The hidden treasure of the Wildensteins

A documentary by Magali Serre
Broadcast January 4, 2012 on France 3

Wildenstein is a name that towered over the art world for more than 40 years. Regarded as the greatest art dealer of the 20th century, Daniel Wildenstein, a discreet man, possessed more than 10,000 pictures at the height of his career. But since his death in 2001, the Wildenstein name has been linked to what could be one of the largest episodes of tax evasion of the past decade.
A part of the art dealer’s huge wealth wouldn’t have been declared to the tax authorities as it should have been. His son, Guy, was indicted in late 2011 for tax evasion. Paintings, racehorses, villas; part of Daniel Wildenstein’s heritage had been tucked away in tax havens, hidden from French authorities.
After months of investigation, Magali Serre tells the story of this turbulent legacy. Besides the suspicion of tax evasion, the Wildensteins’ way of doing art business also came under scrutiny.
A year ago, police discovered thirty reported missing or stolen works in a safe of the Wildenstein Institute in Paris.
Travelling through Paris, London, Geneva and New York, this documentary sheds light on the second routes and questionable practices of the art dealing family; a world of discreet intermediaries, experts, museum directors and art dealers which are now involved in the Wildensteins’ scandal.