Science Ltd, Damien Hirst’s company and authentication board are demanding the return of a wall mural that once belonged to the son of well known patrons of the arts, Sir John and Lady Ritblat.
The work of art, titled Bombay Mix, was commissioned in 1988 and is one of the earliest examples of his Spot series of paintings. The painting was executed directly on wallpaper in a Fulham House in London owned at the time by Jamie Ritblat, a property developer. The four-bedroom house was sold along with the mural which remained on the wall. The property changed hands again, in 2005, for £471,000. In 2007, Bombay Mix was removed from the wall, and mounted on a sheet of aluminium. The owners now want to sell the artwork. However Science Ltd are refusing to issue a certificate of authentication, citing the work of the American artist Sol LeWitt, whose numerous wall drawings are accepted in the art world, as site-specific meaning painted directly on the wall and not authentic if moved to another location.
Science Ltd are insisting that Mr Ritblat was given a replacement painting on canvas and that in exchange the original should have been painted over. The painting is now in the hands of the annoying television presenting art dealer (Four Rooms) Andrew Lamberty, who is helping with the sale. If you recall Mr Lamberty was also recently responsible for removing a Stik painting from roller blinds in London’s East end. Read Full article here
If a certificate of authenticity is not issued the painting is unsaleable. The Telegraph wrote today that “In an email sent from Science Ltd to lawyers acting for the Simpsons as long ago as 2012, an employee of Hirst’s company wrote: “The owner of this artwork at the time your client purchased the property, I understand, was James Ritblat. However, the owner of the certificate is now Science Ltd (Damien’s company), and therefore your client has no right of ownership of the artwork. A spokesman for Mr Hirst said: “The ownership of a wall painting in the series titled ‘Wall Spots’ always resides with the owner of the ‘Wall Spots’ signed certificate which accompanies the art work”.