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Category Archives: Litigation Issues

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High-Profile Swiss Art Broker And Businessman Arrested For Alleged Manipulation Of Prices On Art Market In Global Investigation

Posted in Art Valuation, Litigation Issues

As recently reported here, Yves Bouvier, the high-profile Swiss art broker and businessman, who is head of an international art shipping and storage business, was arrested last week in Monaco in connection with alleged fraud relating to works of art.  The investigation that led to Bouvier’s arrest is believed to have centered on the inflation… Continue Reading

Sotheby’s Caravaggio Controversy – Sotheby’s Specialists Prevail

Posted in Art Valuation, Litigation Issues

Sotheby’s UK prevailed recently in a court dispute over an Old Master attribution. At the heart of the dispute was a painting entitled The Cardsharps, which Sotheby’s attributed to a follower of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) and sold for £42,000 in 2006 on behalf of consignor, Lancelot Thwaytes. Following the 2006 sale, it was… Continue Reading

More Trouble for Former Director of the Salander-O’Reilly Galleries

Posted in Art Recovery/Theft, Litigation Issues

Leigh Morse, former director of the now infamous Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, may be incarcerated again for failing to timely pay restitution to the galleries’ defrauded clients, which include celebrity clients like Robert DeNiro.  It has been reported that more than three years have passed since her sentencing but Morse has only paid $22,000 of the $1.73… Continue Reading

Fate Of The Treasured “Cranachs” Continues – Part 2 And The Act Of State Doctrine

Posted in Art Museums, Art Recovery/Theft, Litigation Issues

As noted in the below post, last week the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) declined to hear an art provenance case, Norton Simon Museum of Art at Pasadena et al. v. Marei Von Saher, which has a rather long history as well as the artworks at issue.  The claims involve the fate of… Continue Reading

California Museum Denied Cert by SCOTUS on Dispute over Looted Art

Posted in Art Museums, Art Recovery/Theft, Litigation Issues

As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision to deny cert on The Norton Simon Museum’s appeal, Marei Von Saher, descendant of Jewish relatives who fled Holland during the Holocaust, will get another day in court on claims involving the ownership of Renaissance artist, Lucas Cranach the Elder’s, life-sized diptychs of Adam and Eve (circa… Continue Reading

DALI FORGERY: Reliance on Art Gallery Reasonable, No Duty for Art Buyer to Conduct Own Due Diligence

Posted in Litigation Issues

In a recent case, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in an unpublished opinion that claims against Park West Galleries, Inc. for fraudulent concealment and breach of warranty could move forward despite West Galleries’ statute of limitations argument. Time Line: 1999 – Purchase by buyer aboard cruise ship of Salvadore Dali’s Divine Comedy, complete set… Continue Reading

Bankruptcy Trustee Probe: Robert Truland’s Purchase of Company Artwork for Fair Price?

Posted in Litigation Issues

The Washington Business Journal recently reported that the bankruptcy trustee for Truland Group Inc., D.C.’s area’s largest electrical contractor, is investigating whether the company’s CEO, Robert W. Truland, paid fair value for the dozens of pieces of artwork that he purchased from the company just four months before it suddenly shut down.  Read full article… Continue Reading

Update in Terry Gilliam Infringement Lawsuit: Plaintiff’s Seek Preliminary Injunction

Posted in Litigation Issues

In August, we posted about the federal lawsuit filed by three street artists against film director (and Monty Python actor) Terry Gilliam for allegedly plagiarizing their mural in his latest movie, The Zero Theorem.  Read post here. On September 22, plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction asking the court to bar defendants, including… Continue Reading

“Blatant Misappropriation”: Terry Gilliam Sued for Alleged Use of Street Mural in His New Film

Posted in Litigation Issues

On August 12, 2014, a trio of street artists filed a lawsuit in federal court against film director (and Monty Python actor) Terry Gilliam for allegedly plagiarizing their mural in his latest movie, The Zero Theorem. The mural, or “Copyrighted Artwork,” was painted collaboratively by the artists in 2010, in the zona de graffiti on… Continue Reading

