Representatives of Christie’s auction house today began appraising jewellery seized from the widow of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos for auction in Europe as early as November.
The government has firmed up earlier plans to sell Imelda Marcos’ jewellery collection, initially estimated to be worth at least £5.5m (€8.2m), said Ricardo Abcede, a member of a government commission recovering the Marcos family’s allegedly ill-gotten wealth.
Imelda Marcos earlier said she would ask a court to stop the auction, but had not filed a court petition by the time two Christie’s gem experts arrived today at the Philippines’ Central Bank, where the jewels have been kept in a vault since they were seized following massive street protests that toppled Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.
Abcede, a member of the Presidential Commission on Good Government, said it may take two days to complete the inspection and appraisal of the collection.
The Marcoses are believed to have illegally amassed billions of dollars during Ferdinand Marcos’ 20-year rule.
Another collection, also to be auctioned, was seized from Demetriou Roumeliotes, a Greek friend of the former first lady who tried to smuggle about 60 pieces of jewellery out of the country less than two weeks after Marcos’ ousting, the government commission said.