Luxembourg art buyer sues gallery for fraud
(JB) A Luxembourg-based company is suing a gallery and its owner for 4.5 million euros for selling fake artworks.
Arthur Properties filed the lawsuit in court last Friday, alleging that Manhattan ABA gallery and its owner Anatoly Bekkerman had defrauded the company out of millions of euros.
The claimant said that Bekkerman persuaded him to buy four paintings by Russian artists, which turned out to be forged. A further 14 art works were allegedly sold at a substantially higher cost than they were subsequently found to be worth.
The works included an oil painting allegedly by Ivan Aivazovsky for which the company paid 2.8 million euros but discovered was only worth 600,000 euros.
Two members of the Russian art department at auction house Sotheby's were not named in the lawsuit but are accused of assisting in the fraud.
They include Private Client Group consultant Regina Abramovich and Bekkerman's daughter, Sonya Bekkerman, who is senior vice president of Russian paintings at Sotheby's New York.