Portugal’s Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, announced that the sale of 85 works by Spanish artist Joan Miró would go on as planned despite a cancellation at Christie’s London. The auction house halted the sale, which was scheduled to take place on February 4, following a legal dispute in Portugal.
The paintings, which are valued at more than 36 million euros, were acquired by the Portuguese government from a failing bank during the 2008 global banking crisis. Much to the dismay of Portuguese art enthusiasts, the country announced that it would sell the works to bring a much-needed injection of funds. Earlier this week, Portugal’s Socialist party filed a request in court to have the sale halted. Although the request was rejected, Christie’s decided to cancel the sale due to the legal uncertainties surrounding the collection.
Coelho assured that the sale would take place in the “near future” but no date has been set.