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Brazilian police are investigating the death of a Manhattan art dealer as a homicide

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — An American art dealer who co-owned a prominent Manhattan gallery was found dead in a Rio de Janeiro apartment, and homicide investigators are handling the case, state police in Brazil said Tuesday.

The Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro State said its homicide department was investigating the death of Brent Sikkema, 75, who co-owned the contemporary art gallery Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

The civil police force said in a statement that forensics work has been done at the property where Sikkema's body was found.

“Officers will listen to witnesses, are looking for more information and are carrying out other inquiries to shed light on the case,” the statement said.

Sikkema's body was discovered Monday and he was reportedly killed with a sharp object, according to Brazilian newspaper O Globo, though details remain scant.

The U.S. Consulate in Rio confirmed the death of a U.S. citizen.

Originally founded in 1991, Sikkema Jenkins & Co. shows works by Jeffrey Gibson, Arturo Herrera, Sheila Hicks, Vik Muniz, Kara Walker and other artists on 22nd Street near the Chelsea Piers.

Sikkema began his career in 1971 at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, where he worked as director of exhibitions . He opened his first gallery in 1976 in Boston, Massachusetts.

In 2021, during a trip to the Swiss city of Zurich, Sikkema described himself on Instagram as a “chaos kind of guy” said Brazil and Cuba were his preferred type of destination.