Japan's Mitsubishi Corp. must suspend its antiques business for a week as a penalty for its illegal purchase of two Renoir paintings, a spokesman for the trading house said Friday.
Mitsubishi violated Japan's antiques trade law by buying Renoir's "Woman after Bathing" and "Woman Reading" for $26.8 million in March 1989 without an art dealers' license.The penalty was imposed by an official body known as the Tokyo Public Safety Commission.
"We will stop our business in these goods and will do all we can not to let this kind of thing happen again," the company said.
The Renoir paintings deal hit newspaper headlines last May as local media speculated over the whereabouts of about $11.1 million of the total sum Mitsubishi said it had paid for them on March 28, 1989.
When it filed its results for the year ending March 31, 1989, the giant trading company said it had paid only $15.7 million for the two paintings.
Mitsubishi later agreed to pay taxes on the additional $11.1 million.