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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Sir Elton wins fake statue battle
Sir Elton John
Sir Elton will play the Princess Diana memorial concert on Sunday
Sir Elton John has won a court case against a Parisian art dealer who he accused of selling him fake sculptures.

The star has fought a long legal battle with Jean Renoncourt over the marble statues, which he bought in 1996.

A Paris court overturned his claim in 2003, saying he had not offered enough evidence to suggest he had been duped.

But the appeal court awarded Sir Elton more than 250,000 in damages and legal costs. Mr Renoncourt was also ordered to pay to ship the fakes back to Paris.

Sir Elton, well known for his extravagant spending habits, paid $360,000 (180,350) for the four statues of Greek gods, which bore the signature of 18th Century Italian sculptor Luigi Grossi.

'Inferior marble'

After transporting them to the UK, he called in art expert Simon Yates to assess their value for insurance purposes.

Mr Yates said he had doubts about their authenticity, suggesting they were made with inferior marble and could have dated from the 20th Century.

Sir Elton, who was knighted in 1998, has since pursued Mr Renoncourt through France's legal system.

A high court judge ruled in 2003 that the Candle In The Wind singer had not offered the "slightest serious evidence" that the statues were forgeries.

But a French analysis of the artworks later confirmed the British expert's views.

Sir Elton was awarded $360,000 (180,350) to cover the cost of buying the statues, plus $38,000 (19,000) in damages and 78,000 euros (52,500) in legal costs.

The singer-songwriter, who turned 60 in March, is due to play the Princess Diana Memorial Concert this weekend.

Sir Elton loses art case
01 May 03 |  Entertainment

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