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‘About Those Warhols …’

(CN) - A New York art collector says a Paris dealer refuses to deliver a complete set of Warhol "Electric Chairs" prints for which she paid $400,000, and a $25,000 deposit for the canceled sale of a print by Pablo Picasso.

Laura Anderson Barbata sued Marc Latamie in Manhattan Federal Court.

Barbata says that in March 2008 she bought a complete set of Warhol's 1971 "Electric Chairs" prints from Latamie, who brokered the sale on behalf of an unnamed seller.

Barbata says the Warhol Portfolio was damaged when she bought it, and was to be restored at the seller's expense.

"The Warhol Portfolio was delivered to plaintiff at her studio located at 255 Centre Street, New York, New York 10013. The Warhol Portfolio was then delivered to an art restorer in Manhattan for restoration. Defendant was authorized by the dlaintiff to have possession of the Warhol Portfolio for purposes of the restoration and storage of the Warhol Portfolio," according to the complaint.

Barbata says she also wired $65,000 to Latamie as a deposit for a Picasso print, but that sale was canceled in December 2008.

She claims that Latamie moved the Warhol Portfolio to an undisclosed art storage facility in December 2008, but assured her that the prints were safe and insured.

In a December 2009 email, Barbata says, she demanded that Latamie deliver the Warhols. She says Latamie replied and admitted moving the Warhol prints to another undisclosed storage facility, and promised to return them and her deposit for the Picasso.

"Since her December 15, 2009 e-mail to the time of filing of this complaint, plaintiff has repeatedly demanded that defendant return the Warhol Portfolio and the entire Picasso deposit to her. In a March 29, 2010 email to Plaintiff included in an April 9, 2009 email string, Defendant stated: '... Meanwhile, yes I promise to return all your funds and properties (the Warhol portfolio) as stated previously. Thank you for your remarkable patience during all this time. ...'" (Parentheses and ellipses in complaint.)

But Latamie hasn't delivered, Barbata says.

She demands the Warhol prints and the $25,000 she says Latamie has not returned from her $65,000 deposit. If Latamie cannot deliver the Warhols, she demands at least $400,000.

She is represented by Joseph Valentine, with Wheeler Trigg, of Manhasset.

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