5 Apr 2017

Art Loss Register's services to Art Financers

Falcon Fine Art profile their collaboration with the ALR in financing art loans

Art financing – where individuals release money tied up in their art collections – is becoming increasingly attractive to collectors who want to maximise the value, but do not want to sell their artworks.

For the collector, art financing really does make it that simple. For the lender, however, there are some risks. The art market is complex and the spiralling values can make it vulnerable to fraud, theft, and forgery. The lender must not only determine the value of the artwork in a fluctuating market, but they must also be certain that the art itself is authentic, was purchased legitimately, and has never been stolen. What’s more, it is essential the lender researches the war-time provenance of the artwork, when many works were looted or illegally sold.

These are merely the basic requirements. If, like Falcon Fine Art, you allow collectors to keep financed artwork on display, rather than in storage, you must also look into a host of factors including where and how the art is displayed, whether it will be exhibited, and, of course, the likelihood of it being moved without the lender’s knowledge.

Thankfully, art financiers have an excellent tool at their disposal to supplement their research and due diligence: the Art Loss Register (ALR).

The ALR, founded in 1990, is the world’s largest private database of stolen art, antiques, and collectibles. It currently lists over 500,000 items registered by theft victims, insurance companies, and police forces worldwide, including Interpol, as well as the public-facing FBI and Carabinieri databases. It also holds records of reported fakes and forgeries; and items which are subject to a legal dispute or court order. The ALR checks over 400,000 items each year against its database, including: the lots in the sale catalogues of over 100 global and regional auction houses; the artworks offered for sale at 15 major art fairs; the transactions of collectors, galleries, dealers, museums, pawnbrokers and banks; and the objects submitted for investigation by law enforcement agencies. By means of these checks the ALR is able to identify and locate the items registered on its database, and prevent their further sale on the market. Checking artworks against the ALR means art financiers are alerted to stolen items or possible fakes, and can avoid lending against items which may not allow the transfer of good title.

Checking artworks against the ALR is not the only way to take advantage of its offering. Registering a collateralized artwork on the ALR means an art financier can be alerted if an artwork appears on the open market without the financier’s or lender’s knowledge.

 Certainly, the success of art financing relies not just on financing knowledge and art expertise, but also due diligence – a process that is extremely complicated, but much less daunting thanks to the Art Loss Register.


Find out more:

See the original article here.

To learn more about Falcon Fine Art, visit their website.

To learn more about the ALR's services to Art Lenders, contact us.