01/11/2013 08:26 GMT | Updated 01/11/2013 08:30 GMT

Andrey Melnichenko Sues Art Dealer For Supplying 'Too Small' Statue

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - NOVEMBER 11: Russian businessman and billionaire Andrey Melnichenko attends a meeting of Russian Union and entrepreneurs on November 10, 2009 in Moscow, Russia. Top Russian businessmen gathered in Moscow to discuss problems in the World economy. (Photo by Konstantin Zavrazhin/Getty Images)

Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko has sued an American art dealer for supplying a £423,000 statue that was nearly half as big as he expected.

The oligarch bought the work 'Sonno Grande' (Big Sleep) from Polish artist Igor Mitoraj thinking the two huge sleeping heads were over 7ft fall. However, once delivered, they were found to be less than 4ft tall.

The industrialist sued New York art dealer David Benrimon through the Isle of Man based art firm Hamilton Art Ltd for £2.6 million in damages for breach of contract and fraud, eventually reaching a settlement.

According to the Daily Mail, court papers filed in New York by the art dealer said: "The claim in this case really involves nothing more than billionaires who wound up not liking an artwork they picked out, purchased, paid for and accepted."


Melnichenko, who is based in Berkshire and worth an estimated £9 billion, previously launched legal action against the owners of Dulux for a botched paint job of his 391-foot luxury yacht.

The Russian tycoon issued a £62 million ($100m) claim for damages for the cost of correcting the allegedly poor paintwork as well as a monthly £2.5 million fee to hire a replacement vessel for the tycoon in the 18 months while his yacht was busy being repainted.