SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - A couple from Scottsdale, Ariz., recently joined a growing number of people who are suspicious of cruise ship art auctions.
The Arizona Republic reported that Gary and Olga Holloway, while vacationing on a Caribbean cruise, were enticed into buying three limited-edition prints by Rembrandt and Dali from Park West at Sea, a company that conducts onboard auctions.
Although the works came with appraisals and letters of authenticity, the Republic reported that Holloway soon began to suspect the art when he tried to auction the works on eBay, the newspaper said. Despite paying $17,836 for the prints, Holloway found that he had trouble selling them, getting no bid more than $1,000. Furthermore, he reportedly found similar prints being offered for one-quarter of his purchase price.
The Republic said Park West and similar companies have been criticized for their lavish auctions with free booze, where sellers allegedly use trickery to entice vacationers into making regrettable purchases with hidden disclaimers.
In the case of Holloway, Park West has defended its practices, but some art experts and appraisers are warning cruise ship vacationers about the auctions.
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