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Art market

Appeal over Peter Brant ownership of Warhol

Ms Lindholm has been attempting to regain Warhol's Red Elvis since 2000

In what could be one of the longer and more costly contested art ownership suits, Ms Kerstin Lindholm is appealing the Connecticut Superior Court ruling granting billionaire publisher and art collector Peter Brant ownership of Warhol’s Red Elvis (No.162, October 2005, p.49). Ms Lindholm has been attempting to regain the 1962 multi-image silkscreen since 2000. Her attorney Larry Silverstein, a partner with law firm Proskauer Rose, says they are appealing the Connecticut court decision. “The brief isn’t written yet but our bottom line is that we think in many respects the court agreed with us as to Mr Brant’s legal duty in that this was not a typical transaction,” says Mr Rose. He notes that at the time of the sale, Ms Lindholm was in the midst of a divorce proceeding and a divorce court order barred the sale of the Warhol picture. His firm will file papers at the beginning of 2006. Immediately after the decision, Mr Brant hired the public relations firm Fitz & Co. to publicise his court victory. “If Peter didn’t do due diligence, then nobody ever did,” says Peter R. Stern, the New York attorney who represented Mr Brant in the purchase of the painting. This appears to be a particularly costly contested ownership suit. Insiders say Ms Lindholm spent upwards of $750,000 on legal fees.