Agreement could free Robert Indiana's estate from lawsuit

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ROCKLAND, Maine — A New York-based copyright holder that sued the late artist Robert Indiana a day before his death has reached a settlement with his estate and the foundation set up to transform the artist's home into museum.

The settlement agreement brings the legal wrangling over the estate of the artist known for his iconic “LOVE” series closer to an end.

Details were not released, but the agreement “should fully resolve all claims” stemming from Morgan Art Foundation’s lawsuit that accused Indiana and his caretaker of violating a licensing agreement, according to a letter that was filed Wednesday in federal the court in New York City. The agreement would become effective in May upon settling of “one condition” that must be completed, wrote Luke Nikas, Morgan's attorney.

The lawsuit by the Morgan Art Foundation was filed in New York the day before Indiana’s death on May 19, 2018, at age 89 on Vinalhaven Island, 15 miles (25 kilometres ) off Rockland, Maine.

It accused Indiana’s caretaker and a New York-based art publisher of taking advantage of Indiana.

The lawsuit contends they violated its agreement with Indiana by illegally producing other art. The art publisher, Michael McKenzie, is not included in the proposed settlement and is in arbitration.

A foundation intends to turn his island home into a museum to display his art once the litigation is resolved.

Millions of dollars have been spent on legal fees since Indiana's death, and the state attorney general's office is demanding an accounting of the estate's spending.

The Associated Press