Indonesia Bank Founder Sues Gallery Owner Over Botero Art

Tahir, the Indonesian tycoon who teamed with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last year to fight polio, sued a Singapore art gallery owner over a Fernando Botero bronze sculpture.

The founder of Indonesia’s PT Bank Mayapada Internasional is seeking S$1.6 million ($1.3 million) from Tay Kar Oon for the price he paid for the “Couple Dancing” sculpture, according to a lawsuit with the Singapore High Court. Tay rejected inspection requests and repeatedly delayed delivery, Tahir said in court papers this month.

Tay claimed Tahir backed out of the sale after alleging the sculpture by the Colombian artist was a fake, according to the art gallery owner’s countersuit, where she assured the buyer it’s authentic. The sculpture, which had to be shipped from Zurich, was Tahir’s third Botero purchase from Tay.

Tay declined to comment. Tahir, through his lawyers Tan Chee Meng and Paul Loy, declined to comment.

Tahir’s foundation committed $100 million to join the effort by Gates and his wife to eradicate polio, among other causes.

Tahir’s Mayapada group owns the Regent beachside hotel and a shopping mall in Bali and two hospitals in Indonesia, according to its website. He’s married to the daughter of Lippo Group’s founder Mochtar Riady and detailed the relationship with his father-in-law in a book last year called “My Father-in-Law and I,” the Jakarta Post reported.

The case is Tahir v Tay Kar Oon, S798/2014. Singapore High Court.

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