Hotel Chelsea Ordered to Return Art to Tenant's Widow

By Mathew Katz on July 11, 2012 2:57pm 

A judge ordered the Hotel Chelsea to return 22 paintings belonging to resident Colleen Weinstein.
A judge ordered the Hotel Chelsea to return 22 paintings belonging to resident Colleen Weinstein.
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Flickr/andrewmalone

CHELSEA — A judge ordered the owners of the Hotel Chelsea to return nearly two-dozen pieces of artwork by nightlife guru Arthur Weinstein to his widow Wednesday.

Colleen Weinstein said that the 22 paintings, which hung on the historic West 23rd Street building's second floor and the stairway for years, belonged to her and husband Arthur, who died four years ago.

They were removed by the hotel's owner, Joseph Chetrit, as part of an ongoing renovation in August 2011, when he claimed the ownership of the paintings was in dispute.

But Manhattan Surrogate Court Judge Kristen Booth Glen disagreed Wednesday, ordering the return of the art to Weinstein within 10 days, said attorney Samuel Himmelstein.

"I'm considering a victory, but not a total victory," Weinstein said. "Once I get everything in my hands, I'll consider it a victory."

She also alleged that the paintings were not packed up and moved correctly, and could be damaged once they're returned.

"They’re not going to stay hanging here, my husband wanted them to, that’s why they were hanging here. But no," Weinstein said.

"I don't trust these guys."

Representatives for the Chetrit Group did not immediately respond for comment.

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