National Gallery of Victoria curator Geoffrey Smith, accused of improperly using his position to help former lover Robert Gould, has been stood down from his position as an inquiry investigates the allegations.

The Age reported Smith would be asked whether he used his position and gallery resources to further the interests of Gould, a Melbourne art dealer.

The former partners are involved in a multimillion-dollar property dispute that includes a prized Australian art collection. The NGV has ruled there is a case to be answered as part of the inquiry.

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