• gerard van weyenbergh

Expert responsibility if a fake artwork is sold.

In cases relating to forgery, the responsibility of experts is frequently sought, all the more since the expert has, in principle, an obligation of "simple" means. Consequently, a failure on its part in the execution of its mission will involve its responsibility.

By way of illustration, an expert who fails to consult a reference work or who refrains from seeking the opinion of specialists who are authoritative in the matter will be held liable.

Besides, the expert is jointly liable for the allocation of the goods with the organizer of the sale. Thus, the condemned auction house can call in guarantee the expert who attributed the property to an artist.

The expert's responsibility is, therefore, almost flawless. Unless there are reservations about authenticity, an expert who wrongly assigns a work to an artist will bear joint liability with the auction house.

Finally, remember that in any event: "Any expert involved in the sale of furniture at public auction is required to take out insurance guaranteeing his professional liability."

On the responsibility of the seller of the work

Rarely but also possible, the responsibility of the seller of the work can also be sought.

In conclusion, proof of authenticity remains particularly difficult to provide or challenge. Seller, buyer, expert, auctioneer are thus brought to decide on the question, and everyone can see, ultimately, their responsibility engaged, and this, generally, after trial of several years, even decades. Jurisexpert.com