ERROR REGARDING WORK OF ART

Supreme Court of Appeal
Civil Division 1

Public hearing on February 27, 2007 Cassation


Appeal No.: 02-13420
Published in the Newsletter Chair: Mr. Ancel

FRENCH REPUBLIC
ON BEHALF OF THE FRENCH PEOPLE


ON BEHALF OF THE FRENCH PEOPLE

THE COURT OF APPEALS, FIRST CIVIL DIVISION, made the following ruling:

Joint No. D appeals 02-13420 and No. 03-21179 G are related;

The first plea in his first part of the appeal No. 02-13420 D:

Having regard to Article 1110 of the Civil Code, together with Article 2 of Decree No. 81-255 of 3 March 1981;

Whereas under the second of these texts, in terms of sales work or work of art, name, and only when it is immediately followed by the reference to a historical period, a century or a time guarantees the buyer that the work or object was actually produced during the period;

Whereas, on 10 November 1998, Mr. and Mrs. X. .. have become purchasers at a public auction organized by MZ .., auctioneer, assisted by Y. .., expert, a statue of Sesostris III, presented in the catalog with the words:

“Granodiorite. Egypt. Middle Kingdom (1878-1843 BC Dynasty XII. JC) repolishing part (private collection, estate of Mr. ET)”, having discovered after the sale, the authenticity of the work was subject controversial, they sought the appointment of experts, who said that although the case of an ancient statue, she went back in any way to the reign of Sesostris III, but had to register in time and space, as the only memorial image in the round, known to date, the great benefactor Sesostris koue-Kha-Ra, served in a royal workshop and spent probably at the end of the Middle Kingdom, between the reigns of Amenemhat III and IV Sebekhotpe about (1850 and 1720 BC. JC) that spouses X. .. then had an action for nullity for error on the substance;

Whereas to dismiss this action, the decision states that the buyers have not proved that there is a doubt as to the authenticity of the work if they had known they would not have acquired it;

By so holding when he was due to its own findings that the reference to the historical period range, without express reservation, the catalog was not accurate, enough to cause the error claimed , the court of Appeal violated the above documents;

And whereas the cassation to intervene to stop March 25, 2002 resulting consequently that of the Judgement of 13 October 2003;

FOR THESE REASONS, and without the need to rule on appeals of the other complaints:

Quashed, in all its provisions, the ruling March 25, 2002, between the parties, the Court of Appeal of Paris;

calls, therefore, the cause and the parties in the state they were before the judgment and to be granted, the returns to the Court of Appeal of Paris, a differently constituted;

Said that the decision of 13 October 2003 is broken as a result;

The defendants to pay costs to the appeals;

Having regard to Article 700 of the new Code of Civil Procedure, rejected the defendants’ application to the appeals;

Said that the audit of the Attorney General at the Court of Cassation, the above will be sent to be transcribed in the margin or as a result of Cassis;

 

Well done and tried by the Court of Cassation, First Civil Chamber, and pronounced by the President in a public hearing on 27 February two thousand and seven 



Contested decision: Court of Appeal of Paris (1st room A) 2002-03-25, 2003-10-13


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