Norman Rockwell’s three children have sued to stop a Massachusetts museum from auctioning off their father’s art to finance a remodeling. In a lawsuit filed Friday against the Berkshire Museum, a local artist and several members of the museum’s staff joined Rockwell’s children in seeking a temporary restraining order against the auction. Two of Rockwell’s paintings—the most expensive of dozens of items to be sold for about $50 million—are slated to go on sale on Nov. 13. The plaintiffs argue that the museum has “grossly exaggerated” its financial difficulties in a bid to justify the sale, which would represent “massive overkill” and a breach of the museum’s fiduciary duties, The New York Times reports. The museum announced plans to reinvent itself in July, saying it would finance its makeover and set up an endowment by selling 40 items. “This move is also antithetical to the museum’s stated charitable purpose, and is financially unnecessary,” Michael B. Keating, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said in a statement. A lawyer for the museum said the lawsuit was “factually and legally flawed” and expressed confidence the restraining order would not be granted.
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