The boom of the art market has caused a fury of accusations over custody, authentication, and prices of prominent artists over the past few years. Ralph E. Lerner, a high profile New York art lawyer, is just one more coming under fire for allegations of taking more than $750,000 in unauthorized fees from the foundation of late American artist Cy Twombly where he sits as secretary and board director. The foundation’s president and Twombly’s companion Nicola Del Roscio, along with Julie Sylvester, vice president, are accusing Lerner and fellow board director, Thomas H. Saliba, of the hidden transactions. Lerner’s lawyer claims that his actions were “established by Mr. Twombly when he was alive” and the board members had received the financial statements. Twombly died in 2011 and is best known for his “scribble” technique. His artworks are in prominent international museums and personal collections.
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