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Artist's father says prints sold illegally

Feb. 11, 2009 at 4:55 PM

NEW YORK, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- The father of Jean-Michel Basquiat has sued a California art dealer, alleging it illegally sold prints of the deceased New York pop artist.

In the $1.75 million suit filed in a federal court in New York, Gerard Basquiat claimed that David DeSanctis Contemporary Art Inc. illegally sold four of his son's artworks for at least $172,000 after a licensing contract expired last year, as well as ignored demands to return six other prints worth more than $400,000, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

The suit said DeSanctis struck its exclusive, five-year deal to market a series of "fine art limited editions" of works by Basquiat, who died of an overdose in 1988.

David DeSanctis did not return calls seeking comment, the Post said.

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