Gagosian Art Gallery, Qatar Royal Family settle dispute over Picasso sculpture
The collector Leon Black is the legal victor in a dispute over the ownership of a famed Picasso sculpture and will take possession of it, the New York Times reports.
On Wednesday, the parties who had been fighting over the plaster bust of the artist’s muse (and mistress) Marie-Thérèse Walter, announced that they had agreed that Mr. Black would get to keep the work, “Bust of a Woman,” and a rival owner, representing the Qatari royal family, would receive financial compensation of an undisclosed amount.
“We are pleased that the dispute has been settled and Mr. Black will receive his sculpture,” Gagosian Gallery Spokesperson Jeffrey Schneider said in a statement sent to Public Radio of Armenia.
“Today’s settlement shows without question that the Gagosian Gallery purchased and sold this sculpture in good faith and without any knowledge of Picasso and Pelham’s prior dealings, as we have said all along,” the statement reads.
A settlement had been announced in May, but the court did not disclose any details regarding who would keep the painting.
The Picasso Bust was at the center of custody battle between American Armenian art dealer Gagosian and the Qatar Royal Family since January.
In a legal action filed in January 2016 in federal court in Manhattan against the Qatari family’s agent, Mr. Gagosian claimed that he bought the 1931 sculpture in May 2015 for about $106 million from Ms. Widmaier-Picasso, and then sold it to an undisclosed New York collector.
But the Qatari family’s agent, Pelham Holdings, run by Guy Bennett, maintained in its own court documents that it had secured an agreement with Ms. Widmaier-Picasso to buy the work in November 2014 for 38 million euros, or about $42 million.