SA-born artist embroiled in Mexican battle over illegally claimed artwork

In a developing international story, Colette Wall, a South African born artist based in Mexico City, has been involved in an ongoing battle with a high-ranking Mexican politician over her artwork.

The politician and running candidate for Deputy in upcoming Mexican elections, Belisario Luna Fandiño, is alleged to have illegally claimed Wall’s artwork to the value of $300 000 pesos (R237 267).

The artist says that she has been in the centre of this controversy since 2007, when she initially pressed charges against Fandiño.

According to Wall, Fandiño had sourced her work at an event and asked to view and test her artwork in his home, but failed to pay or return it.

He sourced my work, and liked three of them. He wanted the option to live with them for a while, which usually allow as artists. But he never paid or returned the work.

Colette Wall

South African born artist Colette Wall at a press briefing. Picture: Benjamín Flores.

Wall says she had pressed charges against him, but the case has been quashed, which is why she is now going public to see justice served. Fandiño is said to be a well-connected man, and Wall says she has received threats from him, urging her not to pursue the case further.

The legal fees are very expensive and the person that I’m dealing has family that has high ranks with magistrates and ministers of the Supreme Court. He has threatened me, telling me not to light the match; otherwise I will not be able to put it out.

Colette Wall

Wall held a press conference at the South African embassy in Mexico and she says she has had the full support of the South African Ambassador.

Listen to the full conversation from 702's John Robbie Show:

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