Christie's Auction House / Sold Us Fake Painting

1 Miami, United States Review updated:


Yes it’s true,
on November 20, 1991 at the Latin American Art Auction in Manhattan, New York, Christie’s
Auction House employees puffed, inflated and misrepresented the authenticity of
an original artwork by Wilfredo Lam, Auction #7362, Lot #50 and sold it to us
at the auction. Christie’s employees negligently
misrepresented that the original oil on canvas painting named “Figuras
Cariberias” was painted by Wilfredo Lam in the 1950’s, during his prime years
and was going to be a masterpiece. At
the auction, we received from Christie’s a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) issued
by the artists’ ex-wife, Helena Benitez (formerly Helena Lam).

Can you believe
it, Christie’s says that on November 20, 1991 the painting was AUTHENTIC
and they were happy to sell it to us for $88, 000, but today September 10, 2014,
23 years later Christie’s says the painting is NOT AUTHENTIC and they will not resell
it for us. Yes you heard right, when Christie’s
sold it to us it was authentic, but was not authentic when we wanted them to
resell it.

When we approached Christie’s to make good on their
mistake Christie’s response was to delay and prevaricate. Christie’s did say we would have a better
chance to approach the Lam Foundation and force them to authenticate the
artwork. The Lam Foundation refused to
authenticate the painting and has ignored all our requests and
correspondence. Knowing in advance that
the Lam Foundation is controlled by the son of Wilfredo Lam’s deceased third
wife who was not on good terms with Helena Benitez Lam it became obvious that the
foundation would not authenticate the painting even if they knew it was
authentic. Their answer was that the artwork
was not authentic without doing an investigation, having any reasonable explanation
or providing expert analysis. Instead the
door was shut and case closed.

Politics and
Corruption! Helena Benitez was the recognized
world renowned expert during the time period in which the artwork was painted. It was recognized that she would authenticate
artworks during the time period between 1930 and 1959. Lou Laurin-Lam the third and final wife would
authenticate artwork after 1960. Both
women are now deceased so they cannot comment or defend themselves. The son of Lou Laurin-Lam, Eskil Lam now
controls the Lam Foundation and will not authenticate the painting for selfish
personal reasons. The artwork does not
appear in Wilfredo Lam’s published 2007 “Catalogue Raisonne of the Painted Work
of Wilfredo Lam”, because the foundation under Eskils’ control created this
catalog only choosing the artwork to be placed into the catalog. Now you are probably getting the picture why
Lam’s most famous painting was not in the catalog because it was not painted
during the Lou Laurin-Lam years, Helena Benitez is deceased and the Lam
Foundation will not even attempt to authenticate it. So while the painting was authentic in 1991
it’s not authentic in 2014 and Christie’s has the nerve to dictate to us that
things change and too bad tough luck. Does
it sound like total corruption by these professionals in the art world? They obviously don’t care about their
reputation, do they?

How did this all
get started? I approached Mr. Ramon
Cernuda of Cernuda Arte in Coral Gables, Florida by email to see how much we
could possibly get by selling the painting through his connections. He is considered the renowned expert to speak
to when buying and selling Cuban Art. The
first thing he said was this painting was not authentic and a forgery. He was shocked that Christie’s sold this
painting at the 1991 auction. He also
said that Helena Benitez Lam told him that she was sorry to certify this
painting. Mr. Cernuda said he will prove
it in court. After those communications,
I immediately called Jessica Katz of Christie’s in Coral Gables, Florida whom
after a few hours called me to let me know the painting was not authentic and
Christie’s would not resell what they sold to us. She said things change over time and what was
authentic then may not be now. So when
they sold it to us it was authentic, but when we tried to resell it was
fake. Wow, can you believe it? So
I called Christie’s in-house counsel in Manhattan, New York and after 4 weeks
of their investigation we find them ignoring us and refusing to deal with the
truth and instead trying to fabricate the facts of the constructive fraud
induced upon us.

defense? Christie’s will tell you
that they have a 5 year statute of limitations.
However, there is plenty of precedent in the Federal Court of the
Southern District in New York, where the statute of limitation has been
broken. For example, if we are not
expert art dealers or collectors but a person of ordinary intelligence and
prudence and Christie’s puffed the
authenticity of the artwork for sale, the injury to us is not recognized at the
time of deliver but at the time we pulled it off the wall to resell. Three months ago to our shock and surprise and
upon the discovery of the facts we were significantly injured by Christie’s
Auction House with a major financial loss.
We were told by Christie’s the painting was worthless.

What do we mean by
puffed? How about negligent
misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, constructive fraud, inherent
unknowable injury to the buyer, equitable tolling and let’s not forget mistake
of fact to an ordinary intelligent person who relies on Christie’s Auction
House to make a diligent effort to make certain that the artwork they sell is

Our hard earned
money lost! Had Christie’s sold us
an authentic painting, and were made whole we have an offer to sell it for $1.3
million. However, now that Christie’s
and the Lam Foundation are hiding and ignoring our calls for justice the painting
is virtually worthless.

What do we want
from Christie’s? We want to be made
whole as if we purchased an authentic painting.
We want to be compensated for today’s value for the painting.

BEWARE! Let the public beware that Christie’s will rip you off and walk away without a
conscience. They obviously have no morals or ethical values and will
strip away your hard earned money without thinking twice about the consequences
as they did to us.

Govern yourselves

Christie's Auction House

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  • Hj
      Jun 03, 2017

    Call me on Monday so that we can meet and discuss how i would be able to solve this matter for you with Christie's...Hjaguilar...305-979-4599 in Miami...

    0 Votes

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