Antiquity traffic: an ex-framework of France Museums agency indicted

Jean-François Charnier is suspected of having favored the sale of Egyptian antiques at the Louvre Abu Dhabi despite doubts about their fraudulent origin, according to a source close to the file.

Le Monde with AFP

A former manager of the France Museums agency, Jean-François Charnier, was indicted and placed under judicial supervision Thursday, July 28, in the survey of a plundered Egyptian antiquity traffic which would have been sold at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, we learned from a judicial source. Arrested on Monday, Mr. Charnier was presented Thursday at the end of his police custody to an investigating judge.

He was indicted for money laundering by facilitation of the false justification of the origin of property of the author of a crime or an offense and placed under judicial supervision, said the judicial source. Noémi Daucé, heritage curator, also placed in police custody on Monday, was released on Wednesday without proceedings at this stage, said this source.

Graduated from the Louvre School, former director “Culture and Heritage” at the French Agency for the Development of Alula in Saudi Arabia (Afalula), he was the scientific director of the France Museums agency in charge of Choose the works for the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

As part of this survey conducted by the Central Office to Combat Cultural Property (OCBC), the former louvre boss, Jean-Luc Martinez, was indicted in May and placed under control judicial.

hundreds of pieces and several tens of millions of euros

m. Martinez, who disputes the facts, is prosecuted for complicity in organized gang scam and laundering by false facilitation of the origin of goods from a crime or an offense.

He is suspected of having “closed his eyes” on false certificates of origin of five pieces of Egyptian antiquity acquired “for several tens of millions of euros” by the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the antenna of the museum Parisian in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Born of an intergovernmental agreement signed in 2007 between the United Arab Emirates and France and linked to the Louvre Museum by a cooperation agreement, the Louvre Abu Dhabi depends on the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Emirate.

In this judicial information conducted since 2020 by Parisian investigating judges after two years of preliminary investigation, at least three other people – an expert in Mediterranean archeology, a merchant and a German -Lebanese gallery owner – are indicted . This traffic would concern hundreds of parts and relates to tens of millions of euros, according to sources close to the file.

/Media reports.