Collector sues self-storage firm over damage to art pieces

Collector sues self-storage firm over damage to art pieces

SINGAPORE - An art collector is suing self- storage operator Extra Space for about $70,000 over damage to paintings and sculptures she placed at a unit in its Boon Keng facility.

Ms Fiona Bartholomeusz, who owns advertising agency Formul8, told a district court judge that all 34 works of art - paintings and sculptures - had an "infestation of mould".

One painting by a Cultural Medallion winner also went missing, likely due to poor security at the facility, she said in an affidavit obtained by The Straits Times.

Ms Bartholomeusz is seeking about $70,000 in damages, consisting of restoration fees and the value of the allegedly missing painting - Waves by Anthony Poon.

Her main claim is that Extra Space told her its facility was suitable for art storage, but then failed to keep her unit dry and air-conditioned.

She also claims that her unit appeared to have been accessed without her knowledge, and the company's unit access records were inaccurate.

Ms Bartholomeusz added that an art restoration expert she commissioned said the faulty air-conditioning had likely caused mould to form on the works of art.

Extra Space said in its written defence that it "did provide sustained and regulated air-conditioning at all times" to the unit.

It was "under no obligation to moderate the temperature and humidity... to any particular degree or level", it said, adding that Ms Bartholomeusz "failed to take such steps as were necessary for the custody, upkeep and maintenance of the stored items".

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