Nigerian terracotta sculpture
Accodring to Bloomberg Media Group, the art magazine, Art + Auction was named in a lawsuit for shattering a 2,630-year-old Nigerian terracotta sculpture beyond repair during a photo shoot last
May at a Manhattan collector’s residence.
The shoot was in the Tribeca home of Corice Arman, the widow of the French-born artist Arman, who died in 2005.
Arman said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg: “They were setting up the shoot and I heard this enormous crash” .
Her lawyer, Charles Rosenzweig, said the piece, described in the complaint as a Nok figure, had been valued after the accident at $300,000. He added that Arman is seeking that amount, plus interest, from Louise Blouin Media Inc., owner of Art + Auction. This was according to the complaint filed April 24 in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
While Arman was in another room of the converted pickle factory during the accident, she said she believes the sculpture was being moved from its home next to a fireplace.
Ben Hartley, president of Louise Blouin Media, said the company hadn’t received the complaint and declined to comment on it or the accident. Rosenzweig said that Arman and later Rosenzweig , negotiated with Blouin’s insurer.
“There was not a reasonable offer,” the lawyer said, adding that Arman’s insurance didn’t cover the sculpture’s full value.
Arman had previously said in interviews that she and her husband acquired the sculpture in the early 1990s. However she declined to say how much they paid.
An avid collector, Arman said the accident was a first of its kind for her.
She concluded the interview by saying: “My cat has jumped on a shelf and knocked something over,” she said. “But it wasn’t as valuable.”