Artwork mistakenly sold for $20

http://www.cjonline.com/stories/100604/kan_art.shtml

I don’t think the guy should have to give it back for $20. He wants a third of it’s value, and that seems fair. An expensive lesson for the school, but it was *their * mistake.

What do Dopers think?

Of course he should not have to give it back. That’s BS. They screwed up, they pay. Not his problem. They were happy to take his money and it’s too late to undo the deal.

Can you give a link from someplace not requiring registration?

You know of course, that the taxpayers in KC will have to pay for this don’t you? Here’s another link that doesn’t require a subscription.

Sorry, I meant Wichita.

Jeez, there has to be SOME “settled law”, and you’d think that the government disposing of property would be settled law by now. Of course, IANAlawyer, so I don’t have a clue myself.

I think the guy’s one-third offer is reasonable, but the city will never go for it. The sity won’t want to auction it off through Southeby’s or some place and split the proceeds, and they certainly won’t agree to just lay out a third of its appraised value to get his parts nack.

I imagine Wichita is big enough have a city attorney, which means hassling him through the legal system will be relatively cheap. My guess is that the city will start dragging him into various courts until he can’t afford the lawyers to defend.

Sorry about my link in the OP, I forgot the paper has gone to asking for registration. Thank you mike1dog for your link.

I recall a similar case in which a family sold a painting for about $1000 and the buyer resold it for $70,000. The family sued. The judge ruled in favor of the buyer.

I don’t see a difference in this case. The man legally purchased the sculptures. They are now his property. IMHO He has the legal right to melt them down for scrap (Morally, I’d object to the destruction of art. But, legally, I don’t see why he couldn’t do it)

IANAlawyer either, but there’s almost always a BIG difference in law between two individuals duking it out in court as opposed to when one of the parties being a governernment.

In many cities, public art is just a disaster waiting to happen. Pieces get misplaced, no centralized record of artworks is kept, workers don’t know that particular pieces are art, etc.

A big piece of the work that my friends at the STM are doing is just sensitizing the workers to the art in the metro; they keep doing boneheaded things like putting information stickers on stained-glass windows and so forth. They have to nearly start from zero because a former employee left with all their files; part of my job when I interned there two years ago was putting together a document listing all the artwork for them, and even now I’ll have a more complete section on art on my metro website than they’ll have.