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Knoedler Gallery settles over fake Mark Rothko work

The first trial of a suit filed over phony art peddled by Long Island fraudster Glafira Rosales ended with a settlement on Wednesday between Manhattan’s Knoedler Gallery and the couple that bought a fake Mark Rothko work for $8.3 million.

The settlement came on the eve of expected testimony from Michael Hammer, the owner of Knoedler and its parent 8-31 Holdings Corp., and from gallery director Ann Freedman, who settled herself over the weekend. The dollar value of the deal was not revealed.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs — Sotheby’s chairman Domenic de Sole and his wife — described the settlement amount as “good.” Lawyers for Hammer, who was not personally a defendant, called it “fair and reasonable.”

The now-defunct gallery, once Manhattan’s most prestigious, had sold fake works peddled by Rosales for more than $60 million before she was exposed, but claimed that it was duped. Rosales is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to fraud charges in 2013.

The de Sole lawsuit was not the first to settle, and several others remain unresolved.

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