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Woerth Helped Sculptor’s Heirs Get Tax Relief, Liberation Says

French Labor Minister Eric Woerth intervened in 2008 when he served as budget minister to help the heirs of French sculptor Cesar get 27 million euros ($36 million) in tax relief, Liberation reported, citing excerpts from a letter signed by Woerth and dated April 24, 2008.

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

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.

Woerth’s office at the Labor Ministry did not return calls seeking comment and said it would publish a statement today. In the Liberation article, Woerth’s lawyer says the tax decision was made by the administration rather than personally by Woerth. The lawyer, Jean-Yves Leborgne, did not immediately return a call to his office seeking comment.

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