Are super-yachts the best places to keep your art collection?

In theory, works are no more at risk on a super-yacht, where temperature, humidity and light are maintained by a full-time crew of up to 50 people, than in a house.

This summer, the mega-yacht Equanimity, belonging to the 36-year-old Malaysian businessman Jho Low, was first seized in Bali. Low, who is now a fugitive, is accused of stealing billions from his country's sovereign wealth fund 1MBD and using the money to buy real-estate and yachts, as well as an art collection that at one point contained a $39m painting by Basquiat as well as works by Van Gogh, Monet, Calder and Rothko. "We don't know if valuable art was on the yacht," Watson says. "But the insurance brokers probably do."

In a similar case, Vijay Mallya, the former chairman of India's largest brewer, who has also been charged with financial misconduct, had his yacht -- the Indian Empress -- seized in Malta. Although the boat was sold in September for €35m, a number of items that were on board, including valuable paintings, were spirited away before they could also be seized, according to Watson.

Such cases raise interesting questions in a world where yachts, often with a complex web of ownerships, transport valuable art from one jurisdiction to another. In 2015, for example, French customs officers seized Picasso's Head of a Young Woman (1906) from Adix, the Spanish billionaire Jaime Botín's yacht. Although it was moored in Corsica, He argued that it was sailing under a British flag and was thus in the UK's jurisdiction, but this held no sway with Spain's judges, who deemed the work a national treasure and Adix subject to Spanish law.

Hoist the Black. Also, apropos of nothing, Rhode Island school district hires collection agency over unpaid lunches. "The district lunch program cannot continue to lose revenue," Votto wrote.

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2 Responses:

  1. MattyJ says:

    I picture a gang of Nelson Muntzes running around Rhode Island schools shaking down kids for their lunch money and giving half of it to the district.

  2. Elusis says:

    Does operating a guillotine on a yacht violate international maritime law? Asking for a friend.

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