Sotheby's accused of cover up over damaged Robert Cecil painting

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Sotheby's, the auction house, has been accused of forging a document to cover up the fact that it damaged a painting of the Jacobean spymaster Robert Cecil, a senior aide to both James I and Elizabeth I.

Sotheby’s staff are alleged to have added a hastily-written damage report - backdated to the day they collected the portrait, suggesting it was already damaged - to the painting’s paperwork.

Yet it is alleged they overlooked the fact that the owner, Aila Goodlin, had been given her own copy of the paperwork when the painting was collected in July last year.

Ms Goodlin had planned to sell the painting, which is similar to work that has sold for £65,000, together with another at an Old Masters auction in London in October last year....

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