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sagi2016 ‘Act dispute paints a murky picture | The Times: “es nals Bo Apply now moro res Marge Mawes THE .$60cTIMES Art dispute paints a murky picture ‘ean base an ani ana 0 debe tounded yan Rade nd ut ay marsh Pal Chan ba abu provenance. Ces Britain's leading “art detective” has been accused of running mistresses on expenses while court documents have shone a light on an lustry where payments have allegedly been made to police offices to “oil the wheels” of painting recovery For two decades Julian Radcliffe, an Old Etonian who controls one of the most comprehensive databases of stolen art, has eriss-crossed, the globe tracing stolen treasures on behalf of the rightful owners. Court documents have shed light on this shadowy unregulated world: an industry in which criminals may be paid indirectly from insurers and the rightful owners to return the paintings that they stole, ‘Art crime is ranked as the third-highest-grossing criminal enterprise behind drugs and arms with figures suggesting that in Britain alone in 201g art and antiques worth more than £00 million were stolen from galleries and drawing rooms, ‘The allegations, which are denied by Mr Radelife, have emerged during legal dispute between the London-based International Art and Antiques Loss Register (ALR), founded by Mr Radcliffe, anda rival organisation set up by his former general counsel, Christopher Marinello Both operate databases that auction houses and dealers pay to consult to check if the Van Goghs or Matisses, for example, in their possession are clean. They also follow up leads in pursuit of missing masterpieces from the greatest artists in history. ‘Mr Radcliffe claims that Mr Mari-nello “set up a rival business by exploiting [ALR’s] confidential information and business opportunities”. He said that Mr Marinello's company had “unlawfully obtained a competitive advantage”. Mr Marinello denies the claims. He declined to comment. Mr Marinello is defending the claims and in his counterclaim alleges that Mr Radcliffe, who is married to Frances Raddlffe, chairwoman ‘of the Friends of Battersea Park, had been spending £10,000 a month on expenses partly to “pay for trips with his mistresses" ‘Three women, whose identity The Times has declined to reveal, are named in documents. Its claimed that Mr Radcliffe pretended that ‘one ofthe alleged mistresses was an employee of Christie's auction house whom he had to repay for staying in a private club, ‘Mr Marinello is alleging that his payments from the company were reduced because Mr Radcliffe did not work “fulltime in the best interests of the business”. He claims that while telling his staff he was working, Mr Radcliffe was “instead spending time with one or more ‘women who were not his wife” ‘Mr Radcliffe does not dispute that ALR has not made a profit for the past six years but denies having claimed £10,000 in expenses each ‘month, He described the allegations about the mistresses as “scandalous and abusive” and has filed a confidential schedule to the High (Court on these matters. ‘The High Court papers also disclose that an ALR board member, Simon Wood, wrote an email about how cash had been given to the City cof London police. The papers state that two members of the ALR board, Simon Wood and Erie Westropp, told Mr Marinello in August ‘aaxa.hat they were “aware of Mr Radcliffe’s practice of making payments to enablers, and Mr Wood wrote in an email of that date that he hhad been “involved with giving cash to the City of London police... to oil the wheels rather than constitute a bribe or a material reward” ‘The email exchange contained in the court papers do not explain what the alleged payment was for or how it was used by the City of London police. The force said that any allegations of corruption would be fully investigated, 4032016 ‘Aatispute paints a murky picture | The Times ‘Mr Wood declined to respond to a question about the payment while Mr Radcliffe’s solicitors said: “Neither Julian Radcliffe nor our client ALR] have paid money tothe City of London police or any other police force.” Police officers have questioned the techniques used by Mr Radcliffe’s company, with a senior French officer claiming that his business had created ‘a dishonest market in stolen art that flows from the thieves” Mr Radcliffe has admitted to operating a “Balkans Strategy” whereby payments were made for stolen artworks that "might ultimately be received by those who were responsible forthe theft. He said this “aimed to limit the powers of foreign criminal gangs in the stolen art market’ Mr Radcliffe also denied thatthe strategy of making payments “would have been regarded by reasonable people as ‘The counterclaim also alleges that he did not inform “the police, the oss adjuster, the insurance underwriter, or the victim” when his ‘company recognised that a painting being sold by Bonhams was stolen. The documents allege that he ordered a “kill” on the match because of the low value ofthe painting, and hence commission for the company. ‘Mr Radcliffe does not address this allegation directly in his response but has issued a blanket denial of the claims made during, proceedings. ‘Comments are subject to our community guidelines, which can be viewed here. comments (© Times Nevapagets ied 2x | Vein sen) Sued ningun Seas Repered es “ani Bridge Sree S908 Hyherut | Ewral Compa SS Cid aver | Bop oven | tric pit ibis | Esters Datig | ude Tne Wine Ch nag Cae Pr | Sodan Se p10 Terms Coins Coat Pan neal arn | ded tt | Roce Fe Peon snes The Tes | So es Teme eke rk mes Caton Seva Tees Pat sen Mandpoed akon