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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 May, 2003, 07:20 GMT 08:20 UK
Sir Elton loses art case
Elton John
Sir Elton will play a concert at the Kremlin in Moscow

Sir Elton John has lost a court battle with a Parisian art dealer who he accused of selling him fake statues.

A French judge ruled that Sir Elton had not offered the "slightest serious evidence" that would suggest he had been duped.

The British singer was suing art dealer Jean Renoncourt over four groups of statues he bought in 1996.

Sir Elton, well known for his extravagant spending habits, paid $360,000 (224,809) for the statues of Greek gods which bore the signature of 18th Century Italian sculptor Luigi Grossi.

After displaying them at his home in the UK, Sir Elton called in art expert Simon Yates to assess their value for insurance purposes.

Insufficient

Mr Yates said he had doubts about their authenticity, suggesting they dated from the 20th Century and questioning the quality of the marble.

But the Paris court ruled the allegations made by the expert were not sufficient to punish Mr Renoncourt and that the case was without merit.

Meanwhile, the singer has announced he will play a concert at Moscow's State Kremlin Palace on 24 June.

Sir Elton will travel to the venue with his own white grand piano to perform his classic hits on.




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