Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Russian Art Lawsuit

In today's New York Sun, Kate Taylor has a story on a "porcelain centerpiece that was among the top presale lots in Sotheby’s Russian art sales last week" but is now "at the center of a legal dispute, in which a Great Neck man claims that the dealer who put the piece up for auction stole it from his home and then told him he would be killed by the Russian mafia if he tried to recover it."

The parties had reached an agreement with Sotheby's to allow the sale to go forward (with an estimate of $2-3 million) -- "with the successful purchaser acquiring full title and Sotheby’s holding onto the proceeds until the dispute was settled" -- but it failed to sell. The lawsuit followed.