An 80-year-old California art collector facing an $880k lawsuit from the Honolulu Museum of Art has filed for the case to be moved to federal court from 1st Circuit Court.
The museum sued Joel Alexander Greene in August over alleged holes in provenance on five Southeast Asian objects he had loaned, claiming he failed to provide documentation.
Greene denies any ownership issues with the works, worth about $1.3 million, and says there are no claims against the pieces.
In a 2004 deal between the museum and collector, PBN reports that a charitable annuity was established and Greene "planned to loan an additional 37 pieces in exchange for $80,000 a year until his death, upon which the art would become a gift."
In 2011, the museum began researching provenance on different works that were connected to New York art dealer Subhash Kapoor, who is awaiting trial in India for allegedly looting and smuggling artifacts.
Honolulu Museum of Art Director Stephan Jost said the Greene case “is part of the museum’s effort in the Kapoor investigation to go back and make sure things are kosher,”