Edemar Cid Ferreira. Photo: Evelson de Freitas

US Returns Ninety-Five Artworks to Brazil

Ninety-five artworks that were smuggled out of Brazil by Edemar Cid Ferreira, the former president of Banco Santos, who was sentenced to twenty-one years in prison for money laundering and other crimes in 2006, will be repatriated, James H. Miller of the Art Newspaper reports.

US authorities have been confiscating the works by artists such as Nan Goldin, Louise Bourgeois, Francis Picabia, Helen Frankenthaler, Anish Kapoor, and Tracey Moffatt over the past decade.

“Our office is proud of our role in returning these treasured works of art,” said Joon Kim, the acting district attorney for the southern district of New York, in a statement. “These works were used to mask an audacious criminal scheme by Edemar Cid Ferreira.”

Officials in Brazil discovered that a large chunk of Ferreira’s illicit collection, estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars, was missing from his São Paulo home when the court ordered the seizure of his assets after Banco Santos collapsed in 2005. Shortly thereafter, they contacted the US and Interpol and discovered that he had stored art in France, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, among other countries. The US had previously returned several works over the years, including Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Hannibal, 1982, and Roy Lichtenstein’s Modern Painting with Yellow Interweave, 1967.