On September 7, 20005 my wife and I, both novice art buyers walked into the DTR Modern Galleries in Boston (www.dtrmodern.com) and were met by the gallery Director, Diana Rabinovich who also went by the name of Diana Stelin. She told us that she had worked at the gallery for years and had a great deal of experience in art, thereby inducing us to trust her art judgement. She then lead us to a Miro artwork named Homage a Joan Prats and told us that this was a “”valuable and important piece”” and did her best to get us excited about it. It had a $28,000 priece tag. We purchased the piece in large measure because of her representations, our trust in her expertise and because we liked the way that it looked. Mrs. Rabinovitz printed a purchase receipt, a Certificate of Authenticity and a Certificate of Ownership which showed a value of $35,000 for the piece. These were accompanied by her personal letter which suggested that we use this Certificate of Ownership as proof of value for our home insurance. We enjoyed the painting for about seven years but then I decided to sell it in March of 2013 so I callled a local Beverly Hills gallery that sells a great deal of Miro works. I asked them to consign the piece so that we wouldn’t have to ship it. To our astonishment the gallery told us that our piece was worth about $3000 not the $28,000 that we had paid. On march 11, 2013 I contacted the DTR Galleries and they instantly started stonewalling me. I also contacted a large gallery in New York City and another in Marlborough, MA called Skinner Inc., who also appraised the piece at about $3000 (see the email). Over the next few months I had several conversations with the DTR Modern Galleries owner, Ted Vasillev and I asked him to buy the artwork back from me which he refused. After some months of further investigation I decided to call the Better Business Burea to file a complaint. I also made negative posts on Yelp.com and Google. Shortly thereafter I had an attorney send a letter to Mr. Vassillez demanding that he refund my payment (see letter from my attorney) . We received a letter back from his attorney which denied my claims and threated me with a lawsuit if I did not drop my complaint immediately (see attached letter from DTR Modern attorney). My attorney responded with a letter citing Anti-Slapp laws which protect consumers from frivilous lawsuits from business that try to intimidate people who complain (see attached letter). I then filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Licensing. In preparation for my case I contacted the DTR Modern Gallery in Palm Beach and asked them to give me an appraisal of my Miro’s value. Brian Walsh, the Gallery Director wrioe me an email that states that my artwork was worth $2000-2500 when I purchased it in 2005 and he gave me a Certificate of Replacement Evaluation on DTR Stationary which claims that my artwork is worth $4000 today. Seeing that DTR Galleries would not budge and armed with all of my appraisals, I decided to file a law suit under Massachusettes Consumer Law 93A which allows a consumer to be awarded triple damages in instances where consuers are aggregiously abused and taken advantage of. On APril 24, I went to Boston Small Claims Court and my case was dismissed by an assistant clerk. It was dismissed because the “”assistant clerk”” thought that my case was too old and he didn’t want to hear it even though the law says that I have a claim for “”four years from when you know of the offense or should have known.”” Why would I have suspected that DTR Modern Galleries had misrepresented the value of my art before I tried to sell it? Without denying guilt, the attorney was successful in having the assistant clerk (not a judge, not a judge pro-tem, not a clerk) dismiss my case on this statute of limitations without seeing anu=y of my evidence. I suggest that anyone who has ever purchased a piece of art from any DTR Modern Gallery in the US: Boston, New York, Washington D.C. or Palm Beach have their art appraised immediately. In most localities this must be done within 4 years from the date of purchase, so hurry. If a few of you have had a similar experience you may file a class action lawsuit against Mr. Vasillev and DTR Modern Galleries. .
This complaint and/or review was posted on HolySmoke.org on 12:10 pm, February 18, 2019 (CST) and is a permanent record located at: https://www.holysmoke.org/scam/dtr-galleries-review/.
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