The late Austrian billionaire was reportedly rich because her late husband made money off of Nazis.
According to Insider, following complaints from Jewish organizations and collectors, Christie's said it would donate a "significant" percentage of the revenues from an Austrian heiress' Nazi-era jewelry and art collection to an "organization that advances Holocaust research and education."
After getting complaints from clients, workers, and Jewish groups, the auction house said that the jewelry would no longer be available for sale.
COPYRIGHT_BER: Published on https://www.bernardine.com/christies-has-canceled-the-sale-of-nazi-heiresss-jewelry/ by Lee Moon on 2023-09-04T03:54:20.752Z
In May, Christie's sold jewels from Horten's collection for about $202 million (about €186 million).
Pieces from Cartier, Bulgari, and Harry Winston, as well as pieces that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor and the Al Thani family, helped the auction break the records of previous record-setting jewelry sales.
There were 300 pieces left in Horten's collection that were going to be sold in Geneva in November.
After the May sale, it came out that Christie's tried to hide the fact that Helmut Horten, Horten's late husband, was a member of the Nazi Party during World War II.
As part of Hitler's Aryanization plan, he bought Jewish businesses by force and made a lot of money.
The auction house's attempt to bury the body was a PR disaster, and people kept calling for the sale to be stopped.
Holocaust survivors and Jewish groups called the sale "whitewashing," and Israel's official memorial, Yad Vashem, turned down Christie's offer to give some of the money from the sale.
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art also canceled a compensation event that had been planned for December and was put on by the auction house.
Late on Thursday, Christie's put out a statement saying that they agreed with the complaints and that they were going to stop the stale.
Anthea Peers, president of Christie's EMEA division, said:
The sale of the Heidi Horten jewelry collection has provoked intense scrutiny, and the reaction to it has deeply affected us and many others, and we will continue to reflect on it.- Anthea Peers
She also said that the money from the sale in May would go to a new trust set up in the name of Heidi Horten. It will pay attention to medical study, access to the arts, and the well-being of children.
Jewish groups have been happy about the cancellation, and some have called it a big win for the Jewish people around the world.
David Schaecter, president of the Holocaust Survivor Foundation USA, has been an outspoken critic of Christie's. He said in a statement, "We are pleased to hear that the global outrage over Christie's sale of the Horten Foundation's ill-gotten assets, which came from the theft of Jewish property during World War II, has affected the auction house and caused them to cancel their planned sale of more Horten jewelry this fall."
"We are glad that they recognized the great pain additional sales of Horten art and jewelry would cause Holocaust survivors," Schaecter said.
Jewish groups like Israel's Holocaust Museum and the Claims Conference, as well as Yad Vashem, have turned down gifts from Christie's because they think the gesture is not enough.
Critics like them have said that the auction house should give away all of the money it made from the controversial sale in May. Christie's hasn't said yet if they will give in to these requests or not.
No matter what happens, Schaecter has said that the event should serve as a warning to other companies that are thinking about holding auctions like this one.
The Holocaust survivor wrote that it sends a clear message to all auction houses about what will happen if they let these kinds of tainted things be sold on their sites.