Art Dealer Torsten Brohan Ordered To Disclose Proceeds Of 20th Century Sale To China

The international Art Dealer Torsten Bröhan who for years has helped establish the market for works of modern art and 20th century design has been asked by the Regional Court of Berlin (file no. 28 O 14/14) to disclose the amount gained from the sale of a large chunk of his holdings to a Chinese Museum. Like Charles Saatchi the art dealer amasses collections which he holds onto and then sells through auction or by private sale. As an expert on 20th century design, he brokered the sale of a large collection of 19th and 20th century design objects to the city of Hangzhou, China. The deal is said to have closed in late 2010 or the first half of 2011. Bröhan can file an appeal against the verdict.

The court has thus agreed with the legal position of business consultant Stephan Balzer, who filed suit against Bröhan for non-payment of compensation he says is owed to him from a brokerage agreement. Bröhan and Balzer agreed in a letter to a commission payment of 10% of the purchase price. In the suit, Bröhan claimed that he made the sale using his own contacts and Balzer’s contribution was minimal. He also claimed that the statute of limitations had expired.

The Chinese press has repeatedly stated a purchase price in the tens of millions. Bröhan vehemently denies this, and has obtained a court order prohibiting disclosure of this information by the reporter in this press release. It remains a mystery as to why Bröhan is so aggressively trying to prevent disclosure of what he claims is an incorrect figure, although it can easily be found in many sources.

Brohan was responsible for the establishment of the Brohan foundation a non profit organisation which gives future generations a fundamental understanding of aesthetic design. To achieve this aim, the Broehan Design Foundation carries out basic research on the history of design, undertaking research projects on selected personalities and topics and preparing exhibitions and publications in this field. In 1997 Bröhan, was involved in the establishment of the Global Art Fund of the German DZ-Bank in Luxemburg as fund manager, where investors could participate in a top-class collection in order to profit from its appreciation. Quite astonishing gains were actually achieved: almost 40% within a short period of time. It was closed in 2000.  also has a private museum in Berlin. Mr Bröhan has also founded a private museum in Berlin.


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