(CN) - Crozier Fine Arts ruined "Untitled, 1948," a painting by abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, while trying to hang it in his son's apartment, according to a lawsuit filed in New York County Supreme Court by Lloyd's of London, which insured the painting.
According to the complaint, the painting fell off the wall during installation in the Manhattan townhouse of the painter's son, Dr. Christopher Rothko, and was impaled by furniture sitting under the spot where it was to be hung.
Crozier should have moved all of the furniture out from under the painting before attempting to hang it and put someone in place to catch it if the installation failed, according to the complaint.
The painting comes from the middle period of Rothko's career, when he moved away from representational painting toward abstract images composed of flat planes of color. Lloyd's underwriters paid Dr. Rothko and his sister, Dr. Kate Rothko Prizel, nearly $660,000 for the painting.
Lloyd's wants Crozier to cover all liability for damage to the painting. Robert Sheps in Melville, N.Y. is representing Lloyd's.