East Building, Upper Level and Mezzanine (35,000 sq. ft.)
This exhibition is no longer on view at the National
Overview: 700 art objects from more than 200 country houses
in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland illustrated 500 years of
British collecting from the 15th century to the present. 17 period rooms were
constructed to display the objects. This was the largest and most complicated
exhibition undertaken to date by the National Gallery. Gervase Jackson-Stops,
architectural advisor to the National Trust of Great Britain, chose paintings
by Peter Paul Rubens, Diego Velázquez, Anthony van Dyck, Canaletto, and John
Singer Sargent; sculpture by Praxiteles, Canova, and Henry Moore; furniture by
Kent and Chippendale; Meissen, Sèvres, Chelsea, and Oriental porcelain; and
drawings, tapestries, jewelry, armor, silver, and other decorative arts.
Organization: Jackson-Stops structured and selected the
exhibition with Gaillard Ravenel and Mark Leithauser. Ravenel, Leithauser, and
Jackson-Stops designed the exhibition to reflect each period of collecting, and
Gordon Anson designed the lighting.
Sponsor: The exhibition, organized in conjunction with the
British Council after 6 years of preparation, was made possible by a grant from
Ford Motor Company, special funding from the 98th Congress, indemnities from
Her Majesty's Treasury and the United States Federal Council on the Arts and
the Humanities, and by British Airways.
Catalog: The Treasure Houses of Britain: Five Hundred Years
of Private Patronage and Art Collecting, edited by Gervase Jackson-Stops.
Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art; New Haven: Yale University Press,
Brochure: The Treasure Houses of Britain: Five Hundred Years
of Private Patronage and Art Collecting, by Gervase Jackson-Stops, edited by
William J. Williams. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1985.
A GALA FOR 'TREASURE HOUSES OF BRITAIN'
By BARBARA GAMAREKIAN, Special to the New York Times
Members of the British aristocracy are here by the score to
celebrate the largest exhibition ever held by the National Gallery of Art:
''The Treasure Houses of Britain.''
An extravagant start for almost two weeks of festivities
surrounding the show, which opens to the public Sunday, took place tonight in
the new Georgian-style ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Given by the hotel's
owner, John B. Coleman and his wife, Virginia, the black-tie dinner dance
honored the owners of ''The Magnificent Seven,'' the most-visited stately homes
The owners and their houses are the Duke and Duchess of
Marlborough of Blenheim Palace; Lord Montagu of Beaulieu; the Marquess and
Marchioness of Tavistock of Woburn Abbey; Simon and Annette Howard of Castle
Howard; Lord and Lady Romsey of Broadlands; the Earl and Countess of Harewood
of Harewood House, and Michael and Vibeke Herbert. Mr. Herbert is the chief
executive of Madame Tussaud's Ltd., owner of Warwick Castle.
The occasion, said Mr. Coleman, was ''a thank you'' to the
lenders for their support of the National Gallery exhibition. For the gala,
Mrs. Coleman wore a strapless scarlet Scaasi ball gown, and she, Mr. Coleman
and Lord Montagu received the guests, announced by one of England's renowned
toastmasters, Ivor Spencer. The menu for dinner was all-American: pumpkin soup,
roast loin of veal stuffed with oyster dressing and cranberry and apple brown
Among the guests were an assortment of American ambassadors,
Cabinet officers and members of Congress as well as Susan and David Brinkley,
Carolyn and Michael K. Deaver, Buffy and William Cafritz, Kathleen and Henry
Ford 2d, and Jo Anne and Donald E. Petersen. Mr. Petersen is chairman of the
Ford Motor Company, corporate sponsor of the ''Treasure Houses'' show.
Other guests included Evangeline Bruce in black velvet; her
houseguest, the Duchess of Devonshire, in gray-green watered silk, and Bonnie
Swearingen in an emerald Ungaro dress, worn with an emerald choker and
''It's an incredible schedule,'' the Duchess said. ''They
have us running and busing.''
