Relatives of the art collector Peggy Guggenheim, who died in 1979 at the age of 81 are suing the powerful Guggenheim foundation for straying from the spirit of the will which granted them control of her Venetian Palazzo and valuable art collection.The museum located on the Grand Canal in Venice is one of the most visited galleries in Italy.
The Guggenheim Foundation will now be taken to court by the grandchildren of the former patron. It is yet another chapter in the saga which has lead to a family feud since 1994 when the grandchildren’s case was dismissed by a French judge sitting at the same Paris tribunal court.
Sandro Rumney and his half-brother Nicolas Hélion are attempting to prove that their grandmother’s wishes have been ignored. They stated in papers recently filed that the Guggenheim Foundation in New York has exhibited 181 works at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, that are not part of the permanent collection. It was stated in Guggenheim’s will that only work from the collection was to be displayed in the main house and works not belonging to the collection were only to be temporarily displayed in out buildings.
In addition, complaints have been lodged that the museum’s garden, which inters their grandmother’s ashes has been “desecrated” by receptions held in the garden. The garden was recently renamed the “Nasher Sculpture Garden” after a donation from a patron of the museum. This is also something the grandchildren object to. The new lawsuit demands that the Nasher donation to the foundation be revoked and the name be taken off of the garden. “
The powerful Guggenheim Foundation has retorted the “baseless allegations” in the lawsuit. It stated that the two grandchildren are “not her heirs and are not mentioned in her will” . Peggy Guggenheim’s estate was left to Sindbad Vail, a son from her first marriage.