Lawsuit: Company, art museum have identical David sculptures

March 12, 2014 at 3:48 PM

NEW YORK, March 12 (UPI) -- A company's lawsuit against the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art alleges the museum "will publicly deny the genuineness" of the company's sculpture.

The suit, filed by Latipac Inc., states the company is planning to sell a 12th century sculpted Head of King David, identified in court papers only as "Item 38.180 (Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1938)," but it alleges the Met "will publicly deny the genuineness" of the piece because it possesses an identical item, Courthouse News Service reported Wednesday.

The Met's website identifies the sculpture in question as a 12th century limestone Head of King David with nose defaced during the French Revolution. The museum's website says the head came from the south portal of the west facade of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and dates back to circa 1145.

The lawsuit says the company "imminently intends to publicly market and sell its piece as genuine and understands that the defendant will publicly deny the genuineness of plaintiff's piece."

The suit is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to defend Latipac from "slander of title; defamation (libel and slander); interference with prospective economic relations; injurious falsehood; product disparagement; violation of NY GBL [General Business Law] ... and breach of defendant's Collection Management Policy of which plaintiff is an intended third-party beneficiary."

Officials with Latipac and the Met could not be reached for comment, Courthouse News Service said.

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