Long lost menorah by ‘Charging Bull’ sculptor stirs up feud after resurfacing at auction

Arturo Di Modica Hanukkah menorah (Echoes Auctions/Screenshot)

In 1997, DiModica was commissioned by the owners of 2 Broadway to create a menorah that would be lit on Hanukkah in Lower Manhattan.

By World Israel News Staff

A long lost menorah believed to be made by sculptor Arturo Di Modica is in contention after a Long Island auction house put it up for sale in October, reports The New York Post.

DiModica is the famous sculptor who made Wall Street’s iconic “Charging Bull” statue.

In 1997, DiModica was commissioned by the owners of 2 Broadway to create a menorah that would be lit on Hanukkah in Lower Manhattan.

In what became an annual tradition, the 15-foot-high bronze menorah was lit every Hanukkah until it was replaced in 2005 after it was presumed to be lost or stolen after going into storage.

According to the report, Lou Thomas, who consigned the piece to Echoes Auctions house, said he found the menorah in 2014 in a Chelsea building when he was hired by the owners of the building to clean out the space.

“I just knew it was a menorah and I wouldn’t throw a menorah away,” he told The New York Post.

“I thought it was a unique piece. I didn’t know who this guy [Di Modica] was.”

The menorah was recognized as Di Modica’s by Jacob Harmer, a London gallerist who is familiar with the sculptor’s work.

“I spoke with the auction-house owner and he told me enough information that it lined up with the story,” said Harmer.

Di Modica himself confirmed that it was his menorah after receiving permission by the auction house to see it. Despite the overwhelming evidence, Echo House auctioneer Robert Gambassi is refusing to give it back to Di Modica.

“I don’t think it’s the artist’s anymore,” he said.“Just because he made it doesn’t mean he still owns it.”

Aaron Sull:
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