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Biggest legal fight in art world continues for 6 years

Posted June. 01, 2021 07:36,   

Updated June. 01, 2021 07:36


CNN reported on Sunday that a massive lawsuit has been underway over the past six years over some 38 artworks including “Salvator Mundi” (pictured) thought by some to be the work of Leonardo da Vinci. The legal battle is between Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovle and Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier.

It was Rybolovle who filed the suit first. Also the owner of the French football club AS Monaco, the Russian filed lawsuits in Monaco, Singapore, and Hong Kong, claiming to have been swindled out of around 1 billion dollars by Bouvier.

Having bought “Salvator Mundi” for 80 million dollars in 2013, Bouvier sold it to Rybolovle for 125.7 million dollars. Rybolovle argues that he was ripped off. Meanwhile, the Russian auctioned it off for 450 million dollars in 2017.

Bouvier claims that the transaction between the two was “normal” based on the dealer’s taste, adding the fact that Rybolovle failed to persuade any judicial authorities bolsters his case. The globally famed art dealer told CNN that he intended to sue Rybolovle for damaging his business and reputation.

Min Kim kimmin@donga.com