Nuns too trusting or did art dealer fleece them?

February 20, 2009

(ChattahBox) — The NY Post has a story of some art dealer dude who bought a painting from a convent for a fairly hefty sum and turned around and sold for nearly a five fold profit.¬† The art dealer in question¬† Mark Zaplin, who bought the painting from an upstate convent ‘the Daughters of Mary Mother of Our Savior’ for $450,000 and immediately resold it for $2.2 million says it’s not his fault nuns are bad business people.
The sisters turned around and sued Zaplin for the deal which went down in 2006.

Zaplin’s lawyer, Tom Chase, said in papers filed in Albany County Court: “A buyer owes no duty to advise a seller that the seller should raise its price.”

The nuns’ lawyer, Bruce Goldstone quipped back: “That’s an excellent defense. They’re blaming the nuns for being too trusting.”

However the convent is saying there’s more to the deal then trust. They allege that Zaplin conspired with art appraiser Mark Lasalle to swindle them. Allegedly Lasalle had appraised an 1889 painting donated to the nuns as being worth between $350,000 and $450,000, when he knew its worth was closer to $2 million, the sisters’ suit says.


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