Park West Gallery, which sells art on cruise ships, is being sued for selling two allegedly fake works by Salvador Dalí (above), according to a complaint filed by Patricia Holmes, a former Park West client. The gallery, which has not yet formally responded to the complaint, denies all allegations.
Holmes bought Tolle, Tolle, Crucifige Eum (away with him, crucify him), 1965, for $18,515 on a cruise ship in 2006 and Nabuchodonosor Rex Babylonis (Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon), 1965, for $20,769 in 2007, believing them to be lithographs signed by Dalí. She recently submitted her prints to the Dalí expert Robert Descharnes for authentication. According to court papers filed in Nashville in December, Descharnes found that neither work was “hand-signed by Dalí personally”, and both are fake. Paul Schwiep, the lawyer representing Park West, says that the works “were hand-signed by Dalí in the presence of a witness who has sworn to the authenticity of the signatures” and that the gallery is “100% confident” that the works are genuine.
The case is the latest to be filed against Park West since 2008, alleging that it sold fake works or works with forged signatures, by artists including Dalí, Rembrandt and Goya. “Every case has been resolved on terms favourable to Park West,” Schwiep says.