Billionaire Perelman Claims $410 Million Worth of Art No Longer Has “Oomph” After Fire

Revlon owner Ronald Perelman says some of his million-dollar artworks by Warhol, Twombly and Ruscha "lost their luster" after a 2018 fire at his Hamptons home.

Ronald Perelman standing at podium
Ronald Perelman in 2012.
(Photo by Shahar Azran/WireImage)

Billionaire Ronald Perelman is embroiled in a $410 million lawsuit with insurers over paintings the businessman says were damaged in a 2018 fire at his East Hamptons home.

Despite reports that said Perelman’s lucrative art collection was left undamaged by a fire, litigation over five expensive paintings has been ongoing for the past two years, as reported by Artnet News.

Three holding companies representing Perelman, known collectively as AGP Holdings, sued a group of insurers in New York State court, claiming they have refused to pay for $410 million worth of damages caused to artworks by Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly and Ed Ruscha.

Exposure to extreme heat, smoke, moisture and rough handling contributed to this damage, according to the complaint. The most expensive of the five pieces, Cy Twombly’s Untitled¬†(1971), is allegedly worth $125 million.

According to court records, Perelman, who is the majority owner of the Revlon cosmetics company, first noticed that the works were damaged nearly a year after the fire. “All of the pictures lost their luster, lost their depth, lost some of their definition and lost a lot of their character,” he said in an examination under oath in July 2021.

“It just didn’t have its spark,” said Perelman of Twombly’s Untitled. “It just lost – it just lost its oomph.”

Lawyers representing the insurance companies and AGP Holdings did not respond to requests for comment. Billionaire Perelman Claims $410 Million Worth of Art No Longer Has “Oomph” After Fire