General News

Hopper's widow halts art sale

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Jan 12, 2011 | 4:00am EST

A judge at Los Angeles Superior Court allowed Victoria Duffy to withdraw 32 works from a Christie's auction in New York on Wednesday (12Jan11).

The disputed items, which include pieces by American artists Bruce Conner and Sam Francis, have a combined value of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Court papers state: "The basis for the temporary restraining order was that the co-trustees (of Hopper's estate) were about to irreparably injure the petitioner (Duffy) by selling irreplacable personal property owned by the petitioner which had sentimental and emotional value."

An estimated 300 items have been handed over to Christie's auctioneers by the Easy Rider star's estate executors and, on Tuesday (11Jan11), an Andy Warhol print of Mao Zedong went under the hammer for $302,500 (£210,670).

The rest of the auction is scheduled wrap up on Wednesday (12Jan11).

The actor began divorce proceedings from Duffy a year ago (Jan10) and was embroiled in a bitter legal battle with her at the time of his death in May (10). He accused her of stealing artwork from his collection while he was undergoing cancer treatment, although Duffy claimed to have owned the pieces.

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