That’s the scenario discussed in this Forbes.com article about the upcoming sale of a Cezanne painting. Seems that there’s some talk about this painting bringing in a record breaking figure at auction. Thing is, there’s some other talk about Bernard Arnault (who owns Phillips, the auction house doing the sale) bidding up the painting to record levels (via proxy) as something of a publicity stunt. Phillips, you see, owns the canvas outright, so all the money would, in effect, go right back into his own pocket.
I love multi-million dollar sleaze. Legal sleaze is even better. Stuff that would make a nice anecdote in a William Gibson book really makes my day.