Saturday, August 29, 2015

Aristophil's manuscripts to be sold

ALLEGED DSS PONZI SCHEME UPDATE: Rare manuscripts to be sold as world’s largest private collection is liquidated. Bank gets €28m from sale of Paris mansion (VINCENT NOCE, Art market news).
Aristophil, the scandal-hit French company that amassed the world’s largest private collection of manuscripts, has been liquidated and its stock will be put up for sale. The 5 August judgment in the Commercial Court, Paris, was based on its “complete insolvency”.

The company’s accounts were frozen in November 2014 by state prosecutors, who described Aristophil as a type of Ponzi scheme (in which existing investors are paid by new investors, rather than out of profits). A mansion owned by the company in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, was sold in July for around €28m, the proceeds of which went to Aristophil’s bank, Société Générale.


Aristophil has an inventory of 54 manuscript collections (around 135,000 documents), in which nearly 18,000 investors bought shares. These include fragments from the Dead Sea scrolls, medieval illuminated manuscripts and the Marquis de Sade’s 120 days of Sodom (1785).

Background here.