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Woerth Denies Helping Cesar Heirs Get Tax Relief in 2008

Aug. 4 (Bloomberg) -- French Labor Minister Eric Woerth denied using his position of budget minister to help the heirs of French sculptor Cesar get tax relief in 2008, saying that the case was handled according to tax law.

Woerth said in an emailed statement that an article published today in Liberation newspaper saying that he intervened in the case is “gravely mistaken.”

According to the newspaper, Woerth stepped in on behalf of Cesar Baldaccini’s estate after discussions with Alain-Dominique Perrin, a former executive director of Cie. Financiere Richemont. Perrin became the artist’s executor in 1998 and is a major donor to Woerth’s and President Nicolas Sarkozy’s political party, Liberation said.

The newspaper published excerpts of the letter signed by Woerth and arguing the fiscal audit on the inheritance of Cesar’s estate should be dropped.

The Fondation Cartier art museum, where Perrin works, said its offices were closed for the summer holidays and nobody was immediately available to comment. Perrin’s lawyer did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Melissa Pozsgay in Paris at mpozsgay@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root in Paris at vroot@bloomberg.net

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