And by the way franses is quite concerned about the loose-lips comments he made to 'Gunter' about his employers and his life in the desert.
Why Michael Franses?
Well, I suppose because he represents one large tail of the rug dealers, highly skewed-to-the-right, distribution.
Having tried for decades to paint himself an expert and collector of high-end oriental rugs and honorable dealer, the faade has apparently crumbled.
That the Bellini carpet (the object of probably the most egregious fraud of the past 20 years or so in the world of antique rugs) was in his possession before he managed to sell it to Dennis Dodds, I had noted some time ago when browsing the internet.
I did not pay too much attention then since I liked the decoration of Dodds home with certainly highly valuable pieces anyway, most probably the only honest reason why rich individuals should collect antique rugs: to display them at home not store them in an inventory.
Its interesting that a simple sting operation exposed Mr. Franses true colors to the interested public.
Franses enjoys now, as an employee of the Qatar Museums Authority, life in one of the hottest and unfortunately most humid environments in the world where slave labor is most common while freedom of press and opinion are severely restricted.
He seems to spend his off time, when not musing about fast boat services on Qatars most beautiful Corniche (http://www.gulf-times.com/opinion/189/details/340415/letters-to-the-editor) or light pollution and the stars over Doha (http://www.gulf-times.com/opinion/189/details/345448/letters-to-the-editor), which he actually doesnt know (at least not to that extent of Kirchheims Orient Stars), with hooking certain super-rich fellows to unlawfully buy items from his inventory under most conspiratorial circumstances.
It is revealing that Mr. Franses appears not to be too much afraid of being fired by his Qatari superiors, but rather that exposure of the email exchange with Jack would tremendously affect the prices of his rugs he might have achieved when dealing with an apparently unknown, so nave, would-be collector from Germany.
All of this is most appalling. One further remark. Jacks most educational description of the pieces and comparisons with the real stuff is highly appreciated as it may be regarded not at least a strong warning not to listen to the baseless blabber of rug mongers, be it those who deal with high-end nearly-museum pieces, or dwarfs who use to cheat twice (or actually three times), first the deliveryman in Istanbul, then the would-be collector and finally tax authorities in, say, Germany.