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Settlement reached in lawsuit over Michelangelo exhibit that ran in Norfolk

The lawsuit challenged the legal right of the group that arranged the exhibit to show it at MacArthur Center in 2020.

NORFOLK, Va. — The parties involved in a lawsuit over the Michelangelo exhibit that ran in Norfolk in August 2020 agreed to a settlement in the case. 

Glenn Blackman, on behalf of Global Touring & Promotion, Inc. - the booking agent for Exhibition 4You - said the "parties amicably resolved all differences in the lawsuit."

Blackman said the terms and conditions of the settlement "are and shall remain confidential." 

In response to questions from 13News Now, Blackman said the Michelangelo: A Different View exhibit was placed in storage after the Norfolk engagement, but E4Y will be resuming its tour of the exhibit "now that the [COVID-19] restrictions are being lifted."

Blackman, who chose not to comment for the publication of the original 13News Now report due to the ongoing litigation, said E4Y properly licensed all of the artwork in the Virginia Arts Festival exhibition directly from the Vatican Museums.

"The California judgment was the result of a longstanding business dispute litigated in several countries concerning a prior, unrelated exhibition in Montreal," Blackman wrote. "The California court order, as discussed in the Court pleadings, did not expressly apply to the artwork in the Virginia exhibition, to the producer of the exhibition, or to Global Touring, and there has been no court that has enforced the California order against the exhibition that appeared in Virginia or anywhere else. I will also add that Exhibition 4 You denies the allegations in the California lawsuit."

Martin Biallas, the plaintiff, confirmed the sides settled the case during court-ordered mediation. 

He initially did not respond to a request for information about the settlement, but then responded to Blackman's statement above once it was published.

Biallas said:

Blackman is booking the exhibit for a new German company that is owned by the same people that stole our exhibit now operating under a different name. The California judgment of $2.5 million+ is still being enforced against the same owners and in order to settle this dispute their new company is making payments to us in addition to the major California judgment that we are still enforcing in Europe and the U.S. against the principles.

The Michelangelo: A Different View exhibit will be shown at the Raising Canes River Center in Baton Rouge in September.

Biallas, through SEE Global Entertainment, continues to show Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition across the United States as well. It's currently on exhibit in Atlanta and Charlotte.