High-Flying Art Heiress Angela Gulbenkian Has Been Slapped With a New Lawsuit Claiming She Cheated a Collector Out of an Andy Warhol

The embattled art dealer is facing a multitude of charges.

Angela Gulbenkian. Photo by Angela Gulbenkian via Instagram.
Angela Gulbenkian. Photo by Angela Gulbenkian via Instagram.

Fresh allegations of fraudulent art dealing by Angela Gulbenkian, a German woman who married into one of Europe’s wealthiest and most renowned art-collecting families, have cropped up in Germany.

In a complaint filed in Munich this month on behalf of an anonymous London art dealer, lawyer Hannes Hartung says Gulbenkian sold his client an Andy Warhol Queen Elizabeth II print for £115,000 ($151,000). But she failed to give that money to the seller, according to the suit—which Hartung’s client only realized when the owner showed up demanding payment.

The story was first reported by the Art Newspaper.

These are not the first such accusations levied against Gulbenkian. In March 2018, Hong Kong-based art advisor Mathieu Ticolat claimed to have paid $1.4 million for a Yayoi Kusama pumpkin sculpture that was never delivered.

Ticolat enlisted Christopher Marinello of Art Recovery International to get his money back in late 2017. The case has yet to be resolved, but criminal and civil charges are pending against Gulbenkian in both Germany and the UK, with trials scheduled for March and May.

Angela Gulbenkian arranged for the sale of this Andy Warhol <em>Queen Elizabeth II</em> print, but never delivered the payment to the original owner. Courtesy of Art Recovery International.

According to a new lawsuit, Angela Gulbenkian arranged for the sale of this Andy Warhol Queen Elizabeth II print, but never delivered payment to the original owner. Courtesy of Art Recovery International.

“I assure you that if these cases took place in the United States, she’d be sitting in jail next to Anna Delvey,” Marinello told Artnet News. “There are other victims. I get calls from people all the time who were swindled by her, or who were about to be, but backed out after they read about my client’s case.”

“It’s exactly the same scam,” Hartung writes in the new complaint. “Gulbenkian again fails to complete an art transaction and again retains a large sum of money which she is clearly not entitled to.” He says “an international arrest warrant [should] be issued” due to “the seriousness of the offenses.”

Marinello says Gulbenkian banked on the Gulbenkian family name, which is synonymous with arts philanthropy, to trick unsuspecting collectors.

“She’s still using the Gulbenkian art collection to lure in victims,” he said. “She’s trying to put deals together at this very moment. This woman is going down swinging, but anybody in their right mind would not do business with her.”

“We’re going after the money wherever we can find it, whether it’s her family or friends—whoever has touched these funds, we’re going to go after them,” he added.

Artnet News’s attempts to reach Gulbenkian were unsuccessful.


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