PARIS (Reuters) – A score by Mozart and a letter from Vincent Van Gogh are among hundreds of lots up for grabs this month in auctions of items by composers, artists and writers.
They are going under the hammer in Paris as part of a series of sales aimed at liquidating a 130,000-item collection of art, music and literary works put together by French group Aristophil, which was set up in 1990 and raised funds from investors in exchange for a share in the pieces.
The group went bankrupt in 2015 and Aristophil founder Gerard Lheritier has put under investigation for fraud, a charge he has denied.
The first sale took place in December and the next round kicks off this week, with the Mozart score estimated to fetch between 120,000 euros and 150,000 euros ($141,500 to $177,000) and a letter with illustrations from Van Gogh to his friend Anthon van Rappard seen selling at around 250,000-300,000 euros.
“The market is awaiting these sales because Aristophil bought everything for several years,” Claude Aguttes of Aguttes auctioneers said.
“Now all of these works are available again, so people are happy first to be able to see them at various exhibitions and then to bid on them and maybe acquire them.”
Reporting by Aline Bottin; Editing by Alison Williams