The idea of maintaining and insuring the future of privately
owned country houses by opening them to the public - ''the stately home
business,'' as the Marquess of Tavistock phrased it - was originated by the
13th Duke of Bedford in 1955. ''It was my father who took up the idea of
opening up these homes to paying visitors,'' Lord Tavistock said.
The appellation ''The Magnificent Seven'' was ''thought up''
by the seven families ''as a marketing device,'' said the Duke of Marlborough,
whose ancestral home, Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill,
was visited by 380,000 people last year.
''We pool our ideas and our resources and use a joint
leaflet,'' the Duke said. ''Every cent goes back into the business. It is a
real challenge these days to keep these large homes going for the future. We
consider ourselves to be custodians of the national heritage.''
But much of the talk was of the exhibition itself, which had
been visited earlier in the day by a number of the lenders.
''I had expected a marvelous show, but it's beyond anything
that I had anticipated,'' said Simon Howard, whose Castle Howard in Yorkshire
starred in the televised dramatization of ''Brideshead Revisited.''
Lord Montagu, who called the exhibition ''a dream come
true,'' said: ''I've been talking with Carter about this for more than seven
years.'' He was referring to J. Carter Brown, director of the National Gallery.
Jerome Zipkin said, ''You need about a half-dozen trips to
see it all.'' Mr. Zipkin, who was returning to New York on Thursday morning,
added, ''I'm coming back for the big number,'' referring to the White House
dinner on Nov. 9 for the Prince and Princess of Wales, patrons of the
Lord Tavistock, who has lent several dozen objects to the
show, including Antonio Canova's marble ''The Three Graces,'' said: ''It is an
amazing experience to go around and see things that belong to you in the middle
of a collection of works of art that is second to none in the world. We British
have been magpies for centuries, and we are still at it - my wife and I just
bought a painting in Tennessee, so we brought over 33 objects for the show, and
we are going home with 34.''
Mr. Brown had suggested to a number of the British guests
that tiaras might be appropriate for the American festivities. But Lady
Tavistock arrived in Washington tiara-less.
''It is all because of my crazy idea,'' said her husband.
''I thought a case of tiaras would look unusual in the exhibition and suggested
it to Carter, and he said, 'What a great idea -can I borrow a couple of yours?'
So Henrietta's tiaras are locked up in a case at the National Gallery.''
No matter, said the Marchioness: ''Traveling with a tiara is
such a performance. Your hair has to be woven into them, and I wouldn't think
you would be able to find a hairdresser here who knows how.''
Lady Lucan, whose husband famously vanished more than four
decades ago, has been found dead at her home.
Police forced entry to the 80-year-old’s property in
Westminster on Tuesday afternoon after she was reported missing, and found her
A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said: “Police
attended an address in Westminster ... following concerns for the welfare of an
elderly occupant. Officers forced entry and found an 80-year-old woman
“Police and London ambulance service attended. Although we
await formal identification, we are confident that the deceased is Lady Lucan.”
Police said her death is being treated as unexplained but is
not believed to be suspicious.
Her son, George Bingham, the 8th Earl Lucan, told the Daily
Mail: “She passed away yesterday [Monday] at home, alone and apparently
peacefully. Police were alerted by a companion to a three-day absence and made
entry today [Tuesday].”
Lady Lucan, formerly Veronica Duncan, was one of the last
people to see her husband John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan, alive before he
He vanished after the murdered body of Sandra Rivett, nanny
to his three children, was found at the family home in Lower Belgrave Street,
central London, on 7 November 1974.
Even though he was officially declared dead by the high
court in 1999, Lucan has reportedly been sighted in Australia, Ireland, South
Africa and New Zealand, and there are even claims that he fled to India and
lived life as a hippy called “Jungly Barry”.
The same night as his disappearance, the attacker also
turned on Lady Lucan, beating her severely before she managed to escape and
raise the alarm at a nearby pub, the Plumber’s Arms.
Lucan’s car was later found abandoned and soaked in blood in
Newhaven, East Sussex, and an inquest jury declared the wealthy peer the killer
a year later.
