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Artist Sues Hotel Over Bedbugs, Splatters, Pornography

Yves Clement says multi-million-dollar art collection damaged while on display
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2017 5:31 PM CDT
Artist Claims His Art Has Seen Unspeakable Things in Hotel
An artist has sued San Diego's US Grant Hotel, claiming his artwork has seen some unspeakable things while being displayed there.   (Wikimedia Commons/Annie Liu)

Imagine the disgusting and depraved things a hotel headboard sees over the years. Now imagine that hotel headboard is actually part of a multi-million-dollar art collection. Consumerist reports that's the gist of a lawsuit filed this week by French painter Yves Clement. Back in 2005, Clement created hundreds of pieces of art to be displayed around the US Grant Hotel in San Diego. Some of the art was integrated into furniture for the rooms, including headboards. The hotel, which is owned by Marriott, leases the artwork from Clement and renewed its lease of the art for another decade in 2015. Clement says their contract requires the hotel to return any damaged artwork to him. But the lawsuit states that's not what happened.

Clement says he was at a framing shop when he saw some of his art from the US Grant covered in plastic. He says the shop owner told him the art had been treated for bedbugs and was being reframed. Clement says not only did the bedbugs physically damage the art but made it unable to be sold, as buyers won't risk a bedbug infestation. He says he went to the hotel and found up to 90 of his pieces were cut, tagged, splattered on, or otherwise "damaged or destroyed." The lawsuit states the US Grant is refusing to return the pieces to Clement. The lawsuit also states a number of his headboards have been "prominently featured in commercial pornographic films" shot at the hotel. Alleging the hotel has cost him financially and possibly hurt his reputation, Clement is seeking unspecified damages. He says the hotel artwork is worth between $6.6 million and $17 million. (More art stories.)

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