in 2019 by Parisian choose Aude Burési who has led a seven-year investigation right into a sequence of allegedly solid Previous Masters work offered over latest many years for tens of tens of millions of euros.
However the arrest of the French artwork vendor had been delayed after the Italian excessive courtroom dominated it may solely be executed following the finalisation of a fiscal process in opposition to him. The Italian tax workplace had sought a €12m superb for undeclared enterprise offers, however Ruffini, who claimed he was a fiscal resident in international locations like Belgium or Malta, was cleared by the courtroom. The prosecution didn’t attraction the judgement, opening the best way for his arrest and switch to France. Nevertheless, in accordance with our sources, legislation enforcement authorities weren’t capable of finding him in his house within the mountains close to Reggio Emilia, he had disappeared and has not responded since to police summons.
Police appears to don’t know of his whereabouts or even when he’s nonetheless in Italy. The Artwork Newspaper discovered that his cellphone strains have been disconnected, and Ruffini has not replied to emails asking if he could be able to defend himself earlier than the French choose or if he was certainly on the run.
One in all Ruffini’s legal professionals in Paris tells The Artwork Newspaper that his consumer “is free to return and go and isn’t restricted by any authorized management or disposition”. However neither Ruffini, contacted by mail, nor his lawyer verify whether or not he’ll defend himself earlier than the French choose.
Giuliano Ruffini has at all times claimed his innocence, arguing that it was as much as the specialists to make attributions. Over the previous a number of many years, he offered dozens of work together with a Venus owned by the Prince of Liechtenstein and attributed to Cranach, and a Saint Cosmas belonging to the New York Alana Assortment, given to Bronzino. Each work had been returned to their house owners after being judged as fakes by authorized scientific examinations that discovered widespread traits with the opposite panels seized in Paris, attributed to Brueghel or Greco, all of which have an allegedly solid provenance.
Sotheby’s, which offered a Saint Jerome portray because the work of Parmigianino’s circle and a portrait then-attributed to Frans Hals, on behalf of the British vendor Mark Weiss, reached the identical conclusions when James Martin’s laboratory discovered traces of a twentieth century pigment below the paint layers. Each patrons of the work had been refunded. Beforehand, the Louvre, the Jacquemart André Museum in Paris, the Nationwide Gallery of London, the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, in addition to sellers and curators all through Europe, had all endorsed the authenticity of works offered by Ruffini.