Update on the Clark Estate and Bellosguardo

Posted on Jun 19 by Leslie Dinaberg

Screen shot 2014-06-19 at 10.43.38 AMWe wanted to share this email we received today from Mayor Helene Schneider this morning regarding an update on the Clark Estate Settlement and Bellosguardo:

“The complex process towards completing the terms of the Huguette Clark settlement reached a milestone this week with the successful completion of Christie’s “Clark Family Treasures” auction. The lively 7-hour auction of items from her New York 5th Avenue penthouse apartments included some personal items from Senator W.A. Clark as well as a variety of furniture, rare books, personal items and a number of paintings by various artists, including many painted by Huguette Clark herself.

A number of items that belonged to Senator Clark were purchased from a great-great grandson, including two marble busts, the Senator’s leather case (sold for a surprising $13,000) and Tade Styka’s portrait of Senator Clark. Over 70 participants in the room along with a global Internet and phone presence bought 96% of the lots totaling over $8.4 Million, which was well above the estimates.

One question still out there is the outcome of the Stradivarius violin. This very valuable item did not sell at auction on Wednesday and I’ve been told that it will be sold via a private sale in the near future. Everything that did sell – her Connecticut estate, the Monet Water Lilies painting and the various Clark Family Treasures – did so at settlement value or above.

Quoted in a Christie’s press release, The Honorable Ethel J. Griffin, New York County’s Public Administrator, who oversees the estate, commented, “We are very pleased with the results Christie’s achieved today and earlier this spring for property from the Estate of Huguette M. Clark, which together have yielded a combined total of $49.4 million in sales. The proceeds from tonight’s sale will benefit the Estate and its goal of establishing a charitable foundation devoted to arts and culture. Throughout the process, Christie’s has helped pay tribute to the collecting legacy of Senator W.A. Clark and his family and reminded us all of this family’s important place in American culture and history.”

We’re now waiting for the IRS determination as it relates to taxes the Estate may need to pay. The N.Y. Attorney General’s office and the Public Administrator are actively negotiating with them. This will take at least several months to resolve.

As been reported recently in the local media, the Foundation Board that will oversee Bellosguardo should be formed sometime this summer. I am thankful and appreciative of the many people who have expressed interest in the successful creation of this new Foundation and have received dozens of inquiries to serve as one of the initial members of the Board of Directors. As I finalize this process with the N.Y. Attorney General’s office and Public Administrator, I am also compiling all this information for the new Board, who will be able to establish various working committees and other ways for the community to get involved.

Moving forward will still take some time. Even after the Foundation Board is established, the Bellosguardo property and other assets (the contents inside Bellosguardo, Mrs. Clark’s doll collection and $4.5M in cash) will not be transferred to the Foundation until the Estate is closed. This may take upwards of another year or more.  In the meantime, the Public Administrator is ensuring that the Bellosguardo property is well maintained as it has been for decades.”

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