The Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles Music Center is suing Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen for more than $6 million in Los Angeles County Superior Court. According to the Times, the Music Center entered into a contract with the artists in May 2003 to deliver a sculpture entitled "Collar and Bow." The contract price was $2.2 million, and the deadline for completion was Aug. 2004. When "technical difficulties arose," the Music Center granted a two-year extension and authorized spending an additional $1.6 million, but the work remains unfinished. The lawsuit was filed in Feb. 2007, and with mediation and settlement negotiations having failed, a jury trial has been scheduled for October of this year. "The suit accuses Oldenburg and Van Bruggen of negligence, breach of contract and unjust enrichment and adds an allegation of fraud against Carlson & Co., the San Fernando art fabrication company .... Other defendants are Englekirk & Sabol, Los Angeles consulting structural engineers, and Santa Ana-based Westerly Marine, a custom boat builder that, according to its website, was hired to help produce" the work.
Adding an especially sad element to the case, "the Times of London reported in September that cancer that Van Bruggen had battled for six years had spread to her bones."