A Russian tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev, and owner of Monaco soccer club, have taken legal action against Sotheby’s for as a minimum $380 million, claiming the auction house facilitated his former art consultant to swindle him.

The claims, which Sotheby’s refutes, extend a long disagreement among Rybolovlev and Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier. According to Sotheby’s Rybolovlev he was fiddled by Bouvier for a collection of paintings. Bouvier denies any wrongdoing.

Two corporations owned by self-assurance of the Rybolovlev kin and based in the British Virgin Islands filed a case against Sotheby’s in a New York law court on Tuesday.

The firms Plaintiff Accent Delight International Ltd as well as Plaintiff Xitrans Finance Ltd are demanding compensations from Sotheby’s of at least $380M and more interest, conferring to their claim.

According to Forbes magazine Rybolovlev’s wealth estimates is $6.8 billion mostly resulting from the trade of Russian potash manufacturer Uralkali in 2010 to 2011.

A fruitful asset was his acquisition of Leonardo da Vinci’s art of Christ, Salvator Mundi from Bouvier for $127M in 2013. In 2017, Rybolovlev traded it for $450M at a Christie’s sale, making Salvator Mundi the most costly painting ever traded though some of the purchases from Bouvier made a loss.

Sotheby’s said “The false claims that Mr. Rybolovlev is making are already being filed in the Swiss courts, which is the suitable place for this case”, adding it would pursue to discharge the act in New York and carry on to pursue its suit in Switzerland.

Daniel Levy, Bouvier’s attorney, failed to remark on the litigation. But in a July brief to a U.S. Court of appeals, Levy depicted Rybolovlev’s several lawful actions against his client since 2015 in Singapore, Switzerland Monaco and Hong Kong as a “universal terror battle” designed to get him to surrender.

Besides, there wasn’t a treaty binding his client as a go-between for Rybolovlev’s companies with fiduciary errands, which means Bouvier was allowed to sell the painting to Rybolovlev at any value.


  • Christine Chen



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