The lawyer for a French couple has filed suit against the Calder Foundation for its refusal to return a work submitted for restoration advice revealing a not uncommon state of affairs. A number of art market professionals have had similar interactions with the Calder foundation that do not get publicized.
Here’s what the website Franceinfo says transpired when the couple sent the small maquette they had bought from a neighbor’s son who is a mason:
In 2016, they entrusted the model to the Calder Foundation for restoration. Since, impossible for them to recover it. The foundation does not dispute the authenticity of the work but believes that its provenance is questionable. “The Calder Foundation suspects the mason for stealing this sculpture from Calder,” says master Marc Morin, the owner’s advocate of the work.
The collectors’ lawyer has an explanation for what he thinks might be going on here:
According to Morin, this generosity is embarrassing the New York Foundation today. “The problem for the Calder Foundation is to regulate Calder’s sculpture and gouache sales so that prices stay high.There are two ways to regulate: either not to authenticate the pieces, or to argue that they have a fraudulent origin. ”
There’s a third option that the lawyer may discover by speaking to others who have sought the foundation’s help.