Picasso experts' rift spills into court action: Signature on pounds 1.1m print is claimed not to be authentic
David Tunick, a New York dealer, and Eberhard Kornfeld, a Swiss auctioneer, will see each other in court. Mr Tunick is seeking refund on the price he paid for the Picasso and punitive damages of dollars 20m (pounds 13m); Mr Kornfeld is suing for outstanding payment.
Their quarrel concerns the authenticity of the pencil signature on an impression of Picasso's famous 1935 print La Minotauromachie - the mythical half-man, half-bull. The two have locked horns over that signature since 1991, when Mr Tunick exhibited the print at the annual Art Show in Manhattan. Although it had pride of place on his stand and a price tag of dollars 2m, it did not sell.
Eight months later, and 16 months after purchasing it, Mr Tunick said experts had questioned the authenticity of the signature, but not the print. A signed print is significantly more valuable.
Mr Kornfeld, a Picasso expert, offered to exchange it for a copy of the same print in his private collection - a version that had for years been on loan to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. According to Jeremy Epstein, of Shearman & Sterling - Mr Kornfeld's lawyers - Mr Tunick refused the swap and demanded his money back.
In October 1991, nine days after Mr Tunick claimed he had discovered that the print's signature was fake, he sued Mr Kornfeld in the US Federal District Court in Manhattan. He cited fraud, breach of warranty and wreckless misrepresentation.
A month later, Mr Kornfeld filed a lawsuit in Switzerland for the money he was still owed. In December 1992, the case was dismissed in the Swiss courts on jurisdictional grounds and, after appeal, that ruling was affirmed three months ago.
In January this year, the Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that the case would proceed in New York.
In July this year, Mr Kornfeld filed a counter-claim against Mr Tunick in New York, suing for breach of contract and fraud, to recover the balance of the amount. Both sides moved to dismiss the other's claims, but the judge denied the motions. The case is likely to come to court within the next few weeks.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 5 9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Manny Pacquiao begs Indonesia president to spare life of drug smuggler Mary Jane Veloso about to be executed
Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...