A member of the Qatari royal family has accused an art gallery of selling two mosaics worth almost £300,000 which later allegedly turned out to be fakes.
His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdullah Al Thani is locked in a High Court dispute with Ariadne Galleries over the two sales which date back to December 2013 and July 2014.
Legal papers lodged reveal the art firm — which has galleries in Mayfair and New York — is being sued for alleged breach of contract and misrepresentation over the sales.
The claim concerns the sale of mosaics named Cupids At The Grape Harvest and Eros Hunting With A Stag.
The writ states: “Both mosaics are inauthentic and/or forgeries. They were purchased for $200,000 and $150,000 respectively, equating to a total purchase price of $350,000.”
The sheikh, a cousin of the Emir of Qatar, is a prodigious art collector and chief executive of the Qatar Investment and Projects Development Holding Company (Qipco). His family’s base in London is Dudley House in Park Lane, where they have played host to the Queen and Prince Charles.