They will not compensate an artist for the disappearance of their materials stored in a workshop that was evicted by mistake in Tenerife



The National Court (AN) has refused to compensate the artist Antonio Colmeiro for the disappearance of five large sculpture molds commissioned by the Ministry of Defense on Spanish historical figures, which were in a workshop located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife that was evicted by bug in 2016.

The three-meter bronze sculptures have been in the parade ground of the Palacio de Buenavista in Madrid’s Plaza de Cibeles since 2003, but the molds are of great value as they would be essential for reproductions.

Colmeiro was born in Barcelona in 1932 and has participated in twenty exhibitions in recent years, and in his career he has accumulated as many awards as two national prizes for painting.

As a result of the disappearance of these sculptures in his workshop, Colmeiro filed a claim in his name and another from his company before the Ministry of Justice for a value of 153,000 euros, which was rejected, for which the artist appealed to the National Court that he has now dismissed his petition.

The State lawyer opposed granting the compensation, arguing that it had not been proven whether the owner of the pieces was the artist or his company, and that they are not registered in the Intellectual Property Registry either, despite not questioning let them be yours

It also lacked more evidence of the damage caused by ignoring the terms of the contract signed with the Ministry of Defense, and therefore the economic benefit that it would entail for the claimant.

The same occurs with the fact that a third party intervened in the disappearance of the pieces, who is considered responsible for paying any possible compensation.

The National Court considers certain facts as proven, such as the existence of the molds, which were deposited in the premises owned by the artist, and that the casting was wrong, as demonstrated.

This last point “evidently reflects an abnormal functioning of the Administration of Justice”, which is not in doubt, although it is immediately ruled out that the assumptions to recognize a patrimonial responsibility are given.

The National Court misses the fact that the exact terms of the agreement signed with the Ministry of Defense are not known, which “was easily within reach” of the appellant and where their rights and possible future exploitation through the reproduction of the pieces would be reflected. .

“Under these conditions it is not possible to compensate an injury orphaned by the corresponding evidence”, indicates the ruling that opens the door for the financial institution that carried out the erroneous eviction to pay the corresponding amounts, if it is shown that it kept the works .

The artist appealed, on the one hand for being the owner of the molds and on the other the owner of the intellectual rights, for which he requested as compensation that he be paid for their reconstruction.

The lawyer reproaches that the contract with the company located in La Laguna in charge of the manufacture of the pieces and their casting had not been provided.

But the National Court points out that there is a 2010 certificate in which this society confirms that they are the property of the artist, and that it was Colmeira who commissioned its realization and requested a budget.

The sentence is appealable before the Supreme Court (TS).



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