MOSCOW, April 19 (RAPSI) – A civil court of appeal in Singapore ruled on Wednesday that Switzerland is a “more appropriate” choice for a country to hold hearings in a lawsuit filed by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev against Swiss entrepreneur Yves Bouvier, The Art Newspaper ruled on Wednesday.
In March 2015, Rybolovlev filed a lawsuit against Bouvier with a court in Singapore. The defendant owns tax-free free storage facilities for art pieces, including paintings and furniture owned by Rybolovlev.
However, a court of appeals ruled that Switzerland is "distinctly a more appropriate forum than Singapore for the determination of the parties’ dispute." The contract signed between the billionaire and the art dealer was written in accordance with the Swiss laws.
Rybolovlev has purchased 38 masterpieces including the Da Vinci painting Salvator Mundi from Bouvier. Later Rybolovlev accused Bouvier of inflating the prices of some works, namely a Modigliani piece obtained for US $118 million. Rybolovlev claims that Bouvier received € 1 billion worth of undue advantage from their deal.
According to Bouvier, Rybolovlev is upset over a failed purchase of a Rothko painting.
Criminal complaints against Bouvier were filed in January 2015 in Monaco. In February, the art dealer was detained on charges of fraud and money laundering. In March of the same year, Bouvier's assets were frozen by a court in Singapore. In the summer of 2015, the High Court of Singapore unfroze the assets.