Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Art of the Inheritance Feud

An entire wing of the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum that was built to hold a peerless $90 million dollar collection of art from Papua New Guinea could be emptied by an inheritance battle between heirs of the Annenberg publishing fortune.

At the heart of the dispute is de Young Trustee John Friede, who appears to have promised his prized collection to the museum but also put it up as collateral in a legal dispute with his brothers in Florida.

Three brothers have been feuding since 2005 over the estate of their mother, Evelyn A.J. Hall who was a sister of the late publishing tycoon Walter Annenberg. John Friede and his brothers reached a settlement where John agreed to pay his brothers $30 million dollars, $20 million which was secured by the collection. The problem was he had signed the collection over to the museum the week before. Oops!

The other brothers want to seize the art and sell off the pieces.

All the dirt and pictures of the collection at

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