NYTer Randy Kennedy is reporting that two of the founders of the Dia Art Foundation, Heiner Friedrich and Fariha de Menil Friedrich, are suing Dia over its attempt to auction off works from its collection. MAN was the first to report on their opposition to Dia director Philippe Vergne’s attempt to deaccession major works from Dia’s collection.
Among the headline works that Dia is hoping to deaccession is Cy Twombly‘s 1959 “Poems to the Sea,” a suite of 24 drawings considered to be among the most important Twombly works on paper. Included in Kennedy’s report is this nugget: “The suit claims that a museum, possibly the Menil, was in discussions to buy ‘Poems’ but that Dia rejected the offer.” A source tells MAN that the museum was indeed the Menil, and that the offer to which Kennedy referred was $5 million. (Sotheby’s estimate for the work is $6-8 million.) A Menil Collection spokesperson said the Menil had no comment. As of publication time, Dia had not returned a phone call.