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Lawsuit filed over Mapplethorpe photos

Associated Press Associated Press 9/04/2016

A photographer has filed a $US65 million ($A86.60 million) lawsuit against the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation alleging he took the images of the late photographer in drag long identified as self-portraits.

The Wall Street Journal reports the copyright infringement lawsuit also names the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and two galleries. All declined to comment.

The Mapplethorpe Foundation called the suit "frivolous" and said it plans to defend itself.

The suit was filed by Bobby Miller, who has photographed the New York downtown scene in the 1970s and '80s.

Miller says he took the photos in Mapplethorpe's Manhattan loft in 1979.

His lawyer says the facts will show Miller was solely responsible for conceiving the idea of photographing Robert Mapplethorpe in drag.

Mapplethorpe exhibitions are currently at two Los Angeles museums.

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