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Louis Vuitton and MOCA challenged by L.A. art collector

April 22, 2009 |  9:51 pm

ClintArthur For the moment, L.A. art collector Clint Arthur is waging a lonely court battle against two of the big boys of art and commerce: Louis Vuitton and L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art, as I report in a story in the Calendar section.

But he hopes eventually to have lots of company. Arthur claims that, for years, MOCA ignored the buyer protections mandated by California's Fine Prints Act, and that Louis Vuitton did likewise during the four months it was allowed to set up shop in the heart of MOCA's 2007-08 exhibition of Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami.

Given that Louis Vuitton has indicated in court filings that it was ignorant of the Fine Prints Act and violated some of its provisions, Arthur is wondering what's keeping some powerful allies from jumping in: the law, which has been on the books since 1970, specifically allows the state attorney general and local city attorneys and district attorneys to bring civil suits and collect up to $1,000 per violation. Since Louis Vuitton had 500 Murakami prints for sale, that could be as much as $500,000.

"I would think that the city and state coffers could use that money at this juncture in time," says Arthur.

Read more here.

-- Mike Boehm

Photo: Collector Clint Arthur with a disputed Murakami print he bought at MOCA's store. Credit: Stefano Paltera / For The Times


 
Comments () | Archives (2)

Certainly, MoCA made mistakes in disclosure - if they even took the time and effort to review closely what they were selling (which I doubt). And Arthur should have known better as a collector of fine art. I'm torn though because Arthur was offered his money back, as should everyone who purchased these "prints" and who wants them. But to turn down the refund seems a bit too much. He should just get on with his life and learn from his share of this fiasco. The truth is, this was a rich idiot being swindled by other rich idiots. They all get what they deserve. He should take the money and focus on his butter business. I can't imagine he'll get any sympathy from the judge, a jury, or the public at large. Arthur is just annoyed because the "prints" probably didn't appreciate in value quick enough for him to profit on. Boo frickin' hoo.

Listen, this guy is no collector of fine art otherwise he wouldn't be collecting from the MOCA store or the Louis Vuitton boutique inside the Murakami exhibit. I saw those same "prints" and even I knew that they were simply flattened Vuitton bags. If this guy is a collector with an eye like that, he's better off stuffing his cash in his mattress. What an idiot.


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