German Court Says Two People Took Bribes During Construction of Museum Barberini - The World News

German Court Says Two People Took Bribes During Construction of Museum Barberini

A court in Potsdam, Germany, said this week that two people who had taken bribes during the construction of the Museum Barberini, a private museum run by collector Hasso Plattner.

The museum, one of two institutions run by Plattner in Potsdam, opened in 2017 and is now well known for its Impressionist art collection, with paintings on view by Monet, Renoir, and others of note. Plattner, who has previously appeared on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list, has distanced himself from the corruption proceedings, according to the German press agency dpa.

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POTSDAM, GERMANY - JANUARY 19: Hasso Plattner, who is co-founder of German software maker SAP and a financial backer of the Barberini Museum,  poses in front of The painting of the french impressionist Monet titled Water Lilies during a press preview on January 19, 2017 in Potsdam, Germany. The art museum will have a permanent collection from Plattner's foundation that focuses on 20th century German art, both from West and East Germany. The museum opens to the public on January 23 with an exhibition on Impressionist landscapes. (Photo by Michele Tantussi/Getty Images) Local Caption *** Hasso Plattner; Ortrud Westheider.

The Museum Barberini did not respond to ARTnews’s request for comment.

The court’s decision rested on events that allegedly took place during 2014 and 2015, before the museum opened to the public.

One of the defendants, a technical adviser on the museum’s building, received a suspended sentence of one year and two months in prison. The other, a subcontractor, must pay 216,000 euros, or around $22,700.

According to the court, the technical adviser, a 57-year-old referred to only as Karsten D., got a friend to work on the project, allegedly with the aim of sharing proceeds with him. D. was accused of having sent competitor construction companies insider information about the project and of having made attempts to cover up having done so.

D. must now forfeit 113,000 euros ($122,000) and pay 20,000 euros ($21,600) to a Potsdam children’s charity.

The subcontractor, a 61-year-old named Andreas L., is accused of having conspired in D.’s alleged scheme. He must pay his fee of 216,000 euros in 120 daily installments of 180 euros each.

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