Legal Action Leads To Agreement Over Sale Of Ancient Artefacts

Commercial Litigation


Five wooden beams will now be sold at Christie's after an agreement over the ownership of the artefacts that date back to the 10th century was reached.

The sale was originally halted in 2006 following legal action carried out by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors when after a mosque in Spain claimed ownership.

Christie's declined to reveal the identity of the seller of the beams from the Mezquita de Córdoba - one of the most important Islamic buildings in the West which were expected to fetch more than £1 million at auction.

The five beams been removed from the mosque around the turn of the last century. They were apparently discarded and left in a "massive barn", where they remained until they were discovered in 1928.

Jeremy Marshall of law firm Irwin Mitchell, which represented the mosque, said: "These were no ordinary beams. Questions of ownership and provenance often come up but this was a first for the firm. I am delighted that we were able to prevent their sale until the issue of ownership had been resolved."