French collector Marc Baradel is suing Asher Edelman, who runs the art-financing company Artemus, for allegedly damaging the sculpture Le Poisson, a 1922 work of Romanian-born Constantin Brâncuşi, News.artnet.com reported.
Baradel alleges that the sculpture fell from a pedestal and broke into two pieces after being consigned to Artemus. Edelman denied the accusations and said Baradel himself arranged the sculpture on a pedestal in the Artemus office before it fell off minutes later, according to News.artnet.com.
Baradel is now requesting USD 22.5 million in damages from Edelman and Artemus. He is also requesting USD 5 million in damages from HUB and Lloyd’s, where the sculpture had been insured.
The piece was valued at USD 22.5 million before the accident, according to an appraisal report filed in court. After the fall, it was reappraised at USD 16.9 million.
In Le poisson, Brâncuşi “explores ways of conveying motion; his intention was for the spectator to witness the fluid motion of the fish as it darts through the water,” according to a presentation at Christies.com.
A first version of the work was executed in veined marble in 1922. Two bronze versions were cast in 1924. The three final bronze versions were cast in 1926. Brâncuşi made another marble version, on a much larger scale, in 1930.
(Photo: 1930 version of the sculpture by Wikiart.org)