Museum Security Network

An art collector has been given the green light to sue Christie's auction house for allowing a purported Basquiat painting it allegedly knew was a fake to be sold anyway.

FORGERY A WORK OF ART
By DAREH GREGORIAN
November 15, 2008 —

An art collector has been given the green light to sue Christie’s auction house for allowing a purported Basquiat painting it allegedly knew was a fake to be sold anyway.

Christie’s auctioned off the untitled work in 1990 for $242,000, crediting it to Jean-Michel Basquiat and claiming to have gotten it “directly from the artist.”

But the painter’s estate had warned the auction house that it was “not right” and shouldn’t be sold, court papers say.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Herman Cahn allowed the painting’s current owner, Guido Orsi, to continue with his fraud claim against Christie’s, but threw out claims brought by the painting’s previous owner.

Orsi is seeking $2 million from Christie’s, the amount a genuine Basquiat would now be worth. He says he discovered the painting was a phony in 2006.

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