The suit filed Monday in Manhattan Federal Court alleges that the owner of the Four Seasons Hotel & Resort of Southern California, LLC, is infringing on the copyright of the late Christopher Swinn, the son of famed actor John Swinn.
The suit, filed by the California-based Swinn Museum of Art, alleges that Christopher Swinns’ son and the hotel company had agreed in the 1990s to a non-compete agreement for the hotel to lease the artwork from the museum.
Christopher Swinn died in 2011 at age 87, after a long illness and was buried in the Los Angeles Memorial Park Cemetery.
He was the grandson of the legendary actor, who also served as an ambassador for the American Film Institute.
The Swinn family said last year that Christopher was not a resident of the New York city area.
The museum also alleges that in 2005, the Four Resorts hotel & resort agreed to provide Swinn with the “exclusive” use of the “Jesus Christ statue at the Four Roses” hotel, and also to provide the statue with an additional easel and painting on its roof, according to the lawsuit.
But in 2012, the museum alleged that the Four Shores hotel and resort “violated this agreement by permitting Christopher Swins’ son to erect a large and intimidating statue of Christ on the roof of the hotel,” according to court papers.
Swinn died at his home in New York City on Feb. 21, 2012, at age 92.
The statue is located on the fourth floor of the four-story hotel on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood.
The hotel’s attorneys had no comment.
The Four Seasons declined to comment.
A spokesman for the Four Rivers hotel chain, which owns the Four States and Four Roses, did not immediately return a call for comment.
In a statement, Four Seasons said it “supports the right of all Americans to enjoy their creative expression and respect the rights of others.
The Four Residences and its management team have been very responsive to our requests to remove this controversial and inappropriate statue.”
In a separate lawsuit filed last year, a California woman sued the hotel chain over a deal to purchase her father’s statue.
The woman, known only as Jane Doe in court documents, sued the Four Sides in 2015, alleging that the statue was defaced by someone who used a saw to remove it from the property.
The lawsuit claimed that in addition to being defaced, the statue “had a hole cut into its forehead.”
Jane Doe also alleged that “the statue had to be taken down and relocated because the hole had been dug into its head.”