Posted May 25, 2018 07:18:20Australia’s most iconic graphic art exhibitions continue to dazzle with their artworks, but one artist who has been called “Australia’s best artist” in recent years is facing a growing list of charges and fines, and a looming criminal investigation.
In February 2018, Australian photographer Sarah Glynn was accused of breaching a federal anti-corruption law by allegedly signing an agreement in which she agreed not to disclose her relationship with the Australian Government.
In September 2018, the Sydney Art gallery was fined $6,500 by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) after an undercover investigation.
On Monday, the Victorian Court of Appeal upheld a $2,500 fine that the NSW Attorney-General, Jarrod Bleijie, had imposed on Sydney’s Art Gallery in September 2018 for failing to disclose its relationship with Ms Glynn.
The court also ordered the gallery to pay $7,500 to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in 2018 for breaching a breach of privacy act.
In his decision, Justice Bleijee said that the Art Gallery had “committed a serious breach of its duty of good faith” and that it breached its duty to inform the AFP of its dealings with Ms Rizvi.
“The Art Gallery must now come clean about its dealings,” Justice Blei said.
The Art gallery had signed a “business plan” with the AFP in which Ms Riazvi agreed not “to reveal any information to the AFP, including the name of the client, the extent of the relationship, the date of the engagement, or the financial relationship between the parties,” Justice Leibovici wrote.
“As a result of the breach, the Art gallery has been fined $2.5,000 by the AFP for failing not to comply with the disclosure requirements under the law.”
“There are many more cases where the AFP has been forced to reveal the names of individuals who are in possession of confidential information,” Justice Anthony Gorman said in his judgment.
“I cannot believe that any other government department has ever had to suffer such a heavy fine and for failing so.”
Mr Bleije said he was “pleased” that the court was “willing to give an explanation” for why the Art Galleries dealings were confidential.
The AP reported that the Australian Crime Commission had been investigating the Art galleries dealings for months.
“We believe there is a substantial amount of material that we can show you that has been in the possession of Mr Bleiji, the Australian Attorney-Gen,” Mr Blei told the court.
Mr Blei’s decision will come as a relief to the art gallery’s owner, who was not involved in the deal.
“Sarah Rizzi has always maintained her innocence, and that is why we are happy to be vindicated in this matter,” the gallery’s managing director, Lisa Beattie, said.
“She has made the right decision to withdraw from the transaction, and she has done so without any personal or commercial benefit to the Art and Art Gallery.”
The art gallery was also fined $1,000 in February 2018 for the illegal purchase of art from the gallery.