Roger Bray was the first journalist on Lord Lucan’s doorstep
the morning after the dramatic events unfolded, and wrote one of the first
newspaper reports about the mystery.
Derrick Whitehouse, head barman at the Plumber’s Arms, told
Bray that Lady Lucan “staggered” in and said: “I think my neck has been broken.
He tried to strangle me.”
The barman said Lady Lucan was “just in a delirious state”
and added: “She just said ‘I’m dying.’
“She kept going on about the children. ‘My children, my
children,’ she said. She came staggering in through the door and I gave her all
the assistance I possibly could. I’ve only seen her in here once before.”
Whitehouse told Bray that Lady Lucan had “various head
wounds” that were “quite severe”, adding: “She was covered in blood. She’d been
bleeding profusely when she came in.”
Earlier this year, Lady Lucan, formally named Veronica,
Dowager Countess of Lucan, gave a TV interview in which she said she believed
Lord Lucan had made the “brave” decision to take his own life.
Ahead of the hour-long documentary interview called Lord
Lucan: My Husband, the Truth, Radio Times magazine shared some of what she had
told director Michael Waldman.
She said: “I would say he got on the ferry and jumped off in
the middle of the Channel in the way of the propellers so that his remains
wouldn’t be found – I think quite brave.”
During the ITV programme, she spoke of her own depression
and her husband’s violent nature following their marriage in 1963.
Describing how he would beat her with a cane to get the “mad
ideas out of your head”, she said: “He could have hit harder. They were
“He must have got pleasure out of it because he had
intercourse [with me] afterwards.”
António Sérgio Rosa de Carvalho was born in Lisbon (1953).
Because the love of his life he moved to the Netherlands for years now. He is
an architectural historian and writes public papers for Público, a Portuguese
newspaper, as well. Besides that, he’s the founder of Tweedland, The
Gentlemen’s Club. A club of like-minded. In this club, one is not allowed to
speak about money and business.
The first time I met António Sérgio was during a TweedRide
in Amsterdam. On that summer day, he was not wearing tweeds but a summery
seersucker suit. António Sérgio: “Fashion and apparel are nowadays seen as
appearance, but it is much more than that. Clothing is a form of communication.
It is a symbolic framing. All attributes are a strategy to align with
Een echte gentleman: António Sérgio Rosa de Carvalho
Clothing has nothing to do with power games, it’s not just
appearance. It is important that your inner is in accordance with your
appearance. That is also an important difference between a dandy and a
gentleman. I love style and quality, style is the DNA of your identity. Oscar
Wilde has said it nicely:“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken’
‘Today I’m wearing a Colbert by Cordings. It’s a good quality’ mid-season fabric. I
bought it on Portobello Road in London. In Amsterdam, Tommy Page’s shop is my
favorite. To me, accessories like braces and ties are very important. I wear
only second-hand clothes. And in our home, there are many second-hand items
that we have saved.”
Een echte gentleman: António Sérgio Rosa de Carvalho
“I regret very much that many people are polite in private
and committed to quality. But they have been stopped to maintain these codes in
public. But let’s be optimistic, maybe that will be beneficial again.” When
ready with photographing, António Sérgio insisted to accompany me to the
nearest tram stop. It started to rain, but he took his umbrella. He maintained
it above my head. What a kind man he is, a real gentleman!
Liliane Bettencourt, heir to the French L’Oreal hairspray
empire and the world’s wealthiest woman, who was at the centre of a
long-running French courtroom saga over alleged hangers-on who took advantage
of her frailty to elicit money and gifts, has died aged 94.
Bettencourt, whose net worth was estimated at about €33bn
(£29bn) this year, was the face of one of France’s biggest cosmetics
conglomerates and had once captured the public’s imagination as the nation’s
poor little rich girl.
She was the daughter of Eugène Schueller, a chemist and
one-time Nazi sympathiser who made a fortune as the inventor of modern hair dye
and founder of L’Oréal. Her mother died when she was five, leaving her alone
with Schueller whose company she inherited.
