A Manhattan art gallery is being sued for selling inauthentic sculptures by the renowned art deco artist Demétre Chiparus. The cost? Over US$100,000.
Christopher Rouse claims Elliot Stevens gallery attempted to convince him that the statues were made using original molds which was acquired after the sculptor died in the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Rouse maintains to have been told that the statues were for sale at a 75% markdown because the gallery owners were retiring. In reality, however, the Romanian sculptor lived and died in Paris, and an expert witness at the trial in a Manhattan federal court testified that the statues were most likely Chinese-made forgeries copied from photographs.
The gallery denies that it mislead Rouse, insisting that his version of events are not true. According to documents, the gallery describes the artworks as having been “cast and carved from an original model by DH Chiparus.”
Elliot Stevens CEO Steven Shalom was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday but was forced to postpone his testimony due to illness. Shalom will testify in October, when the trial continues.