Inside Edition Features Fine Art Registry as Resource for Cruise Line Art Auction Victims

. February 15, 2008 . 0 Comments

Phoenix, AZ, United States, 02/14/2008 – On 11 Feb 08, CBS’s Inside Edition aired the results of an ongoing investigation into cruise line art auctions such as those held by Park West at Sea, a division of Park West Gallery. The program featured Fine Art Registry as an advocacy group.

CBS’s Inside Edition aired the results of an investigation into cruise line art auctions which it had been conducting for quite some time. The Inside Edition investigative reporters had been on the cruise ships attending auctions held by Park West at Sea, a division of Park West Gallery of Southfield, Michigan, and had interviewed a number of people who had bought art at cruise line auctions on the understanding that it was a bargain and an investment, only to come home and find that they had been grossly overcharged and that the same pieces were available on land for a third or less of the price they had paid.

Theresa Franks, CEO of Fine Art Registry, spoke to Inside Edition when the program was being prepared and was able to share months of information which had been received by her company from many individual cruise-goers who had found themselves in this awkward and unexpected situation which in many cases had ruined an otherwise wonderful cruise. In fact, so many people contacted Fine Art Registry asking for help that the company’s CEO established an advocacy program to try to help the victims of deceptive trade practices or fraud. In most of these cases Fine Art Registry was able to help by providing sources of accurate information regarding authenticity and value of purchased art. In many cases, including some of the victims who appeared on the Inside Edition program, the situation was satisfactorily resolved with the cruise line art auction company refunding the money or rescinding the sale after these individuals had contacted Fine Art Registry for help.

No representative of Park West appeared in the program, but in a letter from Park West to Inside Edition, the company claimed to have documentation showing that the art it was selling on board ships had increased in value and that Fine Art Registry was confusing its (Park West’s) customers by using innuendo and falsehoods on its website. This documentary evidence was not presented for the program, however. In fact, Fine Art Registry has only published information provided by Park West customers along with accurate market facts on the value of specific pieces of art, and commentaries from qualified lawyers on the Park West invoice and contract and other legal aspects.
The Inside Edition team took their cameras into the stores of reputable New York art dealers, trying to establish the actual market value of some of the cruise line art auction purchases, and the story was uniform and consistent: the pieces were not worth anything like what the cruise-goers had paid for them. One dealer described them as the sort of posters he would sell for $20, and blamed the gullibility of those who had been duped on the sea air. Another was not even interested in buying the pieces because they were of no value.

Following the program, Fine Art Registry has been receiving a flood of calls and emails from individuals who saw the program and were worried that they too might have been duped. The company will try to help these individuals obtain accurate information on the authenticity and value of their purchases and will publish their stories on its website.
“Our hope is that the cruise line companies will see the harm that deceptive trade practices in the field of art sales are doing to their reputation and will make sure that only reputable art dealers are allowed to sell art on board ships,” said Theresa Franks, Fine Art Registry CEO. “We also hope that the authorities will investigate and put an end to any fraudulent practices which are hurting so many cruise goers. We will do what we can to help.”

She adds, “We urge any individuals who feel they have been deceived or grossly overcharged for art at a cruise line art auction to contact us through our website, and we will do our best to help.”

About Fine Art Registry
Fine Art Registry™ is today’s only high tech solution to the age old problems that have existed in the art world since before the Ancient Greeks: How to establish provenance, prove authenticity and ownership, prevent forgery and fakery, deter theft and, basically, make it possible to create, buy and sell works of art with the security of knowing that they are what they claim to be. Full information on FAR® and how the system of tagging and registering art is available at the Fine Art Registry website.

Category: Fine Art News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.