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Now bank reveals $40m claim against Salander-O’Reilly

05 November 2007Written by ATG Reporter

A private San Francisco bank has emerged as one of the largest creditors of Salander-O’Reilly Galleries.

According to comments made in court by lawyer J. Christopher Shore on October 30 for First Republic Bank, the private bank and investment manager, has lent a total of $59m to the embattled New York dealers.

These include loans to Lawrence Salander and his wife, Julie, his Upper East Side gallery and to investment fund Renaissance Art Investors that acquired all of Salander-O’Reilly’s Renaissance art.

Shore said in court that $40m worth of loans were now in default.

The New York press were quick to recall that San Francisco-based First Republic, a private bank and investment manager founded in 1985, once featured the 58-year-old Salander and his daughter, Ivana, on a billboard advertisement and in its 2005 annual report.

The Salanders were pictured on a marble staircase their East 71st Street gallery together with the caption: Our business is unique in every way. First Republic was the first bank to understand that. We’re grateful to bank with them.

As previously reported, upon the order of a state judge, the gallery has been closed since October 11 but reopened on October 16 as Salander tried to go ahead with a double exhibition titled Masterpieces of Art: Five Centuries of Painting & Sculpture and Caravaggio.

Sotheby’s have also added their name to the string of lawsuits against Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, saying they are owed $1.64m. The lawsuit filed in the state Supreme Court in Manhat-tan on October 26 detailed a complex January 2005 arrangement that saw the auctioneers take a stake in some of the gallery’s artworks and lend money to the gallery. The auction house sought permission to sell artworks that they say were consigned to them by Salander.

However, an October 19 court order forbids any auction house from moving artworks that are connected to the gallery.

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