The King of the Free Ports: Yves Bouvier
There is a place, tax-free and away from prying eyes, where the world’s largest art collection is kept.
This is the free port of Geneva, a place of 150 thousand square meters, which holds works of art, diamonds and archaeological finds worth more than 100 billion Swiss francs.
This, like many other free ports around the world, owes its success to Swiss art dealer and free port magnate Yves Bouvier, CEO of Natural Le Coultre, the world’s leading company specializing in logistics and storage of works of art.
WHAT ARE FREE PORTS
The free ports are tax-free extra-territorial warehouses where it is possible to store goods of foreign origin without a time limit, in maximum security and with a range of services such as temperature and humidity control, restoration, certification of authenticity and evaluation. The free ports have always been considered a great opportunity for those who want to invest and speculate on art.
THE YVES BOUVIER PHENOMENON
Yves Bouvier is a major player in the art market.
His ascent began in 1995 when he became deputy director of Natural La Coultre, the family company specializing in the transportation, storage, restoration and conservation of works of art and luxury goods.
Under Bouvier’s control, Natural Le Coultre owned 5% of the Geneva Freeport until 2017 and reinvented and exported the freeport model around the world, making it attractive to the luxury goods market.
In 2010, Bouvier created a new freeport in Singapore, followed in 2014 by one in Luxembourg. Then it was the turn of Shanghai, China.
The warehouses have been transformed into luxurious showrooms, guarded 24 hours a day, with temperature and humidity constantly controlled to preserve the works of art. Inside the warehouses there are also restoration studios equipped with state-of-the-art technology, lounges for exhibiting masterpieces or organizing auctions.
However, in order to combat cases of money laundering and evasion, Switzerland, as well as the entire European Union, has since 2018 implemented specific directives to ensure the traceability and origin of assets.
One of the proposed solutions is the preparation of a complete inventory of all deposited assets.
Among the cutting-edge technological tools, useful to create a digital Art Archive always updated and complete to support Art Professionals and large companies is Art Rights, the first platform for the management and certification of works of art through Blockchain technology.
And you, did you know the story of Yves Bouvier?