How it all started... Art on the Highway -
In 1982, a portrait of Golda Meir was found by a young Israeli on a local highway. In an attempt to locate the owner, the painting was handed over to the police. Eighteen months later the painting was returned to the finder since it was not claimed. He was declared the "new owner". Shortly thereafter, he consulted Yoram Braier, an expert art appraiser, who identified the work as an Andy Warhol. Initially, Mr. Braier assumed it was a forgery since the story sounded too good to be true. Following extensive research the work was approved as being an original work by Andy Warhol. Following the authentication process, the “owner” sold the work for $36,000.
It turned out that the original owner, an American residing in Jerusalem, transported his belongings to Israel, where the painting fell of a truck. The loss was reported in NY.
One year later, Mr. Joachim Pissarro, visited Israel to collect consignments for a future London auction. The paining was consigned and reproduced on the cover of the auction's catalogue. A lawsuit was initiated in a London court claiming that the painting was stolen. The judge decided that the claim should be handled by an Israeli court of law. The parties met in court in Israel where eventually the original owner bought the painting back for $90,000.
Thirty years later, Mr. Braier says “there’s a serious need in the art market to authenticate artworks using advanced technologies and to register original artworks in a secured system”. Tsvi Gassner, an engineer with many years of development and management experience offered Mr. Braier the most updated technological solutions. Following this, ARTSIGNET was born in 2011 and Tsvi Gassner was appointed CEO.
Today, ARTSIGNET’s mission is to set a new, reliable and universal standard to reduce art theft, insurance fraud, forgeries, illegal reproductions, etc. all of which are of deep concern to buyers, collectors, owners of art, art appraisers, galleries, museums, insurance companies and government institutions. The growing number and “quality” of forgeries presents increased dilemmas to art experts wishing to authenticate works of art. Furthermore, contemporary artists often hesitate to approve their own works. All this is due to a fear of legal action in cases of mistakes. Without a secure system of authentication and registration, potential buyers will be ever more skeptical to purchase works of art.
Click here to view ARTSIGNET company presentation.