‘Save the Corcoran Coalition’ Files Complaint and Petition to Intervene

Posted in Litigation Issues

On July 2, 2014, the Save the Corcoran Coalition, a Washington D.C. non-profit corporation, filed a complaint and petition to intervene in the cy près proceeding of the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The complaint alleges that the Trustees breached their fiduciary duties, mismanaged fundraising efforts, wasted assets, and made misleading representations in support of… Continue Reading

New Expert Appraisal Reveals That The Detroit Institute Of Arts’ World-Class Collection Could Be Worth In The Multi-Billions

Posted in Art Valuation, Litigation Issues

Having grown up in Michigan as a young child, I fondly recall a number of visits I made to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) as well as to the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) with my family.  I felt so fortunate to live in relatively close proximity to such two world-class art institutions in the… Continue Reading

Guggenheim Heirs’ Latest Claims Rejected By Paris Tribunal In Long-Running Dispute Over Art Collection and Venetian Palazzo

Posted in Litigation Issues

As reported in yesterday’s New York Times and other online sources, a Paris tribunal on July 2 held that the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is permitted to display art as it sees fit in the Venetian palazzo, the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, bequeathed to it along with a vast art collection by the affluent expatriate… Continue Reading

Federal Prosecutors Declare Indicted Art Dealer and Co-Conspirators Modern Masters of Forgery and Deceit

Posted in Litigation Issues

As reported in this recent article, in an alleged scheme that spanned for nearly 20 years involving a number of New York art galleries, a Spanish art dealer and his associates made in excess of $33 million by peddling forged modern art works through galleries to unsuspecting affluent buyers who paid in the millions of… Continue Reading

Detroit’s DIA Thriving – Attendance Up Since Bankruptcy Filing

Posted in Art Museums, Art Valuation, Litigation Issues

In a previous post, I wondered if attendance was up at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) since news of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing broke. Indeed, according to a recent report, attendance has doubled over the last year with nearly 600,000 visitors coming to the museum to see firsthand the renowned collection. Further, in recent news, the court… Continue Reading

Update – Sotheby’s Fetches $13M USD for Esmerian Collection of Folk Art

Posted in Art Finance, Art Valuation, Litigation Issues

Last month, Sotheby’s sold the art collection of former jeweler to the stars, art collector and former chairman of the Folk Art Museum in New York City, Ralph O. Esmerian.  Fetching $13M USD, the sale has been reported to be the highest for any American folk art collection.  As reported in a previous blog post, Esmerian… Continue Reading

Art of War: Asher Edelman Brings Suit Seeking Over $200 Million in Damages for Alleged Art Fraud

Posted in Art Finance, Art Recovery/Theft, Litigation Issues

The well-known art collector and financier Asher Edelman has instituted a lawsuit in Manhattan claiming that his firm, ArtAssure, was fleeced of over $200 million arising out of an allegedlly fraudulent art transaction. ArtAssure claims that it was fraudulently induced by the Swiss firm Artmentum to believe that Japan’s Hiroshima Art Museum was trying to sell approximately $400… Continue Reading

Insert Your Own Disney Joke Here: Michael Ovitz Sues Gallery Over Claimed $1 Million Dollar Fraud

Posted in Litigation Issues

Michael Ovitz, well-known as a former Disney executive and co-founder of Creative Artists Agency,  as well as a prominent art collector, has sued a Los Angeles gallery.  In the lawsuit, Ovitz claims that the gallery sold two pieces of art Ovitz consigned to it but did not pay Ovitz the proceeds in an amount of approximately $1 million. Ovitz alleges that Perry Rubenstein… Continue Reading

Update – Metropolitan Museum of Art Prevails on Entry Fee Dispute

Posted in Litigation Issues

As reported in my previous post regarding the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there has been recent litigation over the Met’s “suggested” $25 admission fee, which many characterize as exorbitant and violative of the 1893 Act which permitted the museum to operate rent free under certain conditions including a primarily free admission policy.  In a recent ruling as reported by Bloomber News,… Continue Reading

Austrian Restitution Law Opens the Door to Return of Valuable Gustav Klimt Work

Posted in Art Recovery/Theft, Art Valuation, Litigation Issues

In 2009 the restitution laws of Austria were amended to include works of art that were sold to the government at a discount due to an export ban on art.  In a recent case involving a valuable frieze inspired by Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that was crafted by Gustav Klimt in 1902, a panel of art… Continue Reading