Bettencourt hit the headlines in 2007 when members of her
entourage were charged with exploiting her failing mental health – leading to a
vast inquiry that threatened to engulf the then-president Nicolas Sarkozy.
When Bettencourt’s husband, the politician André
Bettencourt, died in 2007, their daughter Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, decided
to take legal action against her mother’s eccentric best friend, François-Marie
Banier. The dandy photographer, artist and one-time society golden boy was
accused of taking advantage of Bettencourt’s frailty to accept almost €1bn
worth of gifts, including paintings, life insurance policies and a salary from
Shocked domestic staff at Bettencourt’s mansion west of
Paris whispered how the flamboyant Banier would pee in the flowerbeds, lie on
Bettencourt’s bed with his shoes on and make requests for money.
Banier denied the allegations, but it was just the start of
a multi-layered legal inquiry that became the nation’s soap opera.
The saga resulted in not only a public family feud but a
major political scandal and courtroom drama when the investigation was extended
to look at whether Sarkozy and other figures in his party had also taken
advantage of the elderly Bettencourt, asking for money from her after it was
declared that she had dementia.
The money, alleged to have been given in brown envelopes,
was said to have funded Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign.
The “Bettencourt affair” tarnished the latter half of
Sarkozy’s presidency, and when he lost the 2012 election he was placed under
formal investigation for illegal campaign financing and taking advantage of
Bettencourt. But the charges against Sarkozy were dropped in October 2013 due
to lack of evidence.
In 2015, the photographer Banier was convicted of exploiting
Bettencourt and sentenced to three years in jail, fined €350,000 and ordered to
pay €158m in damages. He appealed and last year received a suspended prison
sentence and a fine but did not have to pay the vast damages.
In the meantime, other cases had opened around the affair,
including a court case over the publication of secretly recorded conversations
between Bettencourt and her wealth manager which were taped when her butler hid
a recorder in her mansion.
Bettencourt had been declared unfit to run her own affairs
in 2011 after a medical report showing she had suffered from “mixed dementia”
and “moderately severe” Alzheimer’s disease since 2006. She was rarely seen in
public after leaving the L’Oreal board in 2012.
“Liliane Bettencourt died last night at home,” her daughter
Françoise Bettencourt Meyers said in a statement. “My mother left peacefully.”
Photographer jailed for multi-billion euro Bettencourt
François-Marie Banier has been sentenced to three years in
jail and ordered to pay back €15m to L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt and
Thursday 28 May 2015 17.34 BST Last modified on Friday 29
May 2015 00.00 BST
A French celebrity photographer has been found guilty and
sentenced to two and a half years in prison for exploiting the mental frailty
of Liliane Bettencourt, the ageing L’Oréal shampoo heiress, who showered him
with gifts including Picasso paintings, life insurance funds and millions of
euros in cash.
François-Marie Banier, who had befriended Bettencourt, 25
years his senior, arguing that he was the only person who made her laugh, was
given a three-year sentence – six months of which was suspended – and ordered
to pay a fine of €250,000 and pay back over €15m to the Bettencourt family.
But judges cleared Eric Woerth, a former minister in Nicolas
Sarkozy’s government and campaign treasurer for his 2007 presidential campaign.
He was acquitted of charges of exploiting Bettencourt’s frailty by taking an
envelope of cash from the weak and elderly billionaire who suffers from
Woerth was also cleared of charges of influence-peddling. He
had been accused of using his position of influence to secure favours from
Bettencourt’s financial manager – urging him to employ his wife in exchange for
receiving the Legion of Honour, France’s highest decoration. The court
acquitted him of all charges.
The Bettencourt saga began in more than seven years ago as a
family feud between mother and daughter in one of the richest families in
France, but it sparked a political scandal as well a raft of judicial
investigations including on tax evasion and illegal party funding.
