The heiress of Hong Kong drinks giant Vitasoy International ( 0345.HK ) is suing a prominent gallery owner for paying 500,000 pounds ($613,000) for a Banksy painting that was never delivered, according to a court order filed this week.
Karen Lo, whose grandfather founded Vitasoy, which specializes in soy milk and juice drinks, said gallery owner Pearl Lam falsely claimed she bought Banksy’s “Show Me The Monet” painting on Lo’s behalf, according to the lawsuit.
Lam’s office told Reuters that it was “a private matter and we regret that there is a lawsuit in the press. We have of course offered a full refund and look forward to a speedy resolution of this matter.” He did not provide further details.
The British artist’s painting from 2005 is a “remix” of the masterpiece of impressionist painter Claude Monet.
It was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in October 2020 for over £7.5 million, well above the estimated sale price of £3 million to £5 million.
Lam is one of more than 170 gallery owners participating in Art Basel Hong Kong this week.
Hong Kong’s government welcomed the art fair as it seeks to revive the economy after a nearly three-year slump caused by factors such as tough COVID lockdowns, a closed border with China and a security crackdown.