Singapore

Dad, son win lawsuit against art gallery


A Malaysian businessman and his father yesterday won their lawsuit to get back the $2.8 million they paid for 13 paintings, supposedly the works of renowned Indonesian artists, which turned out to be fakes.

Mr Denis Latimer, 52, who runs a construction company, and his father Paul, 75, bought seven of the paintings from Singapore-based Dahlia Gallery for more than $700,000.

But these were assessed by an expert to be imitations worth at most US$9,131 (S$12,500).

The remaining six works were bought from Malaysian art collector Quah Beng Hoe for $2.1 million.

Mr Denis Latimer said one of the gallery owners had put him in touch with Mr Quah.

The Latimers sued Mr Quah and the gallery for breach of contract, seeking the deals to be voided and the purchase price refunded.

They also sued the gallery owners, alleging that Mr Koh Hwee Khoon and Ms Pang Sau Mei had misrepresented the authenticity of the six paintings sold by the gallery.

Yesterday, the High Court ruled in favour of the Latimers. Justice Kannan Ramesh awarded them damages and also ordered the 13 paintings to be returned to Mr Quah and the gallery.

The judge said Mr Koh, an artist with years of experience in Indonesian art, must have known the paintings were imitations.

He found Mr Koh liable for fraudulent misrepresentation and Ms Pang liable for negligent misrepresentation.

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