Modigliani museum closes amid owners’ dispute

Brothers fall out over future of artist’s childhood home in Livorno

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A museum devoted to Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920), which is housed in the Italian artist’s childhood home in Livorno in Tuscany, has closed following a dispute between the institution’s owners.

The residence was jointly purchased by brothers Guido and Giorgio Guastalla, both local art dealers, along with Modigliani specialist Christian Parisot, in 1991.

“Parisot subsequently transferred his share of the property to myself and Guido Guastalla. As well as being co-owner with a 50% share, I converted the house into the Modigliani museum with guided tours, conferences, film showings etc.,” Giorgio Guastalla told The Art Newspaper. The project was realised with his brother’s consent, he added.

The museum houses extensive publication and photography holdings. Portraits of Jeanne Hébuterne, Modigliani’s mistress and model, are on show alongside original furniture.

It seems that when the tenancy agreement between the brothers recently expired, Guido attempted to reclaim his 50% share in the property. “This will be very difficult to achieve given the indivisibility of the property,” added Giorgio Guastalla. “Our lawyers are examining the case and I am confident we will re-open shortly.”

Guido Guastalla said: “Modigliani’s market needs serious attention. I want to turn the house into a centre for the authentication of Modigliani’s works.”

The official Archives Légales Amedeo Modigliani, led by Parisot, are based in Paris. Its website says that it aims to “safeguard the worldwide spread of the knowledge of the artist’s works”.

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