Published On: Sun, Dec 14th, 2014

German museum demands return of Frida Kahlo’s 3.5 million dollar Collection

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A German museum has sued another one in Indiana, US, in demand of the return of replicas of famous paintings by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

The German corporation, Kunstmuseum Gehrke-Remund GmbH, Monday filed a federal complaint against Global Entertainment Properties, Global Entertainment and South Shore Arts, Inc., seeking a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and repossession of the works it said belongs to it. The corporation operates a privately owned art museum, with its principal place of business in Baden-Baden, Germany.

An attorney representing Global Entertainment could not be immediately reached for comment.

South Shore Arts paid about 20,000 dollars to Global Entertainment for rights to exhibit the work, according to South Shore Arts Executive Director John Cain. The exhibit has been very popular, according to Cain, who said he was unaware of the lawsuit when contacted late Monday afternoon.

“It would be a bad thing to have to give it up, especially since we are only halfway through the run of the exhibit,” Cain said.

The German firm, referred to as KGR in most of the court documents, claims to be the sole owner of a worldwide license to replicate 217 paintings of Kahlo. According to KGR it is the sole  owner of 127 replicated paintings, over 500 photographs, 75 dresses and various pieces of jewelry, and 100 artifacts, furniture, and relics known as the “Frida Kahlo Collection.”


In an affidavit filed in the case, Hans-Juergen Gehrke, general manager and partner of KGR, estimated the total collection has a retail value of approximately 3.5 million dollars.

He said an agreement with Global Entertainment Properties called for it to pay 360,000 dollars to KGR by July 20, but the company only paid 100,000 dollars. Gehrke also said when he was in San Diego in March 2014, he observed five paintings that were heavily damaged and some items had been stolen from an exhibit there. He also said Global Entertainment violated a California court order in removing materials to Indiana.


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