Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Reputable and responsible" dealer faces deportation

London-based antiquities dealer, Malcolm Hay is facing deportation to Greece (Dalya Alberge, "D-day looms for antiquities dealer facing jail in Greece", The Guardian February 7, 2011). Alberge writes:
Malcolm Hay, 60, an Oxford-educated trader who has sold antiquities to museums worldwide, was arrested in 2007 – eight years after he sold broken pottery pieces to the dealer.

He claims the trader, who bought hundreds of shards from him, used his invoice falsely as "whitewashing" for valuable unprovenanced items that were later found in her shop by Greek police.
The story has appeared in the mainstream London press before (Richard Edwards and Jackie Williams, "I sold junk. Now I face four years in Greek jail, says antiques dealer", The Daily Telegraph August 28, 2010 [online version]).
Mr Hay showed The Daily Telegraph the invoice of the transaction at the centre of the claims by Greek authorities.
It shows that on July 15, 1999, he sold a female trader from Athens 582 pieces of pot and other small items for £1,800. He said he bought them at fairs and described the artefacts as "junk".
Hay was detained when he flew into London City Airport ("Greek court gives UK dealer three years in prison", Antiques Trade Gazette March 23, 2009).
... he described how, on July 14, 2007, returning to London’s City Airport from abroad, he was told that there was a problem with his passport. It turned out to be a delaying tactic while the police were alerted. After an hour’s wait, officers armed with automatic weapons arrived and told Mr Hay that he was the subject of an EAW [European Arrest Warrant]. He was handcuffed and taken to Stratford police station where he was held for two days in the cells and then taken before an extradition tribunal.
An earlier account appears here: "Greek courts use anti-terror rules in bid to have dealer extradited", Antiques Trade Gazette February 18, 2008.

Rick Witschonke revealed in a comment (September 2, 2010) to Paul Barford's blog that the Athens dealer was "Ms. Patrikiades". This was confirmed in a statement to the Antiques Trade Gazette ("Dealer facing four years in a Greek jail appeals over lack of evidence", November 22, 2010).
Mr Hay's case centres on a transaction between him and Athens-based antiquities dealer Anna Patrikiadou, a regular client of his, dating to 1999.

According to Mr Hay, he issued Mrs Patrikiadou with an invoice for a small number of minor artefacts and broken pieces which he sold to her for £1880 when she visited him in London. She took the items away in two small packages weighing a total of around 15 kilos, he told the court through his lawyers.

In her evidence, however, Mrs Patrikiadou said the invoice referred to a much larger consignment of artefacts she bought from Mr Hay, valued at more than 190,000 euros at 1999 prices. It was this that the Greek authorities seized from her Athens gallery in 2000, a year after it had been given the all-clear by the Inspectorate of Antiquities Sales. She would have needed to get clearance in order to acquire a licence to sell the items



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