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$3 million Marden painting destroyed in transit: lawsuit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A $3 million painting by U.S. artist Brice Marden was destroyed while being moved from Moscow to New York due to the negligence of Lufthansa Cargo and others involved in its transport, a lawyer said on Friday.

Marden's "Au Center" came loose in its travel frame while being transported in 2008, resulting in "a significant amount of paint loss" and the destruction of the painting, said Eliot Greenberg, a lawyer for Gagosian Gallery in New York.

The gallery, which owned the painting, initially sued Lufthansa, Art Crating Inc. and others in New York state court in June, but the case was moved without objection to Manhattan federal court on Friday.

Lufthansa and Art Crating Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Au Center," painted in 1969, is a two-panel work in two shades of grey. Marden, 70, was the subject of a retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 2006 and the same year the New Yorker magazine called him "the most profound abstract painter of the past four decades."

(Reporting by Edith Honan, editing by Michelle Nichols)

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