In 2007, Bettencourt’s daughter began legal action claiming
that Banier, a Paris socialite and photographer, befriended her ageing mother
and taken advantage of her frail state of mind to persuade her to give him more
than €1bn in artworks, insurance policies and cash. The long-running case
gripped France and sent shockwaves through the political class, tarnishing
Sarkozy, who was placed under formal investigation for illegal campaign
financing and taking advantage of Bettencourt after being voted out as
president in 2015. Those charges against Sarkozy were dropped in October 2013
due to lack of evidence.
Banier, now 67, who first met Bettencourt, 92, when he
photographed her for a magazine, presented himself in court as a rich and
well-connected celebrity photographer, a charming eccentric who did not need
Bettencourt, who is estimated to be worth €33bn (£24bn) by
Forbes magazine, was alleged to have found a new best friend in the outrageous
and eccentric Banier. She showered him with so many gifts that even his own
lawyer admitted in court that he had been “drowning in gold” and briefly made
him her sole heir.
The court had heard how Bettencourt had been suffering from
increasing dementia and, by 2011, was unable to tell what year it was.
From 2006 to 2010, Banier received gifts from Bettencourt
worth €414m, including life insurance policies, paintings by Picasso, Matisse
and Mondrian, manuscripts and cash. In court, Banier conceded that just hearing
the figures sparked “an enormous vertigo”. But he said Bettencourt chose to
bestow the gifts, it “gave her immense pleasure to do it” and she had been of
sound mind. He said she got angry if he tried to turn down gifts. Most of the
value of the gifts was paid back before the court case.
Patrice de Mestre, Bettencourt’s wealth manager, was
sentenced to 18 months in prison for exploiting her frailty, as was her former
lawyer. Martin d’Orgeval, Banier’s partner, was found guilty on the same
charges and received a suspended sentence.
Banier and de Mestre will appeal against the verdicts
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It started out as a dispute between the heiress to a
cosmetics fortune and her family. Then the row over Liliane Bettencourt's
finances escalated as far as the former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy.
The case against him has now been dismissed, but others are
still facing prosecution.
The affair remains a tangled saga of names, connections,
claims and rebuttals. The BBC News website profiles key players in the
political drama that has gripped the French public.
Reports say Bettencourt mother and daughter are not on
The story starts with Liliane Bettencourt, now 87, and the
richest woman in France.
She is the heiress to the L'Oreal cosmetics fortune and
holds a 27.5% stake in the company.
Her total wealth is put at about 17bn euros ($21bn; £14bn).
Twenty years ago, she befriended the society photographer
Francois-Marie Banier, 62.
Over the years, she gave him gifts worth around 1bn euros.
These included cash, life insurance policies and artworks by Picasso and
Her daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, took the matter
She said Mrs Bettencourt was mentally incompetent and had
been exploited by Mr Banier.
Mrs Bettencourt said she was a free woman, in full control
of her faculties, and her daughter would just have to accept it.
But the dispute has now widened far beyond its origins.
In 2010 prosecutors opened a separate investigation into Mrs
Bettencourt's tax affairs after secret recordings of conversations between the
heiress and her wealth manager came to light.
The recordings, made by Mrs Bettencourt's butler, were
passed to the police by her daughter.
Transcripts published by the news website Mediapart appear
to refer to undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland and the Seychelles.
Mrs Bettencourt admitted tax evasion and promised to put her
affairs in order.
But Mrs Bettencourt's political connections came under the
Prosecutors began a separate inquiry into Mrs Bettencourt's
donations to Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative party, the UMP.
The Bettencourt affair contributed to negative publicity for
The criminal investigation into the former French president
for allegedly receiving illegal funding from Mrs Bettencourt has been dropped.
He lost his presidential immunity from prosecution in
mid-June 2012, after his election defeat, and in July of that year, police
carried out searches at his Paris home, offices and a law firm in which he owns
It had been alleged that tens of thousands of euros were
allegedly funnelled to Mr Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign by Mrs
Individual campaign contributions in France are limited to
4,600 euros (£3,700) annually.
Mr Sarkozy had consistently rejected all accusations of
Eric Woerth quit Mr Sarkozy's government in 2010 over the
The former French labour minister was also treasurer for the
UMP for eight years.
