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Dealer Files $6 Million Lawsuit Against David Zwirner for Failing to Deliver Artwork

Fabrizio Moretti, Italian Renaissance dealer and owner of London-based Blue Art Limited, is suing David Zwirner and his gallery for failing to deliver Jeff Koons’s Gazing Ball (Centaur and Lapith Maiden), 2013, which Moretti bought for $2 million, Dan Duray of the Art Newspaper reports.

Moretti originally asked the court to grant him a full refund for the work; however, his lawyers amended the complaint on August 17 after Zwirner called the lawsuit a “a case of buyer’s remorse.” Moretti upped the asking amount to $6 million. He cited breach of contract, fraud, and violation of the New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law as reasons for seeking additional damages.

“I do not know why David has chosen to treat me in this manner,” Moretti said in a statement. “It is also unfair to the artist, whom I like and admire. It is no secret that I helped to bring the work of Jeff Koons to the Palazzo Vecchio in 2015. It is my hope that I can receive justice in a New York court.”

Moretti had paid a $400,000 deposit for the second edition of three of sculpture work on June 24, 2014. After he was informed that the work was almost complete in 2015, Moretti began to pay off his balance. In April 2015, the third edition of the artwork was completed and brought to Sotheby’s, where it failed to sell at the contemporary art evening auction in May. The first edition of the three was completed but sold to another collector. The editions of the sculpture, however, have different dimensions from the piece that Moretti allegedly bought from Zwirner.

“The lawsuit is entirely meritless,” a spokeswoman for David Zwirner said. “The gallery had already moved to dismiss the case and the recent amended allegations are also absolutely baseless. The client has declined delivery of the artwork, which is completed and ready for pick up. Unfortunately he has been attempting to use the court system as a negotiating tactic.”