According to AFP, a French court ruled against British pop star Elton John, saying his claims that a Parisian art dealer sold him fake statues were without merit.
Elton will also have to pay more than £15,000 in legal fees and compensation to the defendant.
The court ruled Wednesday 30 April 2003 that Elton John had not unveiled “the slightest serious evidence” that would suggest that the four groups of statues he bought from art dealer Jean Renoncourt in 1996 were not authentic.
Elton paid $360,000 (320,000 euros or £250,000) for statues of the Greek gods bearing the signature of 18th century Italian sculptor Luigi Grossi, which he later displayed in the orangery at his country home in Britain.
In 2001, Elton asked art expert Simon Yates to assess the works for insurance purposes, and Yates raised doubts about their authenticity, saying they dated from the 20th century and calling into question the quality of the marble used.
Experts reportedly valued the items at between £2,000 and £5,000.
But the Paris court ruled that the allegations made by Yates were not sufficient proof to punish Renoncourt.