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Kevorkian estate and Watertown's Armenian museum settle over artwork

Posted by Your Town  October 5, 2012 04:44 PM

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BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (AP) — A lawyer says a dispute has been settled between Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s estate and a Watertown museum over the ownership of 17 of the assisted-suicide advocate’s paintings.

The executor of Kevorkian’s estate, Michigan-based attorney Mayer Morganroth, tells The Detroit News for a story Friday that the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown will keep four paintings and 13 will be returned to Kevorkian’s estate.

The museum sued in federal court in Massachusetts last year ahead of a New York auction. It claimed Kevorkian donated the art in 1999. His estate said he loaned it to the museum for an exhibit and subsequent storage.

A message seeking comment was sent early Friday to museum lawyers by The Associated Press.

Kevorkian died in 2011 at age 83.

The Globe has reported that the estate says the paintings may be worth up to $3.5 million.

The Globe reported in 2008 that Kevorkian, who was the child of two Armenian genocide survivors, planned to attend the unveiling of the paintings when they came to the museum.

In a phone interview at the time, Kevorkian said he didn't consider himself an artist, just someone who ``puts in paint the condition of the world that we live in.''

He said he began to paint as a hobby when he was a young man. But he kept delving into the topics of life and death he dealt with as a medical examiner. ``Everyone was painting landscapes and clowns and I couldn't see the value in that. I guess the rebel in me was thinking I'll shock them,'' he recalled.

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