Russian oil billionaire Viktor Vekselberg is taking a British auction house to court, claiming it sold him a fake painting for 1.7 million pounds (2.9 million dollars), British and Russian media reported Monday, DPA reported.
The oil oligarch bought the oil painting Odaliske, supposedly the work of Russian painter Boris Kustodiev, from Christie's in November 2005, for a record price.
But Russian art experts then declared the work a fake and in 2006 Velselberg's off-shore company, the Aurora Fine Arts Investment project, demanded its money back.
Christie's is reported to have said it wanted to carry out its own investigation first.
Aurora had sent the work back to the London auction house for examination last year, but has accused it of failing to inform the company of how long the work would take, the Daily Telegraph reported.