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French Collector files lawsuit against Dealer, Insurance companies for damages to $22.5M Brancusi Sculpture

We have seen several cases now where there have been claims and lawsuits filed against Insurance companies. Similarly, a new lawsuit was filed in the New York Supreme Court by a French Collector and he claims that two insurance companies, as well as a prominent financier-dealer, owe him millions in damage caused to his Constantin Brancusi sculpture.

Marc Baradel who is the person filing this lawsuit owns the sculpture named as Le Poisson. He says that the sculpture had been appraised at $22.5M while he also insured it for $5 Million as part of a consignment agreement. Baradel has filed his lawsuit claim against Asher Edelman and his New York-based art-financing business, Artemus; HUB International, an insurance company headquartered in Chicago; and Lloyd’s of London, a British insurance company that also has an American branch.

An appraisal report that has been filed along with the suit describes the sculpture as an ” ovular marble disk atop a squarish platform “. The report goes on to mention that the sculpture broke “roughly at the centre”. However, the same report also mentions that the sculpture was re-adhered by a specialist. But they claim that the “value was reduced” after this. According to the report, the value of this sculpture reduced by nearly $16.9 million. Also, the report only describes that the work was damaged in a “fall” but it does not mention how the work fell or who caused the fall.

“Given the amounts of money involved, a jury could find that they were acting in their own interests,” said the New York art lawyer who is representing Baradel in this case. He also says that the sculpture was a “major asset” for Baradel.

However, Edelman says that “He sets it up on a pedestal—he sets it up, not me—and then we give him the consignment agreement and certificate of insurance, That minute, it falls to the ground and breaks.” claiming that he is not to blame for the fall