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Sunday, July 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Misconceptions About ‘Misconceptions of an A’

MANHATTAN (CN) - A sculptor sued the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center for $250,000, claiming it destroyed or lost the artwork he'd loaned it, without permission or notice.

Lonny Marrow (aka Phase 2 Plaintiff) sued the Convention Center, Douglas Abdell and Hugo Martinez, in Federal Court.

Marrow says he met Abdell in the early 1980s, and they agreed to create a work of art together. Marrow claims he "imagined, designed and created" the sculpture called "Misconceptions of An A," and that he and Abdell worked together to create it. It spent 1984 through 1988 on display at the Gallozzi-LaPlaca Gallery in New York.

That year, Marrow says, gallery owner (nonparty) Joe LaPlaca, who financed the sculpture's creation, transferred his ownership interest to him. Shortly thereafter, he says, defendant Hugo Martinez had the sculpture moved to the newly opened Javits Convention Center.

Marrow says it was his understanding that the piece was on loan, and that he "routinely and regularly sent collectors, friends and fans to view the Sculpture at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center."

Then in July this year the sculpture went missing.

He says he found out "Misconceptions of An A" was AWOL after he sent nonparty Ronnie Yarboro to see it. Yarboro spoke to nonparty Carola Henderson, operations manager for the Javits Center.

"Carola Henderson informed Ronnie Yarboro that the Sculpture had been moved six (6) months prior due to renovations, but that she would find out where the sculpture had been moved and would contact him with the information," Marrow says in the complaint.

When Yarboro didn't hear back from Henderson, he went to the Javits Center to see for himself. "Most of the employees Ronnie Yarboro spoke with told him that they had seen the sculpture in various locations over the previous six (6) months, around January or February of 2013, but that they could not currently locate it," Marrow says in the lawsuit.

He says he had an attorney contact the Javits Center to inquire about the artwork, and it learned that the center "had 'dispose[d] of the sculpture and that plaintiff's ownership interest had been lost through abandonment."

Marrow says the Javits Center never contacted him to ask if he'd abandoned his work, nor did it seek his consent for it to be moved into storage or discarded.

He seeks declaratory relief confirming his ownership rights and $250,000 in damages for conversion and violation of the Visual Artists Rights Act.

He is represented by Gale Elston.

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