Art law Museums France

Lawsuit brought by Peggy Guggenheim’s grandchildren dismissed

A Paris tribunal rejected the case on Wednesday, seeking to revoke the collector’s donation of her art and Venice home to a New York foundation

A Paris court has thrown out a long-running lawsuit brought by the heirs of Peggy Guggenheim over the fate of her collection and the Venice palace where she lived until her death in 1979.

The heirs sought to revoke the collector’s donation of her art collection and home to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation because, they said, the institution had failed to obey the conditions of her bequest. In addition to altering the original display, the foundation desecrated her burial site by displaying new acquisitions nearby, the family members complained.

The Paris tribunal rejected the case on 2 July and ordered the family to contribute €30,000 toward the foundation’s legal fees. A lawyer for one of the relatives told The New York Times that his client intends to appeal the decision. Guggenheim’s descendants filed a similar, and equally unsuccessful, lawsuit in 1994.

After the ruling, the foundation said in a statement that it “is proud to have faithfully carried out the wishes of Peggy Guggenheim for more than 30 years by preserving her collection intact in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, restoring and maintaining the Palazzo as a public museum and contributing to the knowledge of modern and contemporary art in Italy”.

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