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  • Writer's pictureVan Weyenbergh Fine Art

Restellini, Modigliani expert, sues Wildenstein-Plattner Institute

Often plagiarized, Modigliani continues to be the subject of a lively fight between specialists. Particularly, Marc Restellini, who had prepared the last "catalogue raisonne" of the artist and whose documents were litterally taken by the Wildenstein-Plattner institute, which wants to put it online for free. Restellini decided to file a complaint against Wildenstein-Plattner before the federal court of New York for having infringed his rights. Restellini worked for many years on behalf of the Wildenstein Institute to develop a "catalogue raisonne" of Modigliani's work. Wildenstein put an end to their collaboration after he had challenged the authenticity of several paintings by the artist held by wealthy collectors dissatisfied with feeling aggrieved. The Wildenstein-Plattner Institute has so far not responded to Restellini's grievances by saying that it was a publicity stunt before adding that it was sure to be right by publishing a catalog for the public. Dead young, Modigliani was a cursed artist both through a shortened career and by the problems posed about the authentication of some of his works, which brought several experts to grips, who have already published five reasoned catalogs, the most reliable being that of Ceroni. The war around Modigliani earned Restellini death threats when he worked until 2014 for the Wildenstein Institute, which plans to use its archives to publish them on the Net. It was in November 2016 that Guy Wildenstein approached the German collector and businessman Hasso Plattner to create their institute whose goal is to digitize and put online documents referring to the history of art. . On this occasion, Guy offered his new partner the files of Restellini, which remains determined to complete its catalog after so many years of effort. The trouble is that the institute refused to give Restellini its archives under the pretext of philanthropic work devoid of any profit, which led him to go to American justice to assert his rights by arguing that Guy Wildenstein had no authority to transfer these to his association with Plattner - Adrian Darmon.

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