Page last updated at 19:02 GMT, Friday, 11 September 2009 20:02 UK

Loan deal saves Leibovitz images

Annie Leibovitz
Ms Leibovitz's pictures have graced the covers of Vanity Fair and Vogue

US photographer Annie Leibovitz has been given more time to pay off a loan which had threatened the copyright to her images.

The lender, Art Capital Group, agreed to restructure the $24m (£14.5m) loan and withdraw a lawsuit begun in July for breach of contract.

Ms Leibovitz was originally given until 8 September to repay the loan. The period of the extension is not known.

Under the agreement, she will also retain control over copyright.

Ms Leibovitz's most famous images include a photograph of John Lennon taken hours before he was assassinated, and a nude portrait of the pregnant actress Demi Moore for the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.

But the millions she has made from her work have been accompanied by a history of unpaid bills and taxes.

She has multimillion-dollar mortgages on properties she owns in New York.

We are gratified to be able to further assist Ms Leibovitz to achieve financial stability
Ian Peck, Art Capital Group

And her plans to renovate three town houses in Manhattan's Greenwich Village landed her with a $15m (£9m) lawsuit from a neighbour.

Ms Leibovitz took out the loan to pay off her debts, but the security was her life's work and her properties.

When the deadline to repay passed, it was unclear what would happen.

Now, as long as the photographer fulfils the new terms, she will retain the copyright of her images.

"In these challenging times I am appreciative to Art Capital for all they have done to resolve this matter and for their co-operation and continued support," she said in a statement.

She added that she looked forward to concentrating on her work.

Art Capital chief executive officer Ian Peck also issued a statement, saying: "We are gratified to be able to further assist Ms Leibovitz to achieve financial stability."

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