Monday, May 13, 2024

"Hobbled by Cyberattack, Christie’s Says Marquee Sales Will Proceed"

 From the New York Times, May 12:

The auction house failed to regain control of its official website on Sunday but said that its spring auctions would go on, in person and by phone.

Officials at Christie’s auction house said on Saturday that the marquee sales that account for nearly half of its annual revenue would continue, despite the company having lost control of its official website last Thursday in a hack that is testing the loyalty of its ultrawealthy clients amid its spring auctions.

On Sunday evening, in his first public statement since the cyberattack, Guillaume Cerruti, the chief executive of Christie’s, confirmed that eight auctions would proceed as scheduled this week, with bidding in person and by phone (the rare watches sale has been postponed until May 14). “We are looking forward to welcoming you to our exhibitions and to registering you to participate in these auctions,” he wrote in an emailed statement. Neither Cerruti nor a spokeswoman for the auction house responded to questions of how the online portion of the auction would continue.

On Thursday, Christie’s experienced what it called a “technology security issue” that took its company website offline, leaving in place an apology and the promise to provide “further updates to our clients as appropriate.” By Sunday, the site was still down.

It was the second time in less than a year that Christie’s had suffered a breach. In August, a German cybersecurity company revealed a data breach at the auction house that leaked the locations of artworks held by some of the world’s wealthiest collectors....


After posting "Paris 1874 Inventing impressionism" and ""A Portal Connecting NYC To Dublin..."" I swung by Christie's website to see how they were celebrating the 150th anniversary of the 1874 Impressionist show. And got the message:
We apologise that our full website is currently offline. We are looking to resolve this as soon as possible and regret any inconvenience.
Contact details below for help and registration including to register for online bidding:...
It was the first I had heard of the attack ahead of this, the biggest week on the calendar. Yikes! 
Besides the fact that the cyberattack is very, very nasty in it's timing, I was very selfishly disappointed that I didn't get to see what I'm sure is a wonderful homage to the Impressionists all those years ago. Here's the Thanksgiving post we roll out each year as an example of what I mean:
And speaking of J.M.W. Turner (for folks who don't obsessively remember every word that appears herein, it was November 21, 2016)...

Again from the Paris Review, this time November 24, 2014:

Sleep of the Just
You know how J. M. W. Turner tried to exhibit his work at the Royal Academy and the Royal Academy was all, Wow, your work is way too innovative and interesting and we can’t show it because it would threaten all our hidebound, bourgeois ideas and force us to reevaluate everything and make important societal changes? Yeah, well, I totally see their point. Once a year, anyway.

Because every November, all the food magazines and blogs start trying to bully us into to reinventing the wheel. Don’t be a fogey! they scream. What, you’re still eating turkey? HAHAHA. Well, if you insist on being a “traditionalist,” stuff that turkey with linguica and kale! Baste it with ramen! Douse it in pomegranate molasses! (All this is said in a vaguely threatening, SportsCenter-style cadence.) This isn’t your mom’s green bean casserole! You’re not even seeing those losers, are you, with their stupid political views and opinions about your love life? Surely you’re having some awesome no-strings Friendsgiving celebrating the new family you’ve chosen! Right? RIGHT?! SRIRACHA. SRIRACHA. SRIRACHA. 

Look. I get the market demands of the newsstand. You can’t just recycle the same stuff year after year. Nor do I mean to advocate a slavish adherence to tradition. In my family’s case, that would mean cleaning the dining room table off in a panic at the last minute, barring entrance to the rooms where we’ve stuck all the mess, then watching my mother stand in front of the digital meat thermometer with tears rolling down her cheeks....MORE 
"...and the Royal Academy was all, Wow, your work is way too innovative and interesting and we can’t show it...."
Mr Turner Recreating theRoyal Academy Show of 1832

Because that's just the way they spoke at the Royal Academy, back in the day.

The pic is from Christie's "Mr Turner: Recreating the Royal Academy Show of 1832"

Friday? Maybe some more Thanksgiving stories or a recipe or two.