Frazetta children put down their swords in $20-million art dispute
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The AP has an update on the Frazetta family quarrel that had put the aging artist — and his $20-million art collection — in a difficult and vulnerable place.
Fantasy artist Frank Frazetta’s children have brought their bitter dispute over his estate and artwork to an end, according to a statement from the family issued Friday.
The feud came to light in December when Frazetta’s son was caught breaking into his father’s Pennysylvania home using a backhoe.
Frank Frazetta Jr., 52, said he was trying to take his father’s $20-million collection of art to safeguard it from his siblings.
The family has asked that theft charges against the younger Frazetta be dropped now that they have come to a settlement.
Frank Frazetta, 82, maintains a small museum of his work on a farm in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
The pioneering fantasy artist created comics and book covers throughout his career, including images of Sheba, Conan the Barbarian and Tarzan. He also created album covers for musicians such as Nazareth and Molly Hatchet.
Frazetta’s four children have been squabbling over his estate since the death of their mother in July 2009. Frazetta himself has suffered from a series of small strokes that impaired his ability to draw.
Billy, Holly and Heidi Frazetta sued their brother Frank Frazetta Jr. in Pennsylvania after the backhoe incident, claiming he was trying to sell their father’s art for commercial gain. They claimed to hold a company that has full control of rights for his work.
Frazetta Jr. countersued in Lee County, Fla., last week, saying his brother and sisters had plotted to cut him out of his father’s estate since their mother’s death. It was their “grand scheme … to take over the Frazetta business, close the museum [and sell off the art], and leave Frank Jr. with nothing,” the Florida suit said.
But the siblings were able to work things out over two days of mediation in Scranton.
“Frank Frazetta is pleased to announce that all of the litigation surrounding his family and his art has been resolved. All of Frank’s children will now be working together as a team to promote his remarkable collection of images that has inspired people for decades,” the statement said.
A final decision on the theft charges will be up to county prosecutors.
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Top: One of Frank Frazetta’s signature pieces. (Frank Frazetta) Middle: Frank Frazetta, circa 2003, courtesy of Lance Laspina and “Frazetta: Painting with Fire.” Bottom: “Conan the Barbarian” poster.