HONG KONG, China – An heiress of the Hong Kong beverage giant Vitasoy International is suing a prominent gallery owner, saying she paid 500,000 pounds ($613,000) for a Banksy painting that was never delivered, according to a court writ filed this week.
Karen Lo, whose grandfather founded Vitasoy which specializes in soy milk and juice drinks, said Pearl Lam, the gallery owner, falsely represented that she had bought Banksy’s Show Me The Monet painting on Lo’s behalf, according to the writ.
Lam’s office told Reuters that it was a “private matter and we regret it is being litigated in the press. Of course we have offered a full refund and we look forward to resolving this matter promptly”. It did not give further details.
The 2005 painting by the British artist is a “remix” of a masterpiece by Impressionist painter Claude Monet.
It was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in October 2020 for more than 7.5 million pounds, far above an estimated sale price of 3 million pounds to 5 million pounds.
Lam is one of more than 170 gallery owners participating in Art Basel Hong Kong this week.
Hong Kong’s government has welcomed the art fair as it tries to reinvigorate the economy after a nearly three-year slump from factors including tough COVID lockdowns, a closed border with China and a security crackdown. – Rappler.com
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