He ran the party's finances at the time of the presidential
election in 2007, when Mr Sarkozy was elected.
Mrs Bettencourt's former accountant Claire Thibout has
accused Mr Woerth of taking delivery of undeclared campaign donations from the
L'Oreal heiress. She says he received 150,000 euros in cash for the UMP in
Mr Woerth has vehemently denied the accusations, saying he
never received a single illegal euro. But the Bettencourt affair drove him to
resign in 2010.
He said he was the victim of a witch hunt by the left
because of his responsibility for pension reform and his plan to raise the
retirement age from 60 to 62.
But in February 2012, he was put under criminal
investigation for influence peddling - accused of securing France's highest
award, the Legion d'honneur, for Mrs Bettencourt's financial manager, Patrice
In his previous role as budget minister, Mr Woerth had
responsibility for pursuing tax dodgers.
Questions have now been raised about whether he turned a
blind eye to Mrs Bettencourt's tax evasion.
A prosecutor says he informed the budget ministry of his
suspicions about Mrs Bettencourt's tax affairs in January 2009. Mr Woerth
denies having blocked an investigation.
He is expected to face trial for his alleged role in the
To complicate matters still further, Mr Woerth's wife used
to work for Mrs Bettencourt as an investment adviser.
She was employed by Patrice de Maistre, Mrs Bettencourt's
wealth manager, but resigned in 2010 after she and her husband were accused of
a conflict of interest.
In the secret tapes, Mr de Maistre says clearly that he gave
the job to Mrs Woerth after being asked by Mr Woerth to employ her.
So far Patrice de Maistre is the only one of the suspects to
have been detained
Patrice de Maistre was Mrs Bettencourt's wealth manager. His
company, Clymene, had as its sole function the investment of the estimated 278m
euros that Mrs Bettencourt drew annually from her stake in L'Oreal.
He was detained by Bordeaux police for 88 days in early
2012. He was released after posting bail of 4m euros.
He denies accusations by Claire Thibout, who says he asked
her for 150,000 euros, which he promised to give "discreetly" to Eric
Woerth at a dinner.
In the tapes recorded by Mrs Bettencourt's butler, he is
heard to tell the heiress that Eric Woerth is "very nice, and also he's
the man who is in charge of your taxes... He's a friend."
Investigators are interested in 4m euros which he allegedly
transferred to France from a Bettencourt bank account in Switzerland in
Mr de Maistre was awarded the Legion d'Honneur. Eric Woerth
denies it was in return for employing his wife.
Mr de Maistre is also expected to face trial for his alleged
role in the affair.
Claire Thibout says Mr Sarkozy received envelopes of
Bettencourt cash before becoming president
Ms Thibout was formerly Mrs Bettencourt's accountant.
She told prosecutors that in March 2007, she had been
involved in withdrawing 150,000 euros in cash from Mrs Bettencourt's accounts.
She said she herself took out 50,000 euros - the maximum she
was authorised to withdraw - and handed the money to Patrice de Maistre.
Police have checked bank records and have confirmed the
The money was to be given to Mr Woerth in plain envelopes as
a donation for the UMP, she said.
Ms Thibout admitted she herself had not witnessed the
Francois-Marie Banier allegedly received expensive gifts
from Mrs Bettencourt
Described as an aesthete, Francois-Marie Banier made his
name as a photographer. His work has been published in Le Figaro and the New
In his youth, Francois-Marie Banier was the friend of 1960s
cultural icons like Salvador Dali and Samuel Beckett.
But his friendship with Mrs Bettencourt angered her family.
Mrs Bettencourt's daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, called him "the
In December 2009, a court ruled that Mr Banier did have a
criminal case to answer for "abuse of mental fragility".
Mr Banier went on trial in July 2010, but the case was
quickly adjourned. He denied all the charges, saying he did not take advantage
of Mrs Bettencourt.
In December 2010, he made an out-of-court settlement with
Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, under which he will not benefit from her mother's
But he remains under investigation by the authorities, and
is expected to face trial for his alleged role in the affair.