Major Lawsuit Arises For Art Transaction

Posted by Michael Rodriguez on December 20, 2016 in Blogging |


Sotheby’s has recently joined the very long-running dispute about a Leonardo da Vinci painting which has pitted a Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev against that of a Swiss businessman who owns and operates the largest art storage facilities throughout the entire world.

This auction house has recently fired a highly preemptive shot with an added request to a federal judge for an order to work towards the clearing it of any potential wrongdoing regarding the private sale of a Christ as Salvator Mundi to Yves Bouvier.

The painting was actually sold back in 2013 to a company which was controlled by Bouvier for about $80 million by a respected consortium of dealers which include Warren Adelson who is now the president of Adelson Galleries, New York art dealers Alexander Parish as well as Robert Simon, Sotheby’s declared. Bouvier then flipped this art to Rybolovlev for around $127.5 million. The dealer’s group feels quite threatening when it comes to the idea to sue Sotheby’s for the differential, claiming they were potentially shortchanged on the transaction, the auction house revealed in an open filing in a Manhattan federal court on Monday.

This rather international battle is being closely watched by active participants of the art market. This Russian fertilizer billionaire has been accused by the freeport mogul of over-charging him $500 million to $1 billion over the course of about a decade for works created by da Vinci, Mark Rothko, as well as Pablo Picasso. Rybolovlev has sued Bouvier in Monaco as well as Singapore, claiming that he was definitely the victim of fraud.

Sotheby’s really had nothing to do with the very private deal that Bouvier struck with Rybolovlev and it did not make any actual profit or money on the sale, the auction house indicated within the court filing.

Estate Sale

Parish has quite apparently purchased the painting for about $10,000 in an estate sale in Louisiana back in the early 2000s, Sotheby’s stated in the filing. It was believed this work was actually a copy of a da Vinci, but Sotheby’s indicated in the filing that it later helped in the actual authentication of the painting and that it was really done by the master around the time of 1500.


Tip:  If you have original valuable art, it is not covered when purchasing a standard homeowners insurance policy.  Even if you think that you already have the best insurance in Albuquerque, you need to contact an Albuquerque insurance agent to add additional coverage that is needed to have adequate protection for high-value artwork.

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