Billionaire Collector Peter Brant Sues Insurer Lloyds of London for Damaged Warhols Worth $60 Million
How to turn damage into dollars.
Did media billionaire Peter Brant take a cue from fellow top collector Steven A. Wynn when it came to handling a damaged artwork?
According to the Daily News, Brant has sued his insurer, Lloyds of London over what he says is $9 million worth of damage to a group of silkscreen Electric Chairs by Andy Warhol that he loaned to a major exhibition in Italy in 2013. The grouping is worth $60 million.
Brant filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday, November 6. According to the Daily News, Brant said Lloyd’s took premiums to insure the collection including 12 Electric Chairs, but claimed the insurer was not abiding by the terms of the policy, which stipulates that it pay for repairs to damaged artwork or “depreciation suffered” as a result.
The Brant Foundation reportedly hired Amman Estabrook Conservation Associates to repair the panels and appointed Warhol expert and dealer Stellan Holm to evaluate the impact of the repairs on the value of the works.
Lloyds hired appraiser Victor Weiner, but would not share a copy of his appraisal report and refused to pay for the repairs, reports the Daily News.
This isn’t the first time the London-based insurer has been sued by a high-profile client, of course. Nine years ago, casino mogul and renowned collector Wynn poked his elbow thorough Picasso’s painting Le Rêve right as he was boasting to a group of onlookers—that included Barbara Walters and the late Nora Ephron among others—about a just-inked deal to sell the work for $139 million to hedge fund manager Steven Cohen.
Wynn claimed a loss of $54 million, based on his claim that the restored painting was at the time worth $85 million—$54 million less than what Cohen agreed to pay for it. In early 2007, he sued Lloyds for its failure to pay the claim. But two months later—amid rumors of a $40 million settlement—Wynn dismissed his suit against Lloyds.
A representative at Brant’s newsprint company—White Birch Paper in Greenwich, Connecticut—said she could not comment on ongoing litigation.
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