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Maradona’s heirs try to prevent the sale of a stolen trophy in France

Maradona’s heirs try to prevent the sale of a stolen trophy in France

Diego Armando Maradona’s heirs asked that the sale, scheduled for June, of a Ballon d’Or obtained by the Argentine star in 1986, as the best player at the World Cup in Mexico and with a complex history, be stopped.

The Aguttes auction house intends to sell, on June 6th, this trophy that the legendary star received during a ceremony at the “Lido” musical theater that year and, whose existence was reportedly discovered by an antiques dealer.

According to the five heirs, the prize was stolen in 1989, during a bank robbery in Naples, an Italian city that venerates the Argentine player, who died in November 2020. The heirs’ lawyers, who discovered the sale that was supposed to take place in Neuilly- sur-Seine, an upscale area in the suburbs of Paris, a few weeks ago, they went to court to recover the prize.

“The family wants to get this ball back, the Argentine people want to get this ball back,” said Lola Chunet, one of the family’s lawyers, outside the court in Nanterre, west of the capital.

However, the auction house’s lawyers and the trophy’s seller question the story of the theft and guarantee that Maradona’s family never presented evidence of a possible accusation.

“Trying, 35 years after an alleged theft, to recover assets without ever filing a complaint is an opportunistic approach that justice cannot tolerate,” declared Arthur Gaulier, lawyer for Aguttes.

In a statement, Maximilien Aguttes, director of the auction house, recalled that one of the “legends” circulating about this trophy states that Maradona had forgotten it in the “Lido” on the night of the awards ceremony.

The former gallerist and antique dealer says he acquired it at auction in 2016, “in the same scrap lot” made up of hundreds of trophies, most of them of little value, explained Aguttes.

“He bid on eight lots and bought them for 500 euros (around R$2,800 at the current price), not counting expenses,” explained the seller’s lawyer, Marine Le Bihan. Later, her client realized that one of the trophies could be Maradona’s.

During his investigations to prove the authenticity of this “Golden Ball”, the antique dealer contacted one of the Argentine star’s lawyers, assured Le Bihan.

The decision of the Nanterre court on the urgent appeal presented by the family will be known on May 30th. The court must decide whether the sale can take place or whether the merits of the matter need to be examined.

The Public Ministry confirmed to the AFP that a complaint was filed parallel to the criminal jurisdiction.

The trophy that Diego Armando Maradona received in 1986 has no relation to the Ballon d’Or, awarded by the magazine France Football, to the best player of the year.

Source: Gazetaesportiva

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