Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, Jan. 16

Settlement agreement reached in MNA lawsuit

FLAGSTAFF -- A Santa Fe art dealer who was sued for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud by the Museum of Northern Arizona has agreed to settle the museum's lawsuit in Federal Court in Phoenix. The claim against Steve Diamant arose out the museum's deaccession of 21 paintings and textiles in 2002.

Following a shake up in the museum's management and the hiring of a new director, MNA brought suit against Diamant and his company earlier this year. The settlement agreement provides that details of the settlement will not be disclosed. Both parties said the case was resolved to their mutual satisfaction.

On Dec. 20 MNA Director Robert Breunig said, "Museums supported by the public must always be ready to fight to protect their collections, if necessary. The current board and administration of MNA are committed to protecting its collections, now and in the future. In addition to their mission to educate the public about our history and culture, institutions such as ours must set an example of commitment, integrity, and responsibility for the larger community."

The Museum of Northern Arizona was represented by Richard Kasper of the law firm of Ryan Rapp and Underwood of Phoenix and Whitney North Seymour Jr. of New York, who donated his legal services to the museum.

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