Hong Kong heiress sues gallery owner Pearl Lam over Banksy painting

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HONG KONG, March 22 (Reuters) - An heiress of the Hong Kong beverage giant Vitasoy International is suing prominent gallery owner Pearl Lam, saying she has paid 500,000 pounds ($613,000) for a Banksy painting that was never delivered, according to a court writ filed this week.

Karen Lo, whose grandfather founded Vitasoy which specialises in soy milk and juice drinks, said Lam falsely represented that she had bought Banksy's 'Show Me The Monet' painting on Lo's behalf, according to the writ.

Lam's office did not immediately respond to requests by phone and email for comment.

The 2005 painting by the British artist is a "remix" of a masterpiece by Impressionist painter Claude Monet.

It was sold at a Sotheby's auction in October 2020 for more than 7.5 million pounds, far above an estimated sale price of 3 million pounds to 5 million pounds.

Lam is one of more than 170 gallery owners participating in Art Basel Hong Kong this week.

Hong Kong's government has welcomed the art fair as it tries to reinvigorate the economy after a nearly three-year slump from factors including tough COVID lockdowns, a closed border with China and a security crackdown.

(Reporting by Farah Master and Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Bernadette Baum)