Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Louis Vuitton Sued for Murakami Prints

It was bound to happen. Bad karma has hit Louis Vuitton. The LA Times reports today that a California art collector has sued LV for failure to abide by California law (Murakami and MoCA have (so far) been spared a suit). It seems that LV sold quite a few Murakami prints in its boutique during Murakami’s exhibition at LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

Since 1970, California law has required dealers who sell limited-edition prints of artists’ work to disclose an array of information supporting the prints’ authenticity. The suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by lead plaintiff Clint Arthur says that because Louis Vuitton North America failed to provide sufficient information, 500 Murakami prints that were on sale for an average of $8,000 lacked the ironclad certification required, making them less valuable for resale. …The California law allows triple damages for violations, exposing Louis Vuitton to a potential multimillion-dollar liability.

Crucial facts notwithstanding (and the devil being in the facts), California law, specifically Section 1745, stipulates:

1745. (a) An art dealer, including a dealer consignee, who offers

or sells a multiple in, into or from this state without providing the

certificate of authenticity required in Sections 1742 and 1744 of

this title for any time period, or who provides information which is

mistaken, erroneous or untrue, except for harmless errors, such as

typographical errors, shall be liable to the purchaser of the

multiple. The art dealer’s liability shall consist of the

consideration paid by the purchaser for the multiple, with interest

at the legal rate thereon, upon the return of the multiple in the

condition in which received by the purchaser.

Of major import is whether or not LV provided collectors with a certificate of authenticity containing the requisite information. Another crucial factor is whether or not LV would fall under Section 1740(g) “art dealer” definition. Too many facts, not enough info. Stay tuned!

Update: July 4, 2008

More from the LA Times.


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