Is Mr. Rybolovlev K.O. in Billion $ art lawsuit? Not so fast

In early 2015, Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, living in Monaco , filed a complaint against Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier. He accuses him of having pocketed without his knowledge a billion dollars by selling him during a dozen years 38 paintings by Gauguin , Van Gogh , Picasso , Rothko. Bouvier sold him also the Salvator Mundi , by Leonardo da Vinci , which became in 2017, for 450 million dollars, the most expensive canvas in the world. On February 25, 2015, Yves Bouvier, imprisoned for a few days, was indicted in Monaco for “swindling” and “complicity in money laundering”. The international press - and in particular French - was then unleashed on Yves Bouvier, presenting him in particular as the owner of the Free Ports of Geneva, whereas these belong, in fact, to the canton of Geneva. He is only one of the users. Another complaint, filed just after, by Catherine Hutin-Blay, Picasso's daughter-in-law, accuses him of having stolen paintings from her! Since then, investigations have shown that Catherine Hutin-Blay has indeed received money from Yves Bouvier via a foundation belonging to her, domiciled in Liechtenstein. In contrast, the media turned a blind eye to Dmitry Rybolovlev's controversial past in Russia, especially his industrial acquisitions, which have allowed him to accumulate billions. The Swiss art dealer is whitewashed The most improbable in this affair, which upset the international art market, is that at no time was the boss of AS Monaco soccer club able to provide proof that Yves Bouvier had genuinely swindled him. Admittedly, the latter sometimes realized copious margins between the purchase of works of art and their resale. But is it a deception when a mechanic buys a car for 15,000 euros and sells it to you the next day for 22,000 euros? Except that these are transactions involving millions. In 2019, the fraud procedure was canceled in Monaco . The Court of Appeal noted that “all the investigations were conducted partially and unfairly”. The former Minister of Justice and the former Minister of the Interior of Monaco are implicated and several senior police officers. Dmitri Rybolovlev and his lawyer are suspected of having commissioned the investigations carried out by Monaco justice and police. On September 15 2021, Geneva justice rejected the charge of fraud on the sale of dozens of masterpieces sold by Yves Bouvier to the Russian oligarch. Swiss prosecutor Yves Bertossa underlines that the behavior of Yves Bouvier is "largely criticizable". But he underlines that Rybolovlev false claims "were supported by the production of false documents or by complex unverifiable arrangements". Dmitri Rybolovlev, in a statement, announced that he was lodging an appeal with the Criminal Appeals Chamber. This summer, he had already filed another appeal, in denial of justice, to denounce the "passivity" of prosecutor Yves Bertossa. It is Yves Bouvier's turn this time to turn against his former client to claim hundreds of millions from him. Since 2015, this affair has put an end to his activity as an art dealer. Article read in Le Point Culture Video about Geneva 'Ports Francs", extraordinary documentary link

Is Mr. Rybolovlev K.O. in Billion $ art lawsuit? Not so fast

In early 2015, Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, living in Monaco , filed a complaint against Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier. He...