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Biz tycoon Mohan Murjani once lost a Husain work, art-movers paid Rs 6 cr to insurance firm

The 58-inch by 89-inch oil-on-canvas painting disappeared from a public storage facility in New York.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Sep 05, 2019, 09.08 AM IST
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Murjani’s family had known Husain for a long time – even before the latter had established himself as a painter par excellence.
Mohan Murjani, the celebrated fashion tycoon of the ’70s and ’80s, shared a close bond with world-renowned painter MF Husain, who passed away in 2011. Murjani’s family had known Husain for a long time – even before the latter had established himself as a painter par excellence.

“MFH was a good friend. He was like a father figure to us,” recalled Murjani, the man who partnered with American socialite Gloria Vanderbilt to create the world’s first ‘for-women’ jeans, and later bank-rolled Tommy Hilfiger to start his own line of fashion clothing.

“He used to come and stay with us whenever he visited New York. In fact, we always bought paintings directly from him,” Murjani said. Sometime around 2010, Murjani lost a famous Husain painting titled ‘The Mother Teresa’.

The 58-inch by 89-inch oil-on-canvas painting (as reported in NY Post) disappeared from a public storage facility in New York.

“The painting just disappeared from the facility… It’s really sad we don’t have it with us anymore,” said Murjani. “The insurance company investigated the incident, and paid us the insured value.”

According to the NY Post report, the MFH painting was in the custody of Ellsworth Lank Jr. who belongs to a family of fine-art movers. A Brooklyn Federal Court directed Lank to pay $850,000 (roughly Rs 6 crore) to the Lloyd’s of London, which is believed to have insured the MFH painting.

Asked about other artworks that he owns, Murjani preferred not to divulge too much about his private collection. He simply said, “Yes, I am an art collector”, and left it at that.

From $3.8 Mn To $200 Mn, Stolen Van Gogh, Raphael Artworks That Were Never Found

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The Art World

25 Jun, 2019
Earlier this month, a missing part of British monument Stonehenge (representative image) was returned to the historical site after 60 years. In the art world, however, once an artefact is stolen, it’s rarely found again. (Text: Viandra D'souza)
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