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The Keith Haring Foundation filed a lawsuit against the organizers of the exhibition Haring Miami on Friday, March 8, 2013 in a Miami courtroom. The Foundation, which owns all of the intellectual property rights in Keith Haring’s (1958-1990) artwork as well as a considerable chunk of the artist’s oeuvre, is seeking a restraining order and an injunction against the organizers in relation to copyright and trademark infringement.

A New York-based law firm, which is representing the Haring Foundation, asked that the organizers remove all but 10 of the 175 works on display. The Foundation claims that many of the works on view as part of Haring Miami have not been properly authenticated.

During promotions, organizers announced that approximately 200 original Haring artworks would be on view, ultimately securing sponsorship from established companies such as The Miami Herald, Bombay Sapphire, and Veuve Clicquot. Organizers also enticed a number of prominent members from the Miami arts community to join the exhibition’s “Host Committee.”

After the lawsuit was filed, exhibition organizers contacted the foundation and agreed to remove all fake artworks and destroy the accompanying exhibition catalogue, which featured the unauthenticated works. Although the organizers have been compliant, the foundation still plans to move forward with the lawsuit.

Haring founded the Keith Haring Foundation in 1989 to support organizations that offer education to underprivileged children as well as organizations that offer AIDS/HIV education, prevention, and care. The foundation is also devoted to protecting the legacy of Haring, who passed away in 1990 due to AIDS-related complications.

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