Collector Sues Dealer and Insurance Companies Over Broken $US22.5m Brancusi Sculpture

French Collector Marc Baradel is filing a lawsuit against art dealer Asher Edelman and two insurance companies for allegedly damaging his rare Constantin Brancusi (1876 - 1957) sculpture Le Poisson which is worth US$22.5m. The lawsuit which was filed to the New York State Supreme Court states that the piece, created circa 1920 - 1922, broke into "two roughly equal-sized pieces" moments after Baradel received it, having fallen off its pedestal.

The sculpture was valued at US$22.5m prior to the incident and reappraised at US$16.9m after being restored. According to an official report from the New York art appraisal company Alex Rosenberg & Associates, the piece is "visually restored to its condition prior to the accident, but the crack is still visible". 

Baradel demands US$22.5m from Edelman who oversees the art financing and leasing company Artemus, and US$5m from the insurance companies HUB International and Lloyd’s of London. Edelman denies Baradel's accusations, stating that Baradel himself mounted the marble stone on the pedestal. Both insurers have refused to honour the agreement. 

Art dealer Asher Edelman oversees the art financing and leasing company Artemus

Brancusi sculptures are highly valued. His work, titled La jeune fille sophistiquée, sold for US$71m at Christie's New York last year, setting a new world auction record for the Romanian artist. The parties involved have yet to express their most updated views on the current situation.