Swiss billionaire’s enforced art collection auction halted

Billionaire Schwarzenbach has a string of court hearings behind him. © Keystone / Walter Bieri

The auction of a Swiss billionaire’s art collection has been cancelled at the last minute after a CHF6 million ($6.5 million) tax evasion penalty was settled.

This content was published on June 21, 2021 - 13:40

The Swiss courts had previously found Urs Schwarzenbach guilty of evading taxes by illegally importing works of art into the country.

The authorities had seized 158 works of art from his collection, including some that were hanging in the prestigious Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich, which the Swiss financier owns.

The works, including those by Gerhard Richter, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and the Russian gold and silversmith Fabergé, were due to be sold off on Tuesday.

But the auction was cancelled the day before the billionaire’s collection was due to go under the hammer.

Schwarzenbach has always denied wrongdoing but lost his most recent court case in March.

He is still being pursued by the Swiss authorities for further millions for the art import scam that took place between 2008 and 2013.

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