Statement from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Statement from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

May 21, 2014

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is grateful to the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris for the very thoughtful consideration it has given to our arguments. We are pleased with the progress we have made in the case today. We await the court’s findings and remain confident that the allegations made against us will again be found baseless, as they were in 1994.

As we explained today, the claims brought by Sandro Rumney, Nicolas Hélion and their children are no different from those that the same court dismissed twenty years ago. At that time the court rightly ruled that the gift of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was not subject to any conditions. The 1976 deed of gift transferred the collection outright. The claimants’ renewed contention that the Foundation has violated the supposed conditions of the gift is therefore without any merit. The fact that Sandro Rumney and Nicolas Hélion explicitly acknowledged in a settlement agreement that the Foundation has the exclusive right to manage the collection makes these spurious claims all the more surprising.

For our part, we were gratified to present the court with expressions of support from descendants of Peggy Guggenheim’s sole heir, Sindbad Vail. Three of those descendants, Clovis, Mark and Morgan Vail, have issued the following statement on behalf of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation:

We want to emphasize that while she was alive, our grandmother and great-grandmother Peggy arranged that her Foundation and the palazzo Venier dei Leoni should be transferred to the Guggenheim New York upon her death. This decision was made with the full agreement of her only heir (and executor of her estate), her son Sindbad Vail. He preferred, in accordance with the wishes expressed by his mother, notably during her lifetime, that her collection be given to people demonstrating the capability and expertise necessary for the management of this considerable and admirable patrimony.

Upon the death of our grandmother and great-grandmother, our father and grandfather Sindbad clearly confirmed to us his decision to respect Peggy’s wishes in full. It is in this spirit of respect, both for our grandmother and great-grandmother’s wishes and for the choice expressed by our father and grandfather, that we have always approved of the activities and management of the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation concerning the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation in Venice.

For almost 35 years our grandmother and great-grandmother Peggy’s Foundation has benefited from financial support and expertise in matters of administration, of presentation of artistic events and of exhibitions that have contributed as much to the preservation of her collection as to its becoming one of the most admired and frequented sites of modern and contemporary art in Italy. This is not even to mention her worldwide fame and reputation, which have been greatly increased. In consequence of all this, we consider the legal action initiated by some of our cousins to be entirely baseless and especially regrettable.

 

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Marxz Rosado, The Process for Attaining the Signature of Pedro Albizu Campos in Neon Lights (Proceso para conseguir la firma de Pedro Albizu Campos en luces de neón), 1977–2002

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