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An Artist Sells A $30,000 Dollar Termite Infested Painting

An Artist Sells A $30,000 Dollar Termite Infested Painting

Termite inspections are always necessary before purchasing a home. Buying a termite infested home is every future homeowner’s nightmare. However, termites are versatile and sneaky creatures that consume cellulose from a number of different sources, and not just timber-framed houses. Termites have even been known to infest art galleries. You can see why such an infestation would be catastrophic. Imagine if Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa met its end by being devoured by hungry termites. It is probable that art museums take termite inspections very seriously. Luckily, it is rare to find a valuable piece of art being destroyed by termites, but it does happen. For example, the successful and renowned artist P. Buckley Moss is being sued for selling a termite infested painting to a buyer for thirty thousand dollars. Initially the buyer was under the impression that she was getting a good deal from the treasured artist, as Moss claimed that the water-color painting was worth fifty thousand dollars.

In Saint Petersburg, Florida Christine Herrmann, owner of Sweet Divas Chocolates, is suing P. Buckley Moss for negligence over the sale of a termite infested painting entitled the Golden Couple. Hermann felt comfortable spending tens of thousands of dollars on the painting since Moss is so well respected in the art community. In addition to being a respected artist, Moss also owned her own gallery called the P. Buckley Moss Gallery, where the now infested painting was on display for many years. This lawsuit may be hard for Moss to win considering a few shady events that had occurred before the painting wound up in Hermann’s possession.

In 2012 Hermann consigned the painting from the Finn Gallery of P. Buckley Moss. The agreement between Hermann and the Finn Gallery listed the price of the painting at thirty thousand dollars. However, before the sale was finalized, Moss fired and expelled the Finn Gallery from the building that she owned. Soon afterwards Moss personally walked across the street to Hermann’s business in order to tell her that the Finn Gallery had been fired and that they “grossly underpriced” the painting, which was really worth fifty thousand dollars. Hermann purchased the painting believing that she was being given a good deal. But not long afterwards termites were found eating away at the bottom part of the frame as well as the paper material. An appraiser claimed that the painting’s damage was irreparable. A pest control professional identified the termites as a drywood species. Hermann demanded a refund but Moss refused. Their case is now in court.

Have you ever found a termite consuming paper within an indoor area? If you have, had their been an infestation of termites in that area? Or did an infestation of termites eventually show itself?