A French trust that won a lawsuit against a Scottsdale Art Gallery now wants the gallery’s managers held in contempt of court and ordered to turn over copies of sculptures by impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
U.S. District Court Judge Earl Carroll ruled last month that copies of works by Renoir and his assistant, Richard Guino, violated copyright laws, and should not have been sold at Rima Fine Art Gallery on Main Street in downtown Scottsdale.
Richard Morris, an attorney for the trust, wrote in a motion filed Wednesday that gallery manager Dror Darel "has a history of leaving galleries in the middle of the night, (and) taking large quantities of art with him across state and international borders."
Darel and his wife, fellow gallery manager Tracy Penwell, should have to turn over the sculptures to the court, Morris wrote.
The trust, the Société Civile Succession, owns the copyright.
Morris also filed a motion asking Carroll to find Darel and Penwell in contempt of court for posting pictures of the copyrighted works online.
Carroll had previously prohibited the dissemination of the photographs, and posting them online is dissemination, Morris said. Penwell and Darel have declined repeated attempts for comment.
Penwell wrote in a letter to the Tribune that she was unable to comment "in compliance with the court’s request." However, she added, "We’re shocked by the court’s ruling and its broad implications for copyright law."