Art dealer sued over allegedly fake Stanislaw Wypianski portrait

By Lizzy Fitzsousa | May 7, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – A renowned French Quarter antique shop has filed suit against an art dealer who allegedly sold it a portrait later discovered to be a copy of an original Stanislaw Wypianski artwork.

M.S. Rau Antiques LLC filed suit against Sywester Kania in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Jan. 31.

M.S. Rau is claiming that Kania sold a pastel and chalk portrait by the Polish painter for $40,000, despite the fact it was a copy. The plaintiff claims Kania guaranteed that the painting of Doctor Kazimierz Lewandowski was authentic, but has refused to return the payment after it was discovered to be a copy.

M.S. Rau claims it has since learned that Kania is allegedly in the business of restoring paintings and is familiar with the process of recreating paintings. Kania is accused of intentional misrepresentation.

The plaintiff is suing for $40,000 plus interest and administrative expenses in determining the misrepresentation, and the loss of business opportunity.

The plaintiff is represented by Richard K. Leefe of Metairie-based Leefe, Gibbs, Sullivan & Dupré.

Case is assigned to Division H Judge Val P. Exnicios.

Case no. 2014